Tuesday 24 January 2012

Have the German’s pre-invented the pie?!

As soon as my knife cut into the pastry shell of the so called “Königinpastete”, I knew that I had what will go down as one of the most controversial pie reviews in Pierate history on my hands! And I make no apologies for such a bold claim at the outset of this pie review. For what we potentially have on our hands here is – when the incorrect English translation of the German menu is put to one side – a potential pre-cursor to the pie. Rather than re-inventing the pie, the Germans could here have pre-invented the pie, giving us a potential insight into what life was like pre-pie! (a shocking thought in itself, that there could have even been a time pre-pie!)

“So what could be so controversial”, I hear you cry! Well, when I ordered “two pies filled with chopped chicken breast and mushroomsauce” from the Hofgarten in Aachen, West Germany, I certainly didn’t get exactly what it said on the menu. The plate below was brought out to me, which in itself doesn’t look too controversial, albeit a bit odd. Why was there so much chicken and mushroom on the plate itself, rather than it all being inside the pastry? Perhaps there was just so much filling that it simply couldn’t possibly all fit inside the pastry itself?

Then came crunch time, as I cut my way into the soft, puff pastry casing of the first pie, to find that it was in fact... a pie made completely of pastry! A pastry lid, a pastry base and sides, but to the utter amazement of the Pierateer, also puff pastry on the inside too! There was absolutely no other filling within this pie! It was a shocker! The chicken and mushroomsauce “filling” was, as it turns out, outside the pie! What was I supposed to make of this?! I was naturally taken aback! (so much so, that unfortunately in the bewilderment of this crazy pie revelation, I forgot to actually take a photo of the centre of the pastry pie – my apologies.)

I started eating. The puff pastry was a delight to eat, so soft and flaky and a brilliant golden colour. The Germans are known for their efficiency, and it looked like time well spent engineering the pastry to a perfect level to make this pie. The filling meanwhile, while controversially outside of the pastry casing, was very nice too, with the sauce complementing the pastry, chicken and mushroom. I found myself being completely dumbfounded, but enjoying every mouthful! The combination of the pastry pie alongside the chicken and mushroom on my plate was brilliant. It just left me bamboozled as to why the filling of the pie was not inside the pastry itself, as it was some of the best pastry and filling I have ever tasted!

The mystery continues...Is this what pies used to be like “back in the good old days!” Was this the pre-cursor to the pie we all know and love today – where the filling of the pie had not quite worked its way into the pastry yet? Or did the restaurant even make a complete schoolboy and forget to put the filling inside the pastry pie in the first place?! While it is difficult to sum up my confusion at this pastry-only pie, it did in fact taste delicious and the real sign of a good pie is that I would happily go back there and eat another one of these pie dishes today, if I had the chance! It’s hard to specifically rate the pastry pie on its own, without the filling taken into account, but the pastry did taste very good and was in fact covered in the sauce and filling (as can be seen from the photo). However even if this was not actually how it should have been presented, what counts is that it was one of the nicest pastry and filling combinations I have ever eaten. And it was still a pie! Sehr gut!

Score: 5.9/7

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