Ernest Journal - Humble Pie

A feature looking at the curious history of pies - the humble beginnings, the fillings of the past and the pies we left behind. 

"Huddled in their houses, bellies rumbling, staring at cupboards that ran dry days ago, the villagers of the Cornish village of Mousehole are losing hope. Rain whips against their houses and the wind howls through the streets, but the storm is showing no sign of relenting. Facing the turbulent, crashing waves that stretch as far as the eye can see, local fisherman Tom Bawcock readies his boat, taking a final look back at his village before heading into the churning waters. The tale of a fisherman braving the stormy sea in the 16th century to save his village from starvation is a famous one in a small corner of Cornwall. But the truth of the tale seems less important than the legacy it left behind: stargazy pie. Fish, usually sardines or herring, are laid with their heads sticking up through the pastry. This seemingly decorative placement was, like many culinary decisions, borne of a practical need; the fish heads would not be eaten and so covering them in pastry was deemed wasteful, but removing the heads would have allowed the flavourful oils to escape."

Excerpt from the Ernest Journal, Issue 7, March 2018, Words only