I confess that I’m not really much of a pie-person. Unlike, say, Franco-American author Pascale le Draoulec who wrote the book American Pie (a chronicle of several road trips in search of the pastry in the title which she took in a blue Volvo she named Betty), I’m not really fascinated by pies.
Admittedly, I do make a rather fetching apple streusel pie and I bake nummy mango crumble pies in the summer. Heck, I even drove myself half-crazy not too long ago miniaturizing a recipe for a French walnut pie! On the subject of savory pies, – pastels con pollo or con lengua or even beefy empanadas and Jamaican patties – however, I leave it up to such experts as my mother or I get my fix at convenient stalls found in any food court.
Small, savory pies are, I should state here, perfect for either a filling breakfast or a quick lunch eaten at one’s desk whilst chasing deadlines. One recent discovery is the Mediterranean seafood pie I bought one workday at the Starbucks across the street.
The promotional menu on the official Starbucks-Philippines website describes this little bit of pastry craftsmanship as:
…this rich, flaky pastry, with a generous filling of fresh fish fillet, shrimps, squid, tomatoes and carrots sautéed on a tomato cream base.
It may look flattish and insubstantial, but these qualities are deceiving.
The flaky pastry is rich, buttery, and toothsome. It seizes up and gets rather stodgy when cold, but this is actually a good thing – a very good thing, in my honest opinion – as it stays delectable.
The filling is unusually rich and chunky. While you do taste the tomatoes, fish, and squid, shrimp is actually the predominant flavor in this pie. Oddly enough, it doesn’t smell fishy let alone odoriferous. In fact, any fishiness is actually balanced by the tang of the tomatoes in the sauce used to bind the filling. There is also a faint crunch and sweetness from carrots and just the mildest hint of Cheddar cheese.
Coffee – specifically a venti-sized iced latte with just the barest whisper of almond syrup – is the best drink to go with this for lunch. However, if you’re in a serious rush, a carton of good chocolate soy milk will work just as well. 😀