Celebrating arguably the single most Australian food item, the NSW town of Queanbeyan is hosting an exhibition on the history of the meat pie – a history probably as rich and varied as the disgusting bevy of delicious ingredients used in the fantastic, horrible pies themselves. The Queanbeyan City Library will be holding the incredibly imaginatively named ‘The Meat Pie: Australia’s Own Fast Food‘ throughout April if you’re looking for some wild thrills.
The meat pie dates back to the middle ages but arrived here in Australia with the First Fleet. It flourished due to our abundance of meat (and more importantly in a pie, meat by-products) and is today to Australians what cheap hot dogs are to Americans, sausages made of blood are to English people and huge piles of pig and fermented cabbage are to the Germans.
The pies are uniquely Australian in that most other countries traditionally make pies with sweet filling and also we have stubbornly refused to ditch the pie as a portable meat delivery system despite the thousands of burn injuries inflicted on punters at footy matches over the years, no doubt out of a weird sense of national pride.
The exhibition is travelling to 40 different NSW libraries and giving people around the state an opportunity to find out everything there is to know about the historic savoury cow parcel, except for maybe what the goop part of the pie is made out of and how, after all these years, we’ve still not managed to build a structurally sound pie that can withstand more than a few bites.
Photo: Instagram / @Tanya_Georges_Brantwood.