In the United States, pie is generally associated with dessert. It’s the sweet treat at the end of a holiday meal and breakfast the next day if there are leftovers. Yet, while there are other regions around the world that appreciate sweet pies, savory fillings are much more common.
Savory goes back to the earliest days of pie. The word itself is believed to have come from the Latin word pica, the term for a magpie bird (old English translations pronounced it pies or pyes). One likely reason the dish was named for magpies is that the birds were a popular filling. While the name also could have been inspired by the magpie habit of taking anything and everything it could find and gathering it all in one little nest, it’s undeniable that birds of all flocks and feathers were traditionally baked inside the hard crusts (or coffyns) of early pies. Variations on dough casings with savory ingredients were soon invented and brought to all areas of the world.
Today, there’s no doubt it’s a sweet world out there. But when it comes to pie, don’t sleep on the savory.