Brand: Mr Kipling
Found at: Tesco
Mince pies were described by my Glaswegian co-worker as a UK staple that has staunchly resisted globalization. And this, I think, is largely an issue of branding. When I hear the word mince pie, I think of ground meat. When any normal person hears the word mince pie they think of ground meat. Therefore, when my coworker handed me a small, unrefrigerated, mince pie covered in frosting, I was understandably horrified. I may have been tentatively willing to accept that frosted meat might be palatable, but the idea that you could eat a meat pie after it had been sitting on a table for several days was a bridge too far.
But, as it turns out, mince pies are not made of minced meat: they are made of dried fruits and spiced jelly (?), which makes no sense to me but probably has some historical culinary nonsense explanation behind it. And I honestly don’t know if I’m entirely pleased that it’s not spoiled meat. It’s VERY sweet: a sweet frosting on a bed of sugary fruit preserve that you can feel dissolving your teeth as you chew. It’s the kind of thing that I would have LOVED as a child but now don’t have the pancreatic efficiency to fully enjoy, and maybe that is why so many of the Scots I’ve met have such nostalgic feelings for these little holiday flavored sugar pies. And maybe, after a few more cold autumn months, I’ll come around to these little glucose bombs, but for now I’ll stick to meat mince pies, and leave the rest for the locals.