Sunday 20 November 2016

Setting the Bar in Dunbar

Dunbar Pie Reviews

A trip to Dunbar provided me with the chance to reignite my love of Scotch Pies. Normally I go on a recommendation by the Scotch Pie club which has meant I have found some very good Scotch Pies. I had no recommendation in this case so I didn't know how high the bar would be set. The simple high street was indicative that this was a small town but it had all the essentials and felt alive, unlike many similar high streets around the country. They are fortunate to have both a Butchery and a Bakery in this scenic seaside town. As is common in this part of the world, both the butchers and the bakers sold Scotch pies. This gave me a chance to do a bit of a head to head. As both cost £1.20 and were about the same size it provided a fair comparison. It was cute to note that the Bakery was run as a community bakery, for the benefit of the community rather than profit. I would have liked them to have had an equally wholesome pie but the Butchers version had the edge in terms of taste. Sadly neither were particularly good, the bar was not set particularly high in this case and they are not challenging near the top of our list of the best Scotch pies.

Taking them out of the oven it was amazing to see such a difference in Colour. The Bakery pie was a bit on the pale and pasty side wereas the Butchery pie looked had a dark brown, carmalised colour. Strangely this colour variation also applied to the fillings of the pie. Whilst many pies you cannot judge by their appearance, in this case it was a good indication of the taste. The Bakery pie pastry was a bit papery and floury which wasn't helped by a thick pastry base. It did have some crunch to the lid which indicated it had been cooked for long enough. The Butchery pie had crunch pastry with a slight biscuity taste. There was a hint of caramlised sweetness to the pastry which was a bit odd. It was a bit wonky in appearance with some boil out.

In both cases, the flavour of the meat was hard to distinguish but given the lower fat content they were certainly not mutton Scotch pies so I assumed that beef was the main ingrediant. The pale pastry of the bakery pie was matched by a pale and rather bland filling. The lack of seasoning left the overall taste mainly coming from the floury taste of the pastry. The butchery pie was well seasoned in comparison but did have a bit of chewy meat.

Whilst neither were amazing, they were edible so it wasn't a disaster but I would recommend a trip to Dunbar for the countryside and tourist sights rather than the pies. We had a nice cycle from Torness to Edinburgh on National Cycle Route 76 as well as a nice trip on the Borders Railway and a cycle from Galashiels. I didn't manage to pick up any more Scotch pies on the trip but I am sure to be back for more.

Beef Scotch Pie (Dunbar Community Bakery)

Beef Scotch Pie (Quality Butchers Dunbar)


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