Some of us interchange the meaning of pies and pastries to one another. We just know that these yummy treats can be fried or baked to perfection. We always imagine a pie as a round crust stuffed with choices of meat, fish or fruit. While pastries often fall in the sweets or desserts category. When other people hear the word “pies and pastries” they assumed only the rich could afford it and it came from the Western part of the world. Don’t be intimidated because our country, the Philippines, has its very own set of these wonderful delicacies and you will definitely miss half of your life if you waltz away from it.
First things first, let us have pies and pastries 101. Our ancestors from the New Stone Age (9500 B.C.) made primitive pies from oat, wheat, rye and barley filled with honey and set over hot coals. A little fast forward in the past, food historians believed the Ancient Greeks molded the first pie pastry mixed with flour and water. Later on, the Romans as they conquered many territories also adapted pie making and included it on their ‘secundae mensea’ or dessert course.
Conversely, what is the origin of those delectable pastries? To clear things up, as Oxford Dictionary stated, a pie is “a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.” So, basically, a pie is one of the types of pastries out there. It is not quite clear which civilization started pastry making. The Egyptians have their own version of small sweet cakes. In Ancient Greece, they made cakes called ‘obelias’ which means offering. Let us not forget the Romans who mixed flour, oil and water to form a pastry stuffed with meats or fowls then baked.
What we are certain of being the controversial “Pastry War” did happen during the 1838-1839 between Mexico and France. With an account in Encyclopædia Britannica, it is a “brief and minor conflict between Mexico and France, arising from the claim of a French pastry cook living in Tacubaya, near Mexico City, that some Mexican army officers had damaged his restaurant.”
Well, that is a lot of stuff to take in, right? To lighten up the discussion, as we mentioned before, we have our own pies and pastries we can easily buy at our local bakery shop. Examples of which are egg pie, buko pie, mango cream pie, banana cream pie, langka or jackfruit tart, cassava cake, and brazo de mercedes. Indeed, pies and pastries are more than just sweet treats. It also shaped our taste buds into searching for something irresistibly tasty and good.