12 Portable Pies to Try Slideshow
November 30, 2012
Aloo Pie (Trinidad and Tobago)
Shaped like a mini calzone, aloo pie is traditionally filled with aloo (boiled and spiced mashed potatoes) and chana dal (chickpeas), wrapped in a pastry of flour and water, and then fried. They're often bought from markets and street-side sellers, but you can also try making your own at home with this aloo pie recipe.
Meat Pie (Australia and New Zealand)
These immensely popular meaty snacks are palm-sized pies filled with savory ingredients, like steak and cheese. Popular brand Mrs. Mac's is found in supermarkets and convenience stores in Australia, and Goodtime Pies are found in Zed petrol stations and convenience stories in New Zealand. Do as the locals do and grab one of these hot pies on-the-go, but be sure to blow on them before taking a bite — the ingredients are notoriously scalding. If you can’t make it Down Under, try Pie Facein New York City.
A bridie, also called forfar, is a pie from Scotland that is similar to a pasty but much lighter. Traditionally filled with minced steak, butter, beef suet (raw beef or lamb fat), onions, and salt and pepper, the pies are wrapped in short pie dough or a flaky pastry. Bridies are eaten at special occasions like weddings and as everyday snacks. You can try making your own at home with this bridie pie recipe.
Cornish Pasty (England)
A true Cornish pasty contains an exact ratio of ingredients. There is even the Cornish Pasty Association, which precludes amateurs from copying the recipe incorrectly and mass-marketing it with derivative ingredients. Shaped like a capital "D," the Cornish pasty has chunks of beef in a short dough (not puff pastry) with potatoes, onion, swede (a rutabaga/Swedish turnip), and pepper seasoning. The Cornish pasty was created for tin miners to eat with two hands, using the bottom crust for holding. (In line with tradition, you don’t eat the bottom part because when miners held the piping-hot pies, dirt and arsenic from their fingers would be transferred onto the pie.) The best Cornish pasties are in shops up and down the beach walk in St. Ives, Cornwall on the southwest coast of England.
Empanadas are hand-held pies stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables and surrounded by pastry dough that is baked or fried. El Sanjuanino in Buenos Aires serves some of the best empanadas in the Argentinian capital.
Fleischkuekle (Germany and Russia)
Similar to a Cornish pasty, fleischkuekle, also spelled fleischkuechle, are flat pies filled with seasoned meat and deep-fried. A popular spot to try them stateside is at Kroll’s Diner in Bismarck, N.D., where the fleischkuechle include seasoned hamburger meat wrapped inside pastry and deep-fried, and are served with a side of soup, salad, french fries, or cottage cheese.
Karelian Pasty (Finland)
Originating in Karelia in Northern Europe, Karelian pasties have gone through many iterations. Initial versions had barley and oats enrobed in a rye crust. Later regional variants stuffed the oval rye or wheat shell with potato, buckwheat, rice, or millet, but the most popular version today is filled with rice and topped with butter and boiled egg.
Jamaican Patty (Jamaica)
Jamaican patties are easily recognizable, with their turmeric-yellow exteriors filled with seasoned ground beef and allspice, but other options like chicken and lamb are also popular. Try these hefty and flaky patties at Christie’s Jamaican in Brooklyn, N.Y., or you can try making your own at home with this Jamaican patty recipe.
Sambusak (Middle East)
Similar to Indian samosas, sambusak are triangle turnovers that have been eaten since Persian Babylonian times. A popular snack during Jewish holidays, like Purim, Sambusak are filled with ground beef, lamb, and chicken or meatless options like chickpeas, lentils, or cheese and traditionally deep-fried. You can try making your own at home with this sambusak recipe.
Scotch Pie (Scotland)
These savory, double-crusted meat pies filled with minced, peppery mutton are a staple at football matches, where fans can be seen clutching a piping-hot Scotch pie in one hand and a cup of Bovril in the other. Competition for the best stadium Scotch pie is almost as competitive as the matches; there are numerous Scotch pie contests for fans seeking the best of the season.
Tiropita, a Greek cheese pie, is comprised of delicate, paper-thin layers of buttered phyllo triangles filled with cheeses like feta, ricotta, and cottage cheese. You can try making your own at home with this tiropita recipe.
Burek (The Balkans)
A burek, also spelled borek, is a handheld savory pie served throughout the Balkans, from Greece to Croatia. Burek have a phyllo or yufka dough exterior and are stuffed with savory fillings like minced meat, vegetables, veal, and cabbage and are sprinkled with sesame seeds. Try traditional bureks at Djerdan Burek in New York or you can try making your own at home with this burek recipe.