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This Britain

Minor British Institutions: Pukka Pies

It is possible that almost the entire population, including even a few vegetarians, has at some time enjoyed a Pukka Pie but cannot now recall the experience.

That's because a night on the pies often as not follows a night on the tiles and, in the way of things, partial memory loss. Consider the numbers.

The Pukka Pie firm, its name faintly redolent of empire, was founded in Leicestershire in 1963, remains in family ownership, and now its 250 staff knock out 50 million pies a year.

Their bestseller is the large round single-portion steak and kidney pie, closely followed by chicken and mushroom, then beef and onion.

The good news is that you can now purchase a Pukka Pie while sober, thanks to their appearance in some branches of Sainsbury's – though, of course, they still taste better from the chippy.

Pukka Pies are apparently free from hydrogenated fat, whatever that is, contain no artificial flavourings, and have no genetically modified ingredients. Pukka!