When you think of pies in the States, you probably think of dessert – blueberry pies, pudding pies, apple crumbles, cheesecakes – some delectably sugary, partially gelatinized filling with a fantastically flaky or crumbly crust.
Well, pies here in NZ are generally not for dessert. No, they’re savory pies – mince (i.e., ground beef) pies, seafood pies, curry pies, mushroom pies. It’s an entire meal stuffed into a palm-sized puff pastry, and it’s eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re available everywhere, and they seem to be the go-to for indecisive but decidedly hungry people. Forget that one pie probably knocks out your recommended caloric intake for the week, pies are popular. And they can be damn good.
Basically, the pie is to New Zealand what the burger is in the US.
On a similar note, what we think of as bakeries back in the States are absolutely nothing like the “bakeries” in Aotearoa. Here, if you walk into a bakery looking for cookies and cakes and other delights, you’re sure to be sorely disappointed. Again, it’s the reverse sweet-savory they’ve got going on. So, sure, you might find pies in the bakery. But you’ll also find pre-made sandwiches and sausage rolls (which is a horror I hope to never post about on this blog).