Taste squirrel and other unusual pies at Melton’s PieFest

Squirrel pie PHOTO: Supplied
Squirrel pie PHOTO: Supplied
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There will be a diverse range of pies for visitors to try at this weekend’s PieFest event in Melton.

One of the more unusual ingredients for a pie to be found at PieFest 2017 is squirrel - grey squirrel that many farmers find is a pest.

Nice Pies who’ve got a shop in Melton shot to fame with their unusual entry for the British Pie Awards - squirrel pie. Given that there was no specific class for this type of meat the company had to enter it in the ‘other meat’ class. Jamie Oliver got to hear about the pie and featured it on one of his shows and people went nuts to buy these unusual pies. Nice Pies who’ll be present will also have pies with zebra and crocodile meat, hoping that these will be snapped up by curious pie lovers.

Other unusual pie names at PieFest will include beaver and penguin pie. These however, don’t contain any beavers or penguins. The former was so named because it uses steak from cattle raised in the nearby Vale of Belvoir (pronounced beaver) and ale from the Belvoir Brewery.

Around 30 pie makers have booked to attend PieFest at the Livestock Market, and pie aficionados can chomp their way through at least 200 types of pie from the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie to lamb, mint and mushy pea pie, bramley apple pie and all pies in between, hot and cold, sweet and savoury.

A new trend in pie making is the gluten-free pie. Those with gluten intolerances weren’t normally made very welcome at a pie festival but with modern techniques of baking and ingredients gluten-free pies are now tasty and even winning pie awards. There will be plenty of such pies at this year’s PieFest on many of the pie makers stands.

Besides pies, visitors can buy other foods such as cheese, cakes, cider and beer. There will also be a Pie Theatre with Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn demonstrating pie making and a Pie Clinic for tips and hints on great pie making.

PieFest starts at 10am to 4pm this Saturday and Sunday. Entry is £4 and free for children under 16.