Wednesday 15 October 2014

The Pies of Football – Featuring Morecambe FC

As the BBC Price of Football Survey launches, we give our opinion and go to the home of the homemade football pie to rate Morecambe FC’s Pork, Irn Bru and Chilli Pie.

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
When you think football, you think half time pie. What better during those cold, winter evenings to warm the heart, as well as the hands, during the half time interval as you watch your local team? But is that actually what people do? Or has the price of football pies put off the regular football fan? Do the caterers even have enough pies to go round? And if fans do buy a pie, is it piefection or are football fans being held to ransom?

We joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

We at will readily admit we are first and foremost a pie rating website, rather than specifically a football pie rating website, but we’re looking to delve further into the provision of football pies as we develop our Pieremiership of football’s best half time pies.

We've rated over 425 pies, including a number of football pies

But while we realise we haven’t eaten anywhere near enough pies in different football grounds yet – despite having over 425 pies rated in our Pie Rankings from many of the regular football pie manufacturers like Pukka Pies, Holland’s Pies and Peter’s Pies – we have always been a fan of eating a golden pastry product in the football stadiums we’ve visited. And in our minds what’s more important than simply the price of the pie is how the pie rates. Is it a soggy disappointment, overly dry or lacking in content or does it meet the 7 criteria we Pierateers look for in a pie?

One of the pielights of the #PriceOfFootball survey is the article entitled "How many pies pay for Falcao's wage?" - which we might add only matches together the sale of the pie at face value with his estimated weekly wage, rather than looking at how many pies they would have to sell at Old Trafford to cover all the costs of the ingredients, staff and the baking process AND then his reported £260,000 a week wage!

In our view, it’s all about a great tasting pie – filling and pastry - which is value for money. You can find out more about what makes a great rated pie by reading about the 7 Cs of pie rating. However what makes a great football pie?

Here are a few specific pointers for making the perfect football pie:

Firstly, it’s got to be cooked properly. Sadly, in the rush to serve so many customers in such a short space of time, food at football grounds can be undercooked or left sat in a hot locker for far too long, making the pie taste bad or even be pretty much inedible. We have unfortunately fallen foul to a few pies being served to us either undercooked or over baked. Naturally, the rating of such pies is badly affected.

Secondly, the football pie has got to be something you can pick up in your hands and bite into, without it crumbling all over the place. Quite a few football pies can be too soft to pick up or crumble all over the place when bitten into, so a firm but crisp pastry casing is key.

Finally, the consistency of the pie filling has got to be just right. Naturally we want a meat pie to be filled to capacity with nice, tender meaty chunks, but we also expect the viscosity of the gravy or sauce to be well thought through so that it is flavoursome but not too runny, as the last thing you want is gravy down your football shirt!

Once again the #PriceOfFootball survey highlights in its "How many pies pay for Falcao's wage?" article that Kidderminster is the most expensive half time pie at £4.50. While some Kidderminister fans have already taken to Twitter to criticise the BBC for not pointing out it is more of a meal than just a pie, what they fail to point out is a far more important issue - they are selling a Potato bake and not a fully encased in pastry pie!

One football ground has seemingly found the perfect reci-pie for the half time pastry snack, producing some of the highest rated pies on Pierate, let alone best football pies! Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC has won several titles at the British Pie Awards for the quality of his pies, including being British Pie Awards Supreme Champion 2014, where unsurprisingly we were there as one of the judges.

The latest addition to his football emPIEre is his Pork, Irn Bru and Chilli pie, which as such a unique flavour has split opinion a bit amongst supporters but has got many an intriguing review. During our filming with BBC Sport last week we got to rate the new pie and you can read the Pork, Irn Bru and Chilli pie review here.

It seems the BBC are laying down a challenge to us in their #PriceOfFootball survey article about the most expensive and cheapest pies by stating "The cheapest pies can be bought at Braintree and Sunderland Ladies. Can anyone rate their £1 offerings for us?"

Well, you know, it is pretty much our day job... (kind of)

In summary, we think there’s nothing better than a warm, hearty pie to get you through half time. But the key thing is that they have got to be top rated pies! Too often the pies are not only overly expensive but are just not up to scratch, either too dry or undercooked. So as well as checking out the price of pies this season, we’ll be making sure we rate as many as possible on our 7 Cs of pie rating so that you know what pies to purchase!


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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