This instills great jealously in some of us at Wine & Spirits, as pies haven’t been a hot item on restaurant menus in the US since Horn & Hardart’s automats stopped doling out single-serve chicken potpies. But it has inspired us to mine our database of issues for pie recipes, as Wine & Spirits happens to have two pie mavens on staff. Patricio Tapia, our Santiago-based critic for South America and Spain, is the man to talk to about empanadas of all sorts; for the last issue, he flew over the Andes to check out the dining options in Mendoza and came back with a top-notch list of empanadas masters.
Tapia also hung out out with home cooks in Galicia, teasing out recipes for pies stuffed with cockles and other good things.
For Mediterranean pies, Tara Q. Thomas is the expert, having consumed more than her fair share during her days as a cook in Athens; she brushes up on pita knowledge on every trip back, and turns out a greens-based one at least once a month.
The great advantage of these pies is that they grew up among wines, so finding a pairing is as easy as looking to see what’s traditional in the pie’s hometown. You don’t need to get fancy—in fact, better not to. This is basic food, meant for hearty eating and hearty drinking.
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