Like buffaloes drawn to a watering hole, the hungry members of LPPAS assembled at The Black Bull. Their appetites had been sharpened over the weekend by pictures of the pies that were to be sampled during the evening. Indeed, such was the interest that the tap room overflowed until tasters encircled all sides of the bar.
The pictures of the pies had created a stir. Shrewd judges had noted a sparkle on the top of the pies, and were expecting a treat. Rumours that there was an award winner to be sampled did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Which of the two pies on offer would turn out to be the better pie? Here, there was clear agreement amongst the majority of the ‘paddock watchers’. Pie B (as it was labelled) stood out. It was clearly a pie of substance. Its rubicund pastry exuded good health. The convex arch of its lid signalled a pie that was filled, not just with quality pork, but, with self-confidence. There was no doubt that this thoroughbred would be a top class pie. But, what was to be made of Pie A? In comparison, Pie A seemed almost apologetic, sallow even. To inexperienced judges, it looked to be a mere selling plater. Not to all though. Some of the more sagacious judges exchanged meaningful looks. They had noticed something indefinable in the glint of the jelly on the pie lid. Despite its modesty, there were signs that Pie A might belie its appearance and give the thoroughbred a real run for its money.
So, what where the origins of Pie A and Pie B, and how did the LPPAS tasters rate them? Indeed, was there a winner on the night? The thoroughbred Pie B was revealed to be the standard pork pie from Inghams of Foulridge, Colne. The pie proved the paddock judges right. It was an excellent pie, achieving LPPAS Highly Recommended status with an overall score of 73%. It was easy to see how this pie was an award winner, and it would have beaten off most opposition at a canter. To the surprise of many though, Monday wasn’t going to be Pie B’s night. Pie A, later unmasked as the standard pork pie of Pitt’s of Earby, stayed comfortably alongside Pie B and sprinted clear in the final furlong. In doing so it achieved an outstanding LPPAS rating of 82%, to put it at the top of our rankings so far this year! Full reports of both pies will appear shortly, but suffice to say that the record number of LPPAS tasters present had had a night to remember. These were two top class pies. The standard set by Pitt’s of Earby creates a new benchmark for aspiring pies in our future tasting sessions. Only time will tell if it can remain there until awards night in December.