British Pie Awards 2021
The British Pie Awards is one of my favourite days in the calendar. Each year, we pile over to Melton Mowbray and judge the very best pies that our fine country has to offer. This was my third year of judging and I was so pleased to return after a Covid hiatus of 18 months. In fact the awards of 2020 were one of my final days out before that first lockdown, while I was 7 months pregnant with Bam Bam.
In the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church, a total of 800 pies were split into categories and judged by the great and the good of the foodie world (and me). We have the annual Blessing of the Pies to look forward to. This year it came in the form of an amusing little ditty. Then we get down to the serious business, where pies start with 100 points and are given penalties according to various faults. We judge appearance, bake, pastry, filling and of course, flavour.
This year I was on pasties. One of these entrants controversially won the overall competition recently. However, since a pie is defined as ‘a filling wholly enclosed in pastry’ they certainly fit the bill. I did find that fewer entries in this category attained the dizzy heights of gold and silver though. I do wonder if the judging somehow doesn’t fit pasties quite so comfortably as ‘standard’ pies. There certainly is a much greater variation in the quality of pastry in the pasty category, in my opinion.
I could wax lyrical about pies and the British Pie Awards all day to be honest. But instead, let me leave you with a photographic gallery with some of the highlights of the 2021 judging. Sadly I will not be available for the awards lunch tomorrow to see the presentation of the overall champions. One year I am determined to be able to attend that too. And maybe next year I can be a co-ordinator? Let’s see if I can move up the ranks of Pie Awards royalty…