Food - Drink
A British Legend Says This Fish Pie Saved A Village From Starvation
Stargazy pie might not sound like anything special. It’s a simple pie concoction of butter, cream, onion, earthy stock, hardboiled eggs, and custard seasoned with mustard, parsley, salt, and pepper. However, the stargazy pie’s presentation is certainly bold — sardine heads stick up out of the shortcrust pastry— and it has a bold history to match.
As legend tells it, one winter the small portside village of Mousehole in Cornwall was frozen over by blizzards, isolating the town and cutting off food supplies. One villager, Tom Bawcock, decided to go fishing for food and after bringing back a boatload, he took the time to bake the fish into a pie that fed the entire village.
Dorothy Hartley, author of “Food in England,” points out that there’s little evidence to substantiate the Tom Bawcock tale, and instead attributes the dish’s striking presentation to the Victorians. Alternatively, a Mousehole man born in 1920 maintains that his late wife was the one who invented stargazy pie.