Pie floater 'founded in Pirie'

The humble pie floater has been classified as a national treasure.

In 2003, the South Australian National Trust traced the history of the dish back 130-plus years to Port Pirie.

That is according to website The Pie Cart, once dedicated to Adelaide’s pie-carts, but now just an empty social media spot that provides reference to the industry.

The website says early records in South Australia say the pie floater was born here as the result of an idea by Ern “Shorty” Bradley in the 1890s.

“No-one really knows how … did he inadvertently drop a pie into a bowl of soup? the website says.

The pie floater was common in Adelaide and, to a lesser extent, Sydney.

It consists of a traditional Australian-style meat pie, usually sitting, but sometimes submerged and sometimes upside-down, in a bowl of thick green pea soup.

It is usually garnished with tomato sauce and the diner may also add mint sauce, salt, pepper and malt vinegar.

The cuisine is usually bought in the street from pie-carts as a late evening meal.

Long-time identity Des “Nosey” Parker produced a printout from the website which he said settled the argument once and for all about where the pie floater originated.

Feeling peckish? You will need to travel to Old Ev’s Wirrabara Bakehouse or the Stone Hut Bakery to buy a pie floater.

A worker at Old Ev’s said they served the pie upside-down in the floater and they had one or two requests for it “every now and then”.

“People don’t know about them. The pie floater was more of a thing in Queensland and New South Wales. You could get them on any corner in Queensland,” he said.

A staff member at Stone Hut Bakery said the dish was popular in winter and they had a couple of requests each week for the meal.

Pie floaters, it seems, will never die even if memories of their heyday fade away.


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