It’s pie time. Luxury pie time. Another hulking brute of pastry, steak and gravy. I’ve done a lot of pie reviews recently and as such I have very little new nonsense to spew forth in your direction as a pre-amble to the main event and therefore without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final
Price: A rather hefty £2.50, a cash equivalent of 2 Junior level scotch pies and a full 50p more than another luxury option, the recently reviewed, Ayr United Steak & Ale Pie (Pie 54). A price symptomatic of the ludicrous idea that if you are a bigger club you are obliged to charge a bigger price when in fact all that you are increasing (apart from my waistband) is the profit you make. Seriously let’s think about this for a minute. How many pies do you think are consumed at Ibrox, Celtic Park or Hampden? A conservative estimate of 5000-7000 let’s say. Now how many are consumed at Cliftonhill, Newlandsfield or Ochilview? A couple of hundred. Now using a fairly basic knowledge of how business works and economies of scale, the larger the bulk amount initially purchased from the supplier is the cheaper the P.P.P (Price Per Pie) becomes. Basically what I am saying is I’m willing to wager a considerable sum that the P.P.P before selling onto the fans is far less at bigger stadia than at smaller grounds. Is that saving passed on? Erm, no. But at least the pie is of far superior quality? Well let’s move on form this digression and see before this rant takes on a life of its own and I end up with another website dedicated solely to the price of pies!
Presentation: Your standard steak pie presentation here. A medium-sized white napkin wrapped around a silver tinfoil case, although the case seemed a little battered and bruised and as a result was nowhere near as snug fitting as it would usually be as a pie with a hint of luxury in its make up. Not necessarily a bad thing, as in fact I think it will have prevented the all to familiar scald to the palm often associated with a hot pie and tin foil case.
Meatiness: Look here’s the thing it was a nice pie. The first bite produced a more mince based texture meaning a splurge of gravy landing on my lips and as I bit further in bigger chunks of shredded steak were there for my teeth to bite done on and chew. It was seasoned well a wee bit peppery with more salty than some of the other pies I’ve had on this journey but seasoned well nonetheless. The thing is I want my pie, not to be happy with being like all the others, but to stand out from the crowd and have an identity that can only be found at that one footballing location, this pie sadly did not meet that brief. Nice but a little bit soulless.
Pastry: The pastry was a mere receptacle for the meat inside. A well fired crust with a base that was soft without leaking into the tin foil case below. The looseness of the tin foil case no doubt helping to prevent the pastry sticking to the bottom of the case, a common problem often found when consuming a luxury pie. Once again it wasn’t offensive, in fact it was nice but was it going to live long in the memory? I don’t think so.
Overall: I think the thing that irks me most about paying a premium price for luxury pies in large stadia anywhere is that the addition of the word steak automatically justifies a hike in the price. If I was hungry and I wanted something to eat before or during the game it would do and I would be satisfied but unfortunately I cannot place more praise on it than that.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto from Waitrose when really a trip to Tesco would be just as good.
Sorry that was rather uninspiring, the unplanned rant on pricing aside of course, but as you will already know from this journey I am seeking more than just taste in my pies. Hopefully the next effort from Ibrox later this week will have more to offer, I can guarantee you it’s certainly going to be different.
Until next time, go forth and eat pie!
My latest non pie piece ’Pretty in Pink’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at some of the pinkest kits you’re eyes ever did see and the stories behind them. I also encourage you to look out for my piece ‘Defining World Class’ on the same site, you’ll have to scroll down a bit but it’s definitely worth a read.
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