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The challenging part of researching these early pies is most of us rely on translators of original texts.
These can vary according to scholarly proficiency and educated interpretation.
The derivation of the word may be from magpie, shortened to pie.
The explanation offered in favour or this is that the magpie collects a variety of things, and that it was an essential feature of early pies that they contained a variety of ingredients." ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.
The first pies were very simple and generally of the savory (meat and cheese) kind.
Flaky pastry fruit-filled turnovers appeared in the early 19th century.
The figs were retired from the sauce pan long before the meat was done and they were served around the ham as a garnish.] Compare with this Latin text, English translation and modern instructions: "Pernam, ubi eam cum caricis plurimis elixa veris et tribus lauri foliis, detracta cute tessellatim indicis et melle complebis.
But those were flat affairs, since olive oil was used as the fat in the pastry and will not produce upstanding pies; pastry made with olive oil is 'weak' and readily slumps." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.
Returning crusaders introduced these sweet recipes to Medieval Europe where they were quickly adopted.
French and Italian Renaissance chefs are credited for perfecting puff pastry and choux.
In the cradles of civilization (Mediterranean region including Ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia) the primary fat was olive oil.
When combined with ground grains, it produced a rudimentary type of pastry.