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The challenging part of researching these early pies is most of us rely on translators of original texts.These can vary according to scholarly proficiency and educated interpretation.The figs were retired from the sauce pan long before the meat was done and they were served around the ham as a garnish.] Compare with this Latin text, English translation and modern instructions: "Pernam, ubi eam cum caricis plurimis elixa veris et tribus lauri foliis, detracta cute tessellatim indicis et melle complebis.Deinde farinam oleo subactam contexes et ei corium reddis et cum farina cocta fuerit, eximas furno ut est et inferes." Boil the ham with a large number of dried figs and 3 bay leaves. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6, and bake for 30 minutes until the crust is golden. 268) "Pastry dough: Roman pastry dough was made with lard or olive oil rather than butter. Spelt flour needs rather less fat than wheat flour.Moreover, there are several editions of ancient texts and recipe numbers/titles do not always match.Food historians confirm the ancients crafted foods approximating pie.A piecrust used less flour than bread and did not require anything as complicated as a brick oven for baking.More important, though, was how pies could stretch even the most meager provisions into sustaining a few more hungry mouths...
Pie variations (cobblers, slumps, grunts, etc.) are endless! " The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word "pie" as it relates to food to 1303, noting the word was well-known and popular by 1362. " "Pie...a word whose meaning has evolved in the course of many centuries and which varies to some extent according to the country or even to region....
In the cradles of civilization (Mediterranean region including Ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia) the primary fat was olive oil.
When combined with ground grains, it produced a rudimentary type of pastry.
Modern pie, as we Americans know it today, descends from Medieval European ingredients (fat=suet, lard, butter) and technology (pie plates, freestanding pies, tiny tarts).
"The idea of enclosing meat inside a sort of pastry made from flour and oil originated in ancient Rome, but it was the northern European use of lard and butter to make a pastry shell that could be rolled out and moulded that led to the advent of true pie." ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2002 (p.