Sunday, 31 August 2008

Roys Hand made pork pies

The last pork pie to be tasted in August were small hand made pork pies from Roys, purchased by Josie, from the deli counter in their Hoveton branch. To work up a good appetite – and boy did we need one, we set off on a clockwise circular walk from the West End Caravan club site in West Caister. We were accompanied by Giada, who took every opportunity to get wet regardless of the state of the water, and Mickey, plus masses of butterflies, mainly Tortoiseshell.
Tortoiseshell                                                   Peacock    
The lunch stop was at the church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Mautby, round tower with thatched roof, but no scratch dial. Just under a mile to the Kings Head, Filby only to find it was closed due to licensing problems. We returned to the cars for another feast to accompany our cup of tea... First up were two huge bags of tortillas to dunk into Butter bean & roasted Garlic, and Lemmon & coriander Houmous. After tackling that, we had to squeeze in a portion of pork pie! These looked the part, but opinions varied widely - scores ranging from 2 to 8, giving in a massive standard deviation, even greater than last weeks! The pies were judged to be better than last week’s coming in with an average of the scores of 5.44444 and a standard deviation of 2.11312. So a normalised 5.5 for Roys. But we hadn’t finished; shortcake from Clarkes Quality Meats to finish off with – it was very good. So a pint on the way home, at the Filby Fox and Hounds was called for to wash it all down!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Tesco's Crispy Bake Pork Pies

Another wet start to the pre-pie walk, our weather wizard took us west to Hempton, just south-west of Fakenham. The walk took in two churches, none with scratch dials, and by the time we’d reached the first, the weather had cleared up. We had lunch in the second, then Giada had a swim in a nearby pond. We then only had about two and a quarter miles to go to the Bell in Hempton for a pleasant pint. Returning to the cars for mini poppadoms & potato squares to dip into a mixed olive & tomato and a Jalapeño Houmous. Next a new pie: Tesco's new Medium Crispy Bake Pork Pies – these appeared to be hand made, not being of a uniform shape. Slicing revealed a nice pink filling with a small amount of jelly, but it’s the munching that counts. Sadly these pies disappointed, the crust was OK, the little jelly nice, but the filling lacking any intensity of flavour and having no aroma. The pies scored a spot on 4.7, but opinions were very mixed, individual scores ranging from 2 to 7.5, resulting in a massive standard deviation of 1.81353 – the highest we’ve recorded. So a normalised 4.5 for Tesco Crispy Bake Pork Pies.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

E. C. Longworth & Son

Your Pie Master (and his mawther) ventured into Suffolk in the hope of finding a foreign porky delicacy! Finding that the once famous Ronnie Cook butchers of Lowestoft had given up several years ago, a visit to near by E. C. Longworth & Son Family Butchers of 147, High Street, yielded pork pies that the butcher enthused about. When questioned, he admitted that he didn’t make them but imported them from Gt. Yarmouth – so a new pie for us. Seven pie munchers and a conscientious objector set off in the pouring rain from Sea Palling towards Eccles on Sea and then inland to Hempstead church for lunch. Giada made the most of the large puddles on the approach to the church... St. Andrew’s provided another scratch dial – the first for a few weeks.
      Giada in a puddle                             Hempstead scratch dial
Returning to Eccles on Sea, we then walked along the beach back to Sea Palling taking in the Old Hall Inn for a pre pie pint. Returning to the cars we got straight into the pork pies, their being no canapés. The pies had a very bright coloured crust and had no jelly and a firm meat filling that failed to impress, the predominant taste was salt. We all seemed to agree, with a 0.56696 standard deviation, that these pies were below average coming in with a score of 6.71429. Then the Belgian biscuit selection had another outing to conclude proceedings. So that’s a normalised 6.5 for E. C. Longworth.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Independent “Ten Best Pork Pies”

The Independent published their “Ten Best Pork Pies” today, you can view it online by clicking here. They review Dickinson and Morris, Marks & Spencer - who we do not rate, but they put them above Bray's, who we do rate. Also further down the table are Mrs. King's who we rate as number 1 and Walkers fluted pie also makes it onto the list. Their number one pie was from Walter Smith's, this was reported to be one of the world's leading delicacies on the 4th September, last year.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Heath Farm Foods

Off to Geldeston on the second pie outing of the month, for a walk up along the river to Beccles and a stop at the church for lunch. No dials on this, nor on the Roman Catholic church we subsequently visited. We returned to Geldeston on the other side of the river meeting a great number of ramblers doing the walk the wrong way round. We crossed the river at Geldeston locks and stopped at the pub to sample the beer from Lowestoft’s Green Jack brewery. A very pleasant stop after six and a half miles - just the ticket to get the pie palette in top condition. A short stagger to the cars in the overflow car park to first sample a Chorizo, potato & sweet pepper Tortilla prior to sampling pies from Heath Farm Foods, previously scoring 7.5 in Thetford on the 10th September 2006 and 8 on the 18th March 2007. A very acceptable pie with little jelly scored an impressive 8.05555 with a reasonably high standard deviation of 0.72648, so Heath Farm retain a normalised 8 rating. We finished off with chunky toffee shortbread bites, also from Heath Farm.
Who ate all the pies ?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

M & M Rutland

We start the month of August with pies from one of the counties favorite butchers, M & M Rutland of Melton Constable. We were in the locality at Hindolveston about two miles south. From here, Ricky led us on a very pleasant pie appetizing walk, the highlight for the girls being the Alpacas in a field by one of the footpaths. No church on this walk, so we had lunch at the kiddies playground in Briston, then afterwards, some played on equipment provided. A short walk round the corner to the Green Man for a pint of IPA and the last few laps of the Grand Prix. Returning to the cars, pie grazing had to be put on hold while the Pie Master had to ferry walkers up the road to a hut selling local produce. After this diversion, King Canape produced a Ricotta & Pancetta flan and Thai spiced chicken in a thinly sliced mooli with a sweet soy dip! Next, the pies kindly supplied by Paul, from M & M Rutland, these were made in-house and without the onion marmalade as sampled at Geldeston on the 29th of April last year. The pies were very fresh being still hot when collected on Saturday. The piecrust was very crumbly when cut and tasted good. The filling too was good, spoilt by being a little over salted. These scored a very respectable 7.68182 with a high standard deviation of 0.92932. Then the biscuit course of Finest Shortbread and a Belgian selection. Then finally to complete this healthy hike in the countryside Liqueur chocolate cherries from Manola. So a normalized 7.5 for M & M Rutland this time.
M & M Rutland Pies