With the opening of a new pie and mash shop in Blackfen Road, I just had to try it. I was nervous as I’d never eaten it before and wasn’t convinced I’d like it. What was that green sauce made of exactly?
The shop had previously been ‘Smile Please’ photography studio (one of two branches in Blackfen Road).
There were huge queues and steamed up windows, which added to the atmosphere somehow.
Pie and mash shops became popular in the East End of London in the late 1800s, providing hot, filling and inexpensive food for manual workers. These first pies were filled with eels which were cheap and plentiful and caught right from the Thames. These days the meal consists of a baked minced beef pie with mashed potato and a green parsley gravy, with or without jellied or stewed eels. I felt better about eating it when I discovered that the liquor is from parsley, not from Thames eel-fishing water!
Actually, it was much nicer than I expected, especially with a splash of chilli vinegar! But I did wimp out at sampling jellied eels…!