Friday, March 5, 2010
English Pork Pie Company out of West Seneca
I ordered a selection of pork pies from the English Pork Pie Company out of West Seneca, NY (near Buffalo). As you know, I am a big pork pie fan. See here for my semi-successful attempt at homemaking them.
The package I ordered included a selection of pork pies, two different sizes and a couple "flavors." My pork pie philosophy dictates that they be a simple affair, but I thought I would give the EPPC (English Pork Pie Company) a chance to impress me. I got two big pies (1 Stilton, 1 "Traditional"), and 4 wee 'uns (2 Colman's Mustard, 2 traditional).
Here is one of the Colman's flavored out of the attractive wrapper. Note the quaint dough "C" on top to denote the contents.
It is traditional to eat pies cold, but I like them slightly warmed. Not hot exactly, but thrown in a warm oven for long enough to knock off the chill. Here is the Colman's pie sliced in half. You can clearly see the yellow vein of fiery English mustard.
Digging in, I had a couple notes. First, the crust is a little different than what I am used to. It was a little chewy, almost pizza dough-esque. When I made them myself, and when I have had other versions, the crust has been more on the delicate, flaky, and unctuous side. EPPC a little stingy with the requisite lard, mayhaps? As for the insides, the meat had a distinct "cured" taste. Note the indicative pink color of the meat. This is not unusual as there are a couple schools of thoughts regarding pork pies. I prefer the sweeter, fresher, porkier flavors that come through in an uncured porky pie center. Overall, a decent pie. However, socks in a state of un-knocked-off-edness.
The ingredients were a little off putting as well. I think that a pork pie should have about 4 or 5 ingredients (something like pork, fat, water, flour, seasoning), these bad boys had about 20 ingredients of the sort that you see in most modern products. I understand that any product that has to be sent through the mail and is meant to last a little longer than usual might require a little chemistry. But included here is MSG which I don't think is necessary. I have read the new stuff out there about MSG being a harmless ingredient, but I still don't think it has a place in a "traditional" product.
Don't take this all as me pooh-poohing the product, overall I was satisfied. Just a couple issues from an abnormally verbose consumer.