Devizes pie

Devizes Pie is a dish closely associated with the town of Devizes, Wiltshire, England. It is a pie which consists of offal within a huff paste casing. It was thought to originate from the 15th century, but fell out of fashion several times. It was first rediscovered in the 1950s and 60s, and again in 2006. Some modern recipes have replaced the majority of the offal with other proteins.


Probably created in the 15th century, the Devizes Pie consists of offal, such as calf head,[1] cooked in a case of hard huff paste. It is associated with the town of Devizes, Wiltshire. The details of the dish had supposedly been lost for generations—although it appears in a recipe book of 1830[2]—until a recipe was discovered in the 1960s and the dish was then served in the Bear Hotel in Devizes for several years. After falling out of fashion again, it was revived in 2006 as part of the Devizes Food and Drink Festival. In 2009 it was claimed to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome due to the high quantities of nucleotides in the offal.[3]

A recipe published in The Times in 1956 specified the main ingredients as thin slices from a boiled calf’s head with the brains and tongue cut into strips, as well as slices of cold cooked bacon and lamb, and rounds of hard-boiled eggs.[4] More recent recipes have limited the offal to tongue, and replaced the other proteins with stewing lamb, lean veal, sliced ham and bacon.[5] The dish was featured by Terry Wogan during his television series The Great British Food Trip in 2015, when he sampled it at the Black Swan in Devizes.[6]

See also


  1. Schwabe, Calvin W. (1995). Unmentionable cuisine. University of Virginia Press. p. 18.
  2. Mrs. Dalgairns (1830). The practice of cookery: adapted to the business of every day life. R. Cadell. p. 247.
  3. "Old Devizes recipe fights new disease". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  4. "Huff Paste". The Old Foodie. Retrieved 3 September 2016. (citing The Times, 19 November 1956)
  5. "Meet Alex O'Donnell". BBC Radio Wiltshire. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. Moore, Joanne (13 March 2015). "Pie on the menu for Wogan in Devizes". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
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