The Ancient Egyptian Origins Of Pie (& The First Fillings)

Today, we enjoy pie in countless varieties, from classic apple to savory shepherd's pie. But have you ever wondered about the origins of this culinary delight? Pies, as we know them, actually have a fascinating history that traces back thousands of years to ancient Egypt where the roots of pie can be traced back to around 9500 BCE.

The first pies were created using simple, locally available ingredients. The crust was made from a mixture of ground grains, such as barley, wheat, oats, and water. This dough was then shaped into a round or oval form and filled with various ingredients.

The art of pie-making eventually spread from Egypt to other ancient civilizations. The Greeks, who had long-standing trade relations with Egypt, adopted the concept of pies and further refined it. Later, the Romans, in turn, learned about pies from the ancient Greeks. They continued to experiment with both sweet and savory fillings by making pies with various mixtures. Thanks to the expansive Roman empire, pies soon made their way across Europe.

Ancient pie fillings

The fillings for these ancient pies were quite different from what we are accustomed to today. Instead of sweet fruits, ancient Egyptians filled their pies with savory ingredients like honey, nuts, and even meat. Pies with meat fillings were typically reserved for special occasions and were considered a luxury, given the scarcity of meat in those times. These early pies served both as a means of preserving food and as a convenient, portable meal for workers and travelers.

The history of pies is a testament to the ingenuity and adaptability of ancient cultures. What began as a simple, utilitarian dish in ancient Egypt evolved into a versatile culinary creation embraced by many more peoples and cultures. As pie-making techniques spread across Europe and eventually to the rest of the world, each culture added its own unique spin, resulting in the diverse array of pies we enjoy today.

So, the next time you savor a delicious slice of pie, remember that you are partaking in a rich culinary tradition that spans millennia and unites people across the globe.