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Pork pies are a type of meat pie and are traditional Britishmarker food. They consist of roughly chopped pork and pork jelly sealed in a hot water crust pastry, and are normally eaten cold.


There are two main types of pork pie generally available in commercial outlets:

Common pie

The common pie uses cured meat. Often produced in moulds or form, it gives the outside of the pie a very regular shape and the inside filling a pink colour. It is hence easier, simpler and cheaper to produce in volume, and hence the more common choice for commercial manufacturers.

Melton Mowbray pork pie

The Melton Mowbraymarker Pork Pie uses uncured meat, giving the meat in a Melton pie a grey colour. Hand formed with no mould, a Melton Mowbray pie also commonly has a hand-formed crust. This style of production gives the Melton Mowbray pie a slightly irregular shape after baking, as with any hand-made pie.

In light of the premium price of the Melton Mowbray pie, the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association applied for protection under the European "Protected designation of origin" laws as a result of the increasing production of Melton Mowbray style pies by large commercial companies in factories far from Melton Mowbray, and recipes that deviated from the original uncured pork form. Protection was granted on 4 April 2008.

Artisan pork pies

Whilst Melton Mowbray is considered the traditional source of commercial and artisan made pork pies and the geographic range of pork pies tends to centre on the Midlands, other regions of England also have small artisan premium pork pie makers; notably Norfolk and Lincolnshire.


Traditional Pork Pie is served cold
Pork pies have declined in popularity and availability in Britain since the middle of the 20th century, concurrent with the rise in consumption of foreign snack foods. Varieties have extended further in recent years, which might be a reaction by commercial manufacturers to consumer health concerns, as pork pies tend to be very high in both calories and fat content.

A common variation on the common pork pie is the gala pie; a pork pie with a hard boiled egg in the centre. Gala pies are often baked in long, loaf-type tins, with multiple eggs arranged along the centre. The so called "long egg" in Gala pies is actually made of several eggs. The yolks are separated from the whites and the yolks are then poured into a long tube-shaped mould in which they are cooked. The hard yolk is removed from the mould then put inside a larger tube-shaped mould and the egg whites are poured round the outside of the hard yolk. The whole thing is then cooked again to harden the whites around the yolk. This is then removed from the mould thus producing one very long hard-boiled egg.

A picnic pie is commonly available as smaller (3–5 in) varieties and ideal for picnics, usually with additional ingredients added to the pork and jelly filling mixture. Fillings added to the pork include apples, Pickled cucumbers or bacon.

In some cases the solid pastry top is replaced by a pastry lattice, allowing the meat filling to be seen. Occasionally the top crust is dispensed with altogether in favour of a layer of cranberries sealed into place with aspic jelly.

Names and references

Pork pie or Porkie pie, often shortened to porky, is the Cockney rhyming slang term for lie.

In Yorkshiremarker, a pork pie is sometimes referred to as a "growler".

In some parts of Yorkshiremarker, especially West Yorkshire, pork pies are called "stand pies".

In the United Statesmarker, pork pies have been made for over 100 years in Rhode Islandmarker and southeast Massachusettsmarker. Their popularity with mill workers led to the rise of a Fall River slogan "city of mills, hills, and pork pies."


  1. Call For Submissions: THE LONG EGG, FreakyTrigger, August 18, 2006
  2. Bride To Be Joanne Says Pie Do!, Pork Pie Appreciation Society.

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