603) First pies Food historians confirm ancient people made pastry.

Modern pie, as we Americans know it today, descends from Medieval European ingredients (fat=suet, lard, butter) and technology (pie plates, freestanding pies, tiny tarts).

"The idea of enclosing meat inside a sort of pastry made from flour and oil originated in ancient Rome, but it was the northern European use of lard and butter to make a pastry shell that could be rolled out and moulded that led to the advent of true pie." ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2002 (p.

The derivation of the word may be from magpie, shortened to pie.

The explanation offered in favour or this is that the magpie collects a variety of things, and that it was an essential feature of early pies that they contained a variety of ingredients." ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.

The challenging part of researching these early pies is most of us rely on translators of original texts.

These can vary according to scholarly proficiency and educated interpretation.

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Cooking methods (baked or fried in ancient hearths, portable colonial/pioneer Dutch ovens, modern ovens), pastry composition (flat bread, flour/fat/water crusts, puff paste, milles feuilles), and cultural preference (pita, pizza, quiche, shepherd's, lemon meringue, classic apple, chocolate pudding).