Shropshire Fidget Pie
The Shropshire Fidget Pie has been around for over 400 years and is one of the few unique food products left in Shropshire. Shropshire Blue did not originate in Shropshire and Shrewsbury biscuits are made all of the world so in many ways the Fidget is all that is left.
Fidget Pies are made by filling a small pastry case with a mixture of gammon, onion, potatoes, cider and apple which is topped with cheese and a pastry lid. The traditional Fidget was a favourite lunchtime snack, much like the Cornish Pasty, of farm workers who could easily carry one around in their pocket ready for when they got peckish.
There are various explanations for the name Fidget with some believing it was due to the original shape being five sided and others more affectionately believing that it was due to the way the ingredients fidget around in the pastry case when it is baked.
Local food producer, the Ludlow Food Centre has recently sold their ten thousandth Fidget Pie making them the most prolific maker in the region. The Food Centre uses gammon from their own rare breed Gloucester Old Spot Pigs, potatoes and apples grown on their Oakly Park Estate, cheddar cheese made in their Dairy and even mustard made in their jam and pickle kitchen. However, they have chosen to put a slight twist on the original recipe by replacing the pastry lid with mashed potato.
Managing Director, Sandy Boyd says,
‘We wanted to keep the traditional, local ingredients and cooking methods but create a Fidget that was more visually appealing. Our deli counter already had a range of pies with pastry lids so by adding the mustard mash we gave the Fidgets a pointed top that made them stand out’
All the pies are made by hand meaning the chefs at the Food Centre can celebrate a huge achievement by making so many and bringing back the humble Fidget Pie’s popularity. Earlier this month their Fidget Pie making was featured on the BBC’s Escape to the Country’ when a couple were house hunting in the region and wanted to sample some real Shropshire food.
Tom Hunt, Marketing Manager, for the Food Centre says,
‘It’s a real shame that foods like the Fidget Pie are disappearing because everybody is used to what is available in supermarkets such as Cornish pasties. I can’t believe our kitchen team have made 10,000... it’s a fantastic achievement and we are all pleased that our customers seem to like them so much’
Date Posted: 15th April 2010