Evolving Thoughts

Pi Day

Apparently it’s Pi day on March 14*, which means you get to eat a pie. But Americans do not understand what a pie is. That’s not a pie… this is a pie:


Real pies have meat, preferably with well-known common names like “beef”, in them. And you eat them with tomato sauce, thusly:


I once retraced my steps for around 5 miles in the US to get to a pie store only to find it was all fruit! If I wanted a fruit pie, I’d have bought Sara Lee at the supermarket!

* Or, as the rest of the world has it, 14 March, which means the real Pi day would be the 3rd day of the 14th month, Octonovdecember.


  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 10, 2009

    Yeah! MEAT PIE!!!!!!!!!

    But dude, that stuff’s not “tomato sauce”; it’s friggin’ ketchup!

  2. #2 John S. Wilkins
    March 10, 2009

    Nope. Ketchup is spicier than tomato sauce – bland and meaty, that’s the way it should be (unless you are an Adelaidean, in which case you add pea soup).

  3. #3 Andrew Broome
    March 10, 2009

    Dodecember? Allowing for those crazy Romans and their ‘extra’ months… 🙂

  4. #4 Adrian Morgan
    March 10, 2009

    It should be pointed out that Adelaideans don’t actually eat pie floaters; we just threaten to feed them to tourists. Pie floaters exist for the sole purpose of making sure visitors stay on their best behaviour.

  5. #5 John S. Wilkins
    March 10, 2009

    Rather like drop bears, then…

  6. #6 Adrian Morgan
    March 10, 2009

    “If you don’t behave I’ll make you eat a drop bear” – that is the most sadistic punishment I have ever heard.

  7. #7 Christopher Taylor
    March 10, 2009

    It should be pointed out that Adelaideans don’t actually eat pie floaters; we just threaten to feed them to tourists.

    So rather like Dunedin and the deep-fried Moro bar, then?

  8. #8 ephant
    March 10, 2009

    Ketchup != Tomato Sauce.

    I love Tomato Sauce but Ketchup is horrible! I spent 2 weeks in the US and the lack of Tomato Sauce was extremely distressing.

  9. #9 Thony C.
    March 10, 2009

    There are of course fruit pies and meat pies! As an Englishman living in Germany I get regaled with horror stories of English cuisine by German’s who have visited the UK. A common tail, told mostly by those who made school trips to the sacred islands, involves the reverse of JW’S experience. German cuisine doesn’t do meat pies, German pies, ‘gedeckte Kuchen’ have fruit fillings. German school kids looking for a sweet snack and too inhibited to use their faltering English, enter a shop and point to the object of their desires. Outside the shop, transaction completed, they bite into their freshly acquired pastry expecting the sweet taste of apple or cherry and are unpleasantly stunned when their mouths fill with steak and kidney or beef and onions swimming in thick spicy gravy. Ah! The joys of foreign travel.

  10. #10 John S. Wilkins
    March 10, 2009

    It’s a kind of negative reinforcement of the necessity to speak English in England. Of course, this fails to explain what the English themselves actually speak.

  11. #11 Christopher Taylor
    March 10, 2009

    Why can’t the English learn to speak? Norwegians learn Norwegian, the Greeks learn their Greek…

  12. #12 John S. Wilkins
    March 10, 2009

    The very first person here to ask why women can’t be more like men is in real trouble!

  13. #13 Thony C.
    March 11, 2009

    this fails to explain what the English themselves actually speak.

    Is it really possible that this comment was made by an Aussi?

  14. #14 John S. Wilkins
    March 11, 2009

    “Aussie”. Many of us are actually quite well spoken. Some of us read. But I’ve heard English accents that needed realtime subtitles.

  15. #15 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 11, 2009

    I watched Bend it With Beckham without subtitles and was completely lost the first time through. The second time through I added subtitles and was only lost half of the time. The slang those Brits use changes daily. I sound like a fogey, I know. (I am, but nevermind.)

    Here in the Americas, mongrels that we are, we generally preface the word “pie” with and adjective describing the contents, so that we can be clear on whether we are about to eat a fruit or meat pie. It makes things simpler.

  16. #16 Tlönista
    March 11, 2009

    In Canada, at least, meat pies are called pot pies — “chicken pot pie”, “turkey pot pie”, etc.

    Also, tomato sauce? Just weird.

  17. #17 Brandon
    March 11, 2009

    I’ve always heard them called pot pies, too. And, I must say, tomato sauce sounds like a quick way to ruin a perfectly good one. Here’s a tip: if you make them right, you don’t need to add anything to them!

  18. #18 Wes
    March 11, 2009

    I get the feeling that y’all mean something very different by “tomato sauce” than what I normally mean, because that looks like ketchup to me.

  19. #19 Thony C.
    March 11, 2009

    Some of us read

    No shit!

  20. #20 Chris L
    March 11, 2009

    And in Australia, a pie might be called “beef” but actually contain… meat… mush… stuff… The difference between “steak” and what you find in a “steak” pie in Oz is a source of great pain to a Kiwi friend of mine who lives in your brown land. Hence all the sauce, I guess.

  21. #21 Cory Albrecht
    March 11, 2009

    John, if you’re judging pies by using Sarah Lee or any other store boughten pie, then no freaking wonder you’re not terribly fond of them. If you lived right-side-up and in my neck of the woods I’d bake you a pie from one of grandmothers’ recipes and then, no doubt, you’d see the light. 🙂

  22. #22 John S. Wilkins
    March 11, 2009

    Oh, no, I don’t dislike fruit pies, and I’m not judging them by store bought examples. It’s just that fruit pies are the deviant form of the pie, and meat pies are the One True Pie.

    ChrisL: Australian beef pies used to have regulations restricting the types of meat, fat content, and the like, which made them a really good way to eat good quality meat cheaply. At some point, it was decided the market could ensure that, and the standards were dropped.

  23. #23 Cath the Canberra Cook
    March 11, 2009

    I must say that looks like a very fine pie. With actual real meat inside, not nondescript gravy and mysterious lumpy bits. Where did you get it? BTW, if you should chance to visit ANU, the little bakery in the Union building does pretty good pies.

  24. #24 John S. Wilkins
    March 11, 2009

    I confess I found it on Google Images…

    But [he hastened to add] I have had such pies!

  25. #25 Cannonball Jones
    March 11, 2009

    Loved meat pies during my stay in Oz! Much better than our Scotch pies anyway…

  26. #26 Laelaps
    March 12, 2009

    Now put that meat pie in a bowl of pea soup and you’ll really be cooking. 🙂

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    March 12, 2009

    Right. If you can’t put Worcestershire sauce on it, it’s not a pie!!!!!

  28. #28 John S. Wilkins
    March 12, 2009

    It doesn’t therefore follow that if you can, it is, though. If you think so, be careful not to spill any Worcestershire Sauce on your hand…

  29. #29 Max
    March 12, 2009

    Meat pies are the more primitive form.

    And ketchup/tomato sauce/whatever is what they traditionaly put on way back when to hide the flavor of mystery meat. If it is done properly at all all you need to go along with it is a good beer (or glass of milk).

  30. #30 Louis
    March 12, 2009

    Erm, I *like* pie floaters.

    A variation the reader might be interested in is to line the bowl one’s pie floater comes in with a Yorkshire pudding prior to carefully pouring in a thin layer of gravy, followed by pea soup, then finally pie and condiments of choice.

    Anyway, John’s right. Meat pies FTW (even with real meat). Fruit pies, whilst nice, are a modern Abomination (note capital).

    And don’t joke about drop bears. I was nearly attacked by one once…


  31. #31 Rosie Redfield
    March 13, 2009

    Of course, the ‘tomato sauce’ is really mashed pumpkin dyed red.

  32. #32 simba
    March 14, 2009

    Has anyone else had chicken curry pie or is this limited to my school?

  33. #33 Isis the Scientist
    March 15, 2009

    Ugh. That looks too much like a pasty Wilkins

  34. #34 John S. Wilkins
    March 15, 2009

    No, a pasty Wilkins looks like the end result of hovering your mouse over the avatar in the top left corner…

  35. #35 Max
    March 16, 2009

    Ok, I made one up last night and take back much of what I said (but not about the beer). That tharr’s some good eatin’.

  36. #36 John S. Wilkins
    March 16, 2009

    Well done that man. Of course the beer is taken as a given. Pale, of course.

New comments have been disabled.