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In the cradles of civilization (Mediterranean region including Ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia) the primary fat was olive oil.
When combined with ground grains, it produced a rudimentary type of pastry.
Returning crusaders introduced these sweet recipes to Medieval Europe where they were quickly adopted.
But those were flat affairs, since olive oil was used as the fat in the pastry and will not produce upstanding pies; pastry made with olive oil is 'weak' and readily slumps." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.Some pie-type foods are made for individual consumption. pasties, turnovers, empanadas, pierogi, calzones..enjoyed by working classes and sold by street vendors.Pie variations (cobblers, slumps, grunts, etc.) are endless! " The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word "pie" as it relates to food to 1303, noting the word was well-known and popular by 1362. " "Pie...a word whose meaning has evolved in the course of many centuries and which varies to some extent according to the country or even to region....No one, least of all the early settlers, would probably proclaim their early pies as masterpieces of culinary delight.The crusts were often heavy, composed of some form of rough flour mixed with suet." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F.