Essential Aussie tucker

Meat pies are rumoured to have once contained actual meat. Though this disputable fact is now mere history, pies do still contain what seems to be meat-flavoured gravy substitute. This delicious concoction is wrapped in a crispy (hopefully) pastry sarcophagus.

Pies must be eaten with plenty of tomato sauce.

Microwaving a pie should be a punishable offence.

Pies usually hang out with pasties and sausage rolls.

The meat pie is a typically Aussie phenomenon, and is probably, like it or not, Australia's national dish.

The meat pie makes an ideal lunch for many as it is quick, hot, inexpensive, and may be held in one hand while driving with the other. Its popularity and ratio of convenience versus poor nutrition has given rise to the lay Aussie expression, "Pie-n-a-coke", used either as a food order or to acknowledge the poor nutrition these kind of eating habits provide, such as in the conversation:

"What did you have for lunch?"
"Aww... a pie n a Coke.."

The following quote (from illustrates this further:

In April 2002, the Australian Consumers Association conducted a study of 22 frozen meat pies available in supermarkets. They found three of them did not meet the minimum 25 per cent meat content requirement set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), they also found that the fat content ranged from 15 to 35 grams of fat per pie.

The meats allowed by FSANZ in a meat pie are beef, buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit and sheep. Kangaroo meat, a leaner alternative, is also sometimes used.

In the context of rising obesity it is perhaps a shame that they are so popular (or that the standards are so low). In my opinion, the best-tasting pies are those that are made by smaller businesses dedicated to pies or pastry making. Pies from some general bakeries, as well as some frozen pie varieties, are awful.

Australia's best pies (please /msg me if you have any more):
  • In Bathurst, NSW, you can always get a decent pie at Bernard's Bakery, located in George St.
  • In Frederickton, NSW, "Fredo's" operates from a small shop on the Pacific Highway. They produce a huge variety of delicious pies, including Kangaroo pie.
  • tWD says re meat pie: Gotta give a nod to the Beechworth Bakery, Beechworth, Vic. A small-town pie shop that operates on a factory scale to meet demand - they make the kickingest-arse traditional meat pies, and over the counter is the only way they sell them. They're basically the entire local tourism industry. And they still ask if you want sauce.

Pies must be eaten with plenty of tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce, if not specifically asked for by the pie purchaser, will usually be offered by the pie seller. The usual method of consumption is to smear the sauce over the 'lid' of the pie with your index finger before sinking your teeth into it. Tomato sauce contains a lot of salt, which can make you thirsty.

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