After giving their near unanimous approval to Nicholson’s standard pork pie the discerning tasters of the LPPAS turned their attention to its larger cousin. The large Nicholson’s pork pie is equivalent to four of their standard pies and looked every bit as tasty. The pie, though, divided opinion, and there was a healthy debate with some clear differences of opinion.
First, to the pork. As you would expect the pork in the larger pie was similar to the standard and the tasters were equally enthusiastic – ‘handsome flavour and seasoning’ was one comment. The one slight negative was the opinion of two tasters that the meat was slightly dry. All in all though collective opinion was that the pork was a delight to savour. The pastry and jelly though created divisions amongst the tasters. Of necessity the pastry of the larger pie is thicker than that of the standard. This was a cause of dispute. There were several comments that the pastry was not as crisp as people would have liked, with several claims of sogginess. In contrast though, there was a comment that the pastry was ‘better than the smaller version’. The jelly was even more hotly disputed. The root cause of this was the jelly’s runniness. In this regard the tasters simply had to agree to disagree and concede that a preference for firm or runny jelly is a matter of taste. On the night, there were a majority that felt the jelly should have been more solid. But the minority that approved of the runny jelly had a strong preference for it.
The tasting of the large pie illustrated two important points. Firstly, while there are clear standards and expectations for a Lancashire Pork Pie, the best pie for one person may be low down the list for another. Unless a taster, somehow prefers the pallid grey of the inferior Melton Mowbray version this diversity should be a cause of celebration. Secondly, the larger pie caused all the tasters to respect even more the craft and skillof the butchers and bakers that produce these pies. The balance between the ratio of pastry, jelly and pie in a larger pie must be the subject of some very fine judgement. In future tasting sessions we will be paying particular scrutiny to the larger pies. A particular matter of interest is the decision to wide and thin or to maintain the same basic ratios of the smaller pie.
In summary the Nicholson’s larger pie is a solid Lancashire Pie. While overall it was not rated as highly as the standard version, it may well be that for many it will be their preferred choice. With an overall score of 64% the pie achieves the LPPAS Recommended status.
|Nicholson’s Large Pie||Taster|