"Some people are in the pie shop... they think it's all over... it is now! It's steak & onions in English ale!!!"
Yes, while the rest of the world was distracted by some sporting festival or other Londoners knew that the real way to the world's heart was through its stomach. And so it was that the great, traditional pie making nations of England and
Early favourites Brazil (Pig, chicken, beans & chilli) went out at the group stages along with Germany (Sauerkraut & Pickle), the USA (Boston Beans & Frankfurters) and the surprisingly unpopular Ukraine stalwarts of Chicken Kiev. 2002 runners up France (Beef bourgonion) romped away with Group G where Togo (chicken and peanuts) edged out Switzerland (Fondue) and South Korea (Hot Dog) only on overall pies sold in a group so close even the flags got confused.
In the knockout stages Australia (kangaroo marinated in merlot) pulped Italy (Bolognaise) while England got the better of Costa Rica (Fried chicken with plantain) to set up a quarter final against new arch nemesis Portugal (Piri Piri Chicken). It was close, but sales of 70-55 put the local heroes through to face the Aussies. Steak ruled supreme in the semi by 92 - 59 while in the other tie Japan (Teriyaki Chicken) had the measure of Argentina (Corn Beef Hash) to set up a mouthwatering climax. The Australians bounced back to take third but England's meat and one veg celebrated by covering itself in beer after the 72 - 24 victory over an oriental offering whose soy sauce boiled over at the vital moment.
Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the pies!
England never never never shall win the real thing until one day we realise the importance of the team ethic over and above the gifts of talented but erratic and often fragile individuals...
A pie, mash and mushy peas lunch pictured by Gwire's Flickr stream.