Work, at this point in time, has become more than a little hectic – and certainly more than a little harrowing. There are deadlines to be met, timetables to follow, plans to write, and articles to edit – all the usual, really. Well, until, alas, the boss falls ill and has to stay in hospital, a virus seems to be running through the office, and there are team rallies (sales or company-wide) left and right. Times like these, being able to head downstairs for a meal you have to eat sitting down with utensils in hand becomes nigh on impossible. Fortunately, that’s where things like sandwiches and hand-pies come in.
The term “hand-pie” does not, of course, refer to what’s inside the pie. It refers to the handy size they come in: big enough to be held in one hand. It is a variation on things like the Cornish pasty, the Spanish empanada, Scots bridies, Italian calzones, and Jamaican patties. The term itself is American in origin, dating from the 19th Century when it was popular among pioneer families heading west as well as manual labourers such as miners, farmers, and lumberjacks.
In this country, while empanadas still hold sway, small, savoury pot-pie-style pastries are now being offered by both conventional bakeries and by some of the more up-market convenience stores. While these can be seen by most as a small snack, they’re actually substantial enough to serve as lunch-on-the-fly.
Family Mart‘s chicken pot pie (P 45.00 each) is a hefty bite considering how it’s only about as big as the palm of my hand. It is crammed to the gills with a savoury shredded chicken and button mushroom filling seasoned with pepper and bitey thyme. It is filling, satisfying, and you can eat it out of hand while beating deadlines.
Incidentally, Family Mart also has a pork asado [char siu] pot-pie that I’ve yet to try – and I feel that, when I do, I might find myself trying my hand at baking the wee beasties myself!