I’ve got to admit it – I’m fascinated by savory pastries! Their history, their travels, their construction. Isn’t it interesting to think that some form of savory pastry exists all over the world? Samosas, empanadas, meat pies and pasties, calzones, it goes on and on! Many times, a version of a certain savory pastry would start in one country, and, with imperialism & colonialism, would spread all over the world, changing slightly everywhere it went, to suit the local ingredients. Take the empanada, for instance! Probably began in Spain as a large, flat pie,
found its way to Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Carribean… became smaller, sometimes with a cornmeal crust, sometimes baked, sometimes fried. The possibilities are dizzying! Within certain countries, various regions proudly boast their own specific pie. Cornwall has the cornish pasty, while one small region of south London is famous for a certain kind of meat pie to be served with mash, parsley sauce (liquor) and, well, eels.
Savory pastries have enjoyed universal popularity because they are sturdy and portable. You could wrap one up in a handkerchief and take it in your pocket for lunch. Or pack it into your basket for a picnic. As a vegetarian, I enjoy their heartiness, and their center-of-the-plate, star-of-the-meal attention grabbing qualities. You won’t miss your meat! I’m also a fan of the way savory pastries inspire creativity, especially if you’re trying to adapt them to a vegetarian diet. So many types of crust, endless possibilities for fillings and accompanying sauces…it’s a joy to think about all of the ways tastes and textures can combine in a savory pie.