Who ate all the pies
Dropped, slopped and steaming onto a plate, pie and mash may not have much instant eye-appeal, but eats-wise - the bulky blend of tasty pastry and meaty morsels with mash swamped in creamy green liquor is a magical medley - and a once-tasted never-forgotten treat.
It's a London dish as traditional as pearly kings and Beefeaters and a flavour that of late, I've been on a galloping great buzz for. Flick through the Dear Diary posts and you'll find occasional P and M mentions buried in the entries. Typically if we nipped up to Nan's - a visit to Cooke's for pie and double mash with a walloping dollop of liquor was on the menu. Our regular stop off (Kingsland Road, Dalston) has since been Shanghaied - literally, but thankfully Cooke's pie and eel shops still populate the capital's map.
Bob Cooke - 4th generation currently running F. Cooke, Broadway Market
It's been almost twenty years since I last tucked into a serving of genuine London pie and mash - but the cravings have never fully faded. So bowling along to the Broadway Market branch of Cooke's recently I had high hopes for my pie ideals, but was bracing in case those sensory memories had become retrospectively over-cooked.
But chums I'm pleased to report, chowing down on plateful of F. Cooke's finest was like falling through a taste experience time tunnel - those pies, that mash and their delicious liquor haven't changed in any way - from the top of the crispy pitta-style pastry to the last parsley particle, they remain simply the finest pies in all of Londinium.
If you've never tried proper pie and mash - do it, and do it now - get yourself to Broadway Market or a branch nearest to you and fill up before these institutions of London life become Starbucked and lost for ever..
The Earthworms - Mo Taters.
Mash from Chaos/filthy liquor - Cook and Jones at Cooke's
Scores on the doors for Cooke's
Pie - 9
Mash - 8
Total - 27
Verdict: Lip-smacking, ace-tasting