I love discovering something unexpected in London and it doesn’t come more left of centre than a vegan pie in a jellied eel shop in the heart of London’s East End.
Lesley Brown recently wrote to me to say she enjoys my blog (aww!) and wanted to know if I had heard of a vegan pie available in the most unlikely of locations. Here is her email reproduced in part. I am sure you will find it as eye-opening and wobbly tummy-inducing as I did.
This is what Lesley had to say:
I frequently attend big family get togethers in Bow, E3 where I was born. I’m vegan, with 4 grown up vegetarian offspring, but the extended family are dedicated carnivores so this usually involves a trip to the local pie and mash shop, Kelly’s in Roman Road. I usually take along my own food.
Last time we got together my cousin came back from Kelly’s with a present for me – a vegan pie! I wasn’t sure whether to trust her, so I looked on their website and yep, they do soya mince pies that are suitable for vegans.
Now, I know they also sell dead animal pies. I can remember as a small child standing outside the shop staring at the eel stall. Customers would come along, point to an eel and the stallholder would raise his knife and chop off the head. My mum used to tell me not to look, because if the eel blood went in my eye it would make me go blind! Occasionally an eel would wriggle off the staff and attempt a getaway in the gutter. I would always cross my fingers and wish them a successful escape.
So, not cruelty free by any means but I do think it is progress. One day all their pies might be vegan.
Thanks for that bit of history, Lesley. It is fascinating that this traditional eel and pie shop has a vegan option. I would love to hear from anyone else who has tried their soya mince pie.