CHOICE names Four’N Twenty tastiest meat pie

Posted by Janice Wong on 21st May 2010

Over $A127 million is spent each year buying and eating over 18,500 tonnes of pies each year. Most would even say pies are the most typically Australian food there is.

CHOICE went out and tested 20 pies on the market, mostly pies of national brands stocked in the frozen section of the supermarket to see which brands would come out as most nutritious, the meatiest, and the tastiest.

“Scoring well on all three criteria, the Elmsbury (Aldi) Bakehouse Premium Grain Fed Beef Pie was the overall winner. It had good meat content, was comparatively lower in fat and sodium, and tasted good. While not the cheapest pie we tested, it does offer value for money as a premium pie that’s nutritionally better than others on the market,” says Mr Zinn, CHOICE spokesperson.

Herbert Adams King Island Gourmet Premium Beef Pies have 38.5% meat, taking out first place for the meatiest pie. To qualify for the name ‘meat pie’, a pie has to contain 25% ‘meat flesh’ as defined by the Food Standards Code.

When CHOICE conducted its last meat pie test in 2006, four of the contenders failed to meet even this modest mark. This time around, all but one earnt the title ‘meat pie’. You’ll Love Coles was marginally below par with 22.7% meat. Overall, CHOICE commends manufacturers for lifting their game. Four’N Twenty takes out tastiest meat pie in a fairly ho-hum field, followed closely by Black & Gold. When it came to taste, our testers were none too pleased, complaining about doughy pastry, pie cases that break apart, too much gravy and too much salt. And 80% of taste testers positively disliked the filling in the Coles
Smart Buy pies, making them not such a smart buy at all.

But as one panelist said: “meat pies are a snack that needs sauce”.

“If it takes a fair shake of the sauce bottle to make your pie edible, then perhaps you should be eating something else. Meat pies are OK as an occasional meal but there are many healthier, and tastier options,” says Mr Zinn.

Few of us expect a meat pie to be healthy. The Four and Twenty Lite pie carries the Heart Foundation Tick and, with the lowest kilojoule content and total fat content, it lives up to it’s name.