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  • Writer's pictureJamie

The Rich History Of London’s Pie And Mash

When it comes to delicious hearty fare, there’s really not much better than pie and mash, something that has been a staple in London since the Victorian era… and something that has gone on to become a firm favourite in the city and its surrounding areas ever since!

In fact, this traditional British dish is one of the most famous of all this great nation’s delicacies - and it’s certainly not hard to see why, as there are so many different options for fillings to consider, so many ways it can be tailored to create something unique and special, and so many ways it can bring big smiles to the faces of happy diners.

But where did it all begin?

Well, the first time pie and mash graced our tables was way back when in the mid 19th century (or thereabouts), with workers in the eastern docklands part of London and local working class people favouring them in particular

Traditional fillings would be cheap options like minced beef and jellied eels, served alongside mashed potato and a parsley sauce, which interestingly was also known as liquor (which simply means ‘liquid’), a side dish typically made from the eels’ stewing juices.

The first eel pie house popped up in 1844 - Henry Blanchard’s at 101 Union Street - which served the traditional eel pie, with the eels fished out of the River Thames. However, the oldest surviving eel and pie houses (such as Fookes and Manzes) opened in the late 1800s. These days, they serve hungry punters with minced beef pies and eels as a side, forming a staunch part of their local community’s heritage. Some even still maintain their late Victorian appearance!

What’s particularly interesting is that each shop has come up with their own particular recipes and their own ways of working so you’ll never get the same pie twice. Differences could be in how the pastry is rolled, for example, or some special ingredient included in the liquor.

However, you don’t even have to go anywhere in order to get a taste of the East End and now you can even arrange for pie and mash mobile catering, the perfect way to wow your guests at your next event. What a time to be alive! If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with Ronnie’s Black Cab today!

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