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June 2, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

The Wong View: Pie Edition


Heart attacks often come in two forms: Pies and deep-fried Moro bars (I actually feel like I’m having a heart attack right now—but that is probably from the butter chicken I ate for tea). Yet that doesn’t deter us from their sickly, savory goodness. The pie is often the first (and last) resort to a cheap, hearty meal. It’s usually the one thing we crave during those Sunday morning hangovers. What is it about that meaty aroma that has us coming back for more?

Pies take a special place in my memory. Breakfast was always a tasty delight for me. While all the kids had Weetbix or jam on toast, I had pies—most days of the week. I don’t think my mum ever realised that pies weren’t that healthy, and as a child neither did I. All I knew is that they made me feel all nice and warm. And of course, having pies for breakfast wasn’t an epidemic that we were warned of. It was only at school that I began to question my morning eating habits. I would ask, “What did you have for breakfast?”

No one ever said pies.

It was a disheartening memory. I remember the teacher playing a game one time. She would say a breakfast food, and if you had eaten it that day, you got to go to lunch. It really sucks to be the last one in class.

Those were some of my first pie memories. Then next ones came from Georgie Pie. I’m glad there is a national interest in resurrecting Georgie Pie, but to be honest, I never really liked it. It’s only recently come into my knowledge that they did more than pies. They did wedges, sundaes and fruit pies! I have a friend whose dad used to manage Georgie Pie, back in the day. I finally can understand his dislike towards McDonalds. Yes, they took away his dad’s job. But they did something far worse. They deprive him of his wedges and fruit pies. And it’s something he has never forgotten.

Of course, pies come in many varieties. In New Zealand, it seems there is a pie designed for every meat: fish, chicken, etc. However, in Britain, it’s the pork pie that reigns supreme. It’s often served with beer and eaten cold. The said pie resembles something like cat food wrapped in pastry (shudder). It even has that jelly-like substance congealed throughout the meat. Britain loves this pie so much that they made a bigger version, the Gala Pie, baked in bread tin, with pork, pork jelly and an egg in the centre…

I’m starting to feel sick.

Then there are the Christmas pies. Bleurgh. The thought of them make me want to vomit. Fruit and meat are two things that should never mix and this extends to fruit imitating meat. I can’t fathom why they are loved. Christmas pies are neither sweet nor savoury, nor do they make a satisfactory meal. They really let the pie family down. Also, they are disgusting (that’s why you’ll always find them at any work function). I talked about this very topic with a friend in a heated discussion. As it turns out, we were not the only ones with opinions. Some guy, walking in front of us, randomly joined our conversation with the vigour of any pie-enthusiast. It was strange. In the end, the conversation never really got resolved. But we never got his name. He shall always be referred to as ‘The Mysterious Pie Guy’.

When I think about it, I do love pies. But everyone does, really. It’s become a part of the New Zealand heritage. Just remember this: Pies now and then? That’s okay. Pies for breakfast? That’s
just Wong.


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