Huntington Fidget Pie
The Huntingdon fidget pie is a local variation of the fidget pie, a popular snack similar to the pasty in Cornwall. The essential ingredients are fatty bacon, apples and a pastry casing, normally shortcrust. The predominant flavor is the ham or bacon, with the apples used as a sweet counter-balance. Onions are normally used, as well as cider to enhance the flavor of the pie and for moisture. The pie can be eaten hot or cold. There are other local variations of fidget pie that include potato. The fidget pie was traditionally served to workers during harvest when there was an abundance of apples available. The name “fidget” is thought to have derived from its smell when cooking, which was similar to that of a polecat, a skunk-like animal called a “fitchett” in the local dialect, or from the term “fitched,” meaning five-sided, which was said to be the original shape of the pie. Food historian Alison Sloan writes that the pies were very popular locally about a century ago. She notes how people in Cambridgeshire were quite late in using potatoes as part of a staple diet in comparison to other parts of the country, and so were more reliant on wheat and pastry, meaning pies were commonly eaten. The Huntingdon fidget pie was made in the historic county of Huntingdonshire, which is now a part of Cambridgeshire, north of London. Today, however, although there are several restaurants that make the Huntingdon fidget pie, it seems that there are none produced commercially. Even locally, many people are unaware of the pie, indicating that unless there is greater awareness of the product it is at risk of disappearing.