Who Ate All The Pies?

Ian MacMillan travels the country to sample local varieties of pie.


01Melton Mowbray20041121

This edition finds him in Melton Mowbray, home of the traditional pork pie.


This edition finds him in Greenwich to taste the wares offered by Goddard's Eel and Pie Shop.

He is initiated into the culinary mystery of pie, mash and liquor by Kane Goddard, whose family has been serving this fare since 1890.

But, Ian discovers, there are some secrets about this traditional London dish that just can't be revealed.


This edition finds him in East Sussex on the trail of the elusive Sussex Churdle.

There are a few references to the churdle and a recipe involving liver, bacon, vegetables and a cheese topping.

But does anyone eat churdles anymore?

Steve Mitchell, the chef at Waltons Oak Barn in Alfriston, bakes one and considers putting the lost pie of southern England back on the market.


This edition finds him in Forfar where Bill McLaren's family has been baking Bridies since 1893.

Ian investigates their origins: were they served at weddings, did someone called Bridie invent them or does Bridie refer to the shape of these broad pies? And the poet W N Herbert from Dundee introduces Ian to the infinite variety of Scottish pies, including such culinary attractions, or abominations, as the Baked Bean Pie and the Macaroni Stovie.

05 LASTMousehole2004121920050908

This edition finds him in Mousehole in Cornwall to find out why, every December 23rd, the village celebrates Tom Bawcock's eve at the Ship Inn with starry-gazey pie, so-called because the heads of pilchards poke through the crust.

It's a tale of heroism, seven sorts of fish and a cat.

It might be an ancient festival of light; it's certainly the cause of contemporary merriment, song and pie-feasting.