Guilty pleasures: A little pie

Confession time. Over the winter the Small Girl and I have been having a weekly pie-shaped treat, the sort that is low on nutritional value and high on nostalgic charm (well, nostalgic for me at least).

When we came back to New Zealand a year ago I realised how incredibly distinctive the smell of an old-fashioned Kiwi bakery is. It’s sweet and savoury at the same time, a combination of filled rolls packed with ham and salad, golden pies brimming with steak and cheese and lamingtons oozing cream and jam. This smell is as definitively Kiwi as the All Blacks and no 8 wire – and it’s quite reassuring to know that it still exists. Most of these bakeries are now run by Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants, who have become keepers of the old ways. Perhaps they recognised early on that the way to a New Zealander’s heart was through their stomach and that stomach would like a pie, a filled roll and a date scone, thanks very much.

Anyway, the Boy Wonder grew up big and strong on this kind of traditional Antipodean snack and I’m hoping the Small Girl will inherit at least some of his super powers. She abhors potato in any form except this one, a piped crown of whipped mash (I suspect it’s not even real potato, but I try not to think about that) hiding a little pool of gravied mince, which is held in a pastry case. The baby food gurus would probably have a fit, but I am working on the principle that a little of what you fancy can sometimes do you good. In any case, it’s part of her heritage. I’d be being a bad mother to deny her that.

Do you have a secret bakery treat from your corner of the world?



  1. September 15, 2010 / 6:04 am

    Mmmm THAT looks yummy… around where I grew up in Hampshire in the south of England my Mum used to buy us Lardy Cake from the bakers as a treat. It's a bun made using pork fat and studded with dried fruit. It does sound weird but we all used to love it. I still get cravings for it now!!

  2. September 15, 2010 / 10:15 am

    I think I will have to find one of these wee pies. I so rarely eat a pie but Bob and I called in to the bakery at Maketu where we were told they make the very best pies. We sat on the beach and ate it hot and it certainly was enjoyable. Crisp fresh baked pastry and meaty filling. Scrummy. I don't think I've eaten a pie since then. My non-fat conscience is highly developed.

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