In Crust We Trust

“Strange pie that is almost a passion,
O passion immoral for pie!”

Richard Le Gallienne’s 1899 verse might well explain why I found myself in the Yorkshire cathedral city of Ripon, 230 miles from home on a piercingly bright February day, watching the hustle and bustle of shoppers under a blue sky in the market square.

The previous summer, I’d been in York with an hour to kill. On Lendal, a street just off the main drag of shops where the tourists and shoppers roam, I peered through a shop window, the glint of traditional gilded lettering catching my eye. Taking in the dozens of little pork pies, neatly stacked, I snapped up a couple of these lattice-topped pies for the train journey home.

As soon as I bit into one, I immediately wished I’d bought half a dozen more. Trying not to shed crumbs on the train table, I felt transported by the crisp, light shards of pastry, tender pork and soft, juicy jelly. These elusive pork pies are what led me to Ripon six months later, to Appleton’s, the traditional pork butchers which have been selling them since 1867…

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