Sweet victory for savoury skills
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.