Thursday, 6 November 2008

Rag pie - grab it while its fresh

Rag Pie (or Pudding)
A rag pie is made of suet and meat, and in many ways resembles a steak pudding except that it has a limp pastie shape. Favoured in many parts of Lancashire and Rochdale and still available at local butchers shops... There are references to it in Victorian times, when the pie (or pudding) clearly had humbler and less savoury beginnings - the following excerpt describes it being served up in an orphanage (Mr Bogryne's establishment):
"There was a dreadful pie for dinner every Monday; a meat pie with ... horrible lumps of gristle inside, and such strings of sinew, alternated by lumps of flabby fat. We called it kitten pie—resurrection pie—rag pie—dead man’s pie. We cursed it by night, we cursed it by day: we wouldn’t stand it, we said; we would write to our friends; we would go to sea. Old Bogryne kept Giggleswick seven hours (sitting) on a form with the pie before him; but Giggleswick held out bravely, and would not taste of the accursed food. He (Bogryne) never ate any of the pie himself".
(Gaslight and Daylight, by George Augustus Sala, 1859 - How I Went to Sea )

No comments: