Tuesday 30 January 2018

Football Pie Review: Meet the Meat-Free Pie

Forest Green Rovers Q Pie Review

Football League new boys Forest Green Rovers are striving to be the most environmentally sustainable football club in the world. Their owner, Dale Vince, is the owner of green electricity company Ecotricity. The pitch is fertilised naturally, they have solar panels on the roof and most controversially they don't serve any meat throughout the whole stadium! I really like the fact that Forest Green are trying hard to be more environmentally sustainable. It is also hugely important to me. I try hard to be more sustainable because the damage I see mankind causing to the world (and hence ourselves) breaks my heart. However, we all make personal choices about how much effort we put in and I realise I could do a lot more. Avoiding using a car suits me fine because I live in a city and get some much needed exercise. However, I am certainly not a vegan! I grew up on a dairy farm and love milk, I would find it hard to give it up. When it comes to meat my passion for pies conflicts with this somewhat! I am not against a vegetarian effort but they just don't tend to be so good. Only a select few vegetarian pies have gained Pierate Recommended status. But in spite of this, I was happy to give the Forest Green pie a go in the hope that they could persuade me. Pierateer RAS had also been kind enough to give me a birthday voucher for free football pies for every new ground not already in our 'Pieremiership' Football Pie League; I really had no excuse not to give it a go for the match against Wycombe Wanderers.

The pie was billed as a 'Q pie' with the Q presumably standing for Quorn, everyone's favourite microfungus. Considering the £3.50 cost, the pie was on the small side but it did look quite good. An unusual shape, the pie has a domed lid with a large crimp around the edge. The mottled colour hinted at a hand finished glaze although it was unclear if the pie itself was made by hand. Happily, the pie also seemed to have been well cooked. The crunch of the pastry confirmed this. We often moan about how pastry is either burned out or soggy for football pies so it was very refreshing to find such good pastry. It tasted nice enough to eat on it's own. This was a good thing because, due to the crimp and the small size of the pie, there was rather a lot of it! The filling was a chicken and leek type affair, except of course with Quorn instead of chicken. (This is perhaps obvious but I just want to clarify there was NO MEAT, I know this may be an unfamiliar concept to many of our readers). The flavour was actually very nice and went very well with the pastry. The sauce was lovely and thick and well seasoned, the leek added plenty of flavour. My my main gripe was that there just wasn't much of it. I would have thought quorn would be cheaper than chicken so it seemed a bit tight to have scrimped on it. In terms of the quorn itself, it was fine but the texture is just not quite as good as chicken. It is always going to be a bit more spongy. Having said that, it still had more bite than a mince meat pie and at least there were no gristly bits. The fake meat was in quite large chunks.

Overall, this pie worked quite well, mainly just losing points on the 'Cheapness' criterion. But it was worth paying a bit more because this pie was simply better quality than pies at most football ground. Therefore, controversially this pie does rather well in our 'Football Pie League' sitting just outside the top ten. A great performance from a vegetarian pie! Second only to the Piglet's Pantry effort in terms of vegetarian pies.

Q Pie (Forest Green Rovers) 


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