Sweet vic­tory for savoury skills

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

The Vil­lage Bak­ery in Tawa has come out on top in a Kapi-Mana News taste quest to find the best mince pie in town.

Fol­low­ing lively de­bate on our Face­book page over where the best mince pie could be found locally, we de­cided to put the clas­sic Kiwi lunch op­tion un­der closer scru­tiny. We called it The Piehole Chal­lenge.

Over two months four staff mem­bers sam­pled and rated the mince pies from 10 bak­eries in Porirua and Tawa, as­sess­ing pas­try, fill­ing flavour, fill­ing con­sis­tency and value.

The Vil­lage Bak­ery pie fin­ished first over­all, edg­ing out Brumby’s in Porirua and Nada Bak­ery in Tawa.

Vil­lage Bak­ery owner Gary Morre said news of his pie’s strong show­ing had made his day. ‘‘I’m just de­lighted.’’ Judges praised the Vil­lage Bak­ery mince pie’s rich flavour and level of gravy. Its pas­try was a lit­tle darker than those from other bak­eries, but still very scrummy.

Brumby’s and Nada also scored highly on flavour and pas­try, but at $3.60 The Vil­lage Bak­ery was a good 50 to 70 cents cheaper.

‘‘We try to make a good prod­uct at a rea­son­able cost. I en­cour­age staff to do the best with their abil­i­ties and I’ve got a very good team,’’ said Mr Morre, who has owned The Vil­lage Bak­ery for 23 years.

He says in­gre­di­ents are key to a qual­ity pie.

‘‘Good meat, not too fatty. Be­ing ac­cu­rate with in­gre­di­ents is es­sen­tial . . . A lot of peo­ple are now buy­ing in­gre­di­ents based on price, not qual­ity.’’

Mr Morre, who has been a baker since he was 15, said he val­ued the method of our pie con­test.

He had never en­tered na­tional com­pe­ti­tions as he did not con­sider them a fair in­di­ca­tion of what bak­eries pro­duce in their shops.

‘‘I can’t af­ford to have a baker spend­ing three months on one pie. This is the way to do it. Come in and buy what we make ev­ery day, and judge that.’’

The pies from sev­eral bak­eries, par­tic­u­larly in cen­tral Porirua, were let down by their fill­ings. ‘‘Too much jelly stuff’’ was a reg­u­lar com­plaint of judges.

This prob­a­bly came down to the type of thick­ener some bak­ers were us­ing, said Mr Morre, who pre­ferred a tra­di­tional mix of corn­flour and flour.

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