British Pie Week: Celebrating Cardiff's Clark's Pies, 99 Years Of Meaty Goodness

A Cardiff tradition and a true taste experience, my uncle buys 12 every time he visits from South Africa and takes them home to freeze them...
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A Cardiff tradition and a true taste experience, my uncle buys 12 every time he visits from South Africa and takes them home to freeze them...

A mouth-watering sight

A mouth-watering sight

Clarks Pies. Any self-respecting, pie-lover from Cardiff has been raised on these beauties. Having been baked since 1913, the pies have been a staple of any Cardiff diet. Affectionately referred to as Clarkies, they are unique in taste and location. Pin-pointing the first time I ever had a Clarkies is hard; it's as if they have always been a part of my eating habits. Born and raised within walking distance of their secondary shop in Canton, my earliest memories involve Saturday morning walks to the pie shop before heading home to wolf it down with a slice of thickly buttered bread. If you want a true taste of Cardiff, Clark's it is.

Completely ingrained within the history of the city, the recipe and traditions have been honed over 90 years of baking. From their bakery in Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown, they churn out their own brand of meaty goodness. People have their own ways of eating them. Some take the lid off and squeeze some ketchup or curry sauce in there. Others eat them smothered in gravy. Others simply eat the pie as it comes. Local football matches, International rugby matches and the Friday night chippy dinner are all completely enhanced by the presence of a Clark's pie. Expanding their range to include Tikka pies and steak pies and Baltie pies as well as the classic, Clark's Pasty but when it comes down to it, you cannot beat the original Clarkies.

The pastry is thick and rich; the filling perfectly seasoned

Pretenders have made their own versions but none have a patch on the thick, short-crusty pastry that covers the mince and potato filling. Sound pretty standard? Don't ever think that. The pastry is thick and rich; the filling perfectly seasoned. CLARPIE stamped on the pie's base so you know it's the real deal. The taste is sweet and salty all at once. It's like no pie you will ever eat. You will crave the Clark's taste with every pie you eat after it. My Uncle, a born and raised Cardiff resident, now lives in Cape Town. Every time he visits, he buys twelve Clarkies and takes them home and freezes them so he can savour their taste 10,000 miles away.

It's genuinely not just a pie. It's part of the culture here. Want to experience it? They now do mail-order pies. So please; treat your taste-buds to the greatest pie this writer has ever eaten and let us all give thanks Mary Clark; after-all, she gave us the Clark's pie in the first place.

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