Vegan pie crowned champion at industry awards for first time

A vegan pie has won the highest honour in the British pie awards for the first time in the history of the event, beating nearly 900 competitors from 176 different producers.

The entry was crowned the supreme champion in the 11th British Pie Awards.

The curried sweet potato and butternut squash vegan pie made by butcher Jon Thorner’s Ltd was praised by head judge Colin Woodhead for its moist and well-balanced filling.

Judges inspecting pies
The pies were carefully inspected by judges (British pie awards)

The judge said: “There are a number of challenges to making a good vegan pie and this has cracked it.

“The pastry was exceptional with a crispness that complemented the filling.”

The Somerset-based farm shop opened in 1979 and has been baking hand-crimped pies since 2005.

The awards mark the end of the annual British Pie Week, which ran from March 4 to March 8.

Despite being a new category in the 2019 awards, there were some 68 entries into the class, with some being shortlisted for the supreme champion award.

The event celebrates the rich heritage of the British pie, with around £1 billion of them consumed each year nationally.

Pies being judged at the British Pie Awards
This year’s awards were hotly contested (British pie awards)

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, said: “This year’s supreme champion was outstanding and well deserving of the accolade.

“From its very appearance on the judging tray, you knew it was going to do well and it didn’t disappoint when it was opened and tasted.

“This pie isn’t just for vegans, it’s a pie for everybody.  With this award we can truly say that veganism is now entering the mainstream of British food.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Vegan Society in Leicester – and the creation of the word “vegan” by founder Donald Watson.

The rise of veganism has not been without controversy, in January of this year Greggs announced their new vegan sausage roll, which drew criticism from Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.

However, the move into vegan products appears to have been a lucrative one for the baker as Greggs announced on Thursday that sales for the year topped £1 billion after an online petition by Peta, calling for a vegan sausage roll, was signed by more than 20,000 people last year.

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