Bunch Of Fives: Tobias And The Lion | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Bedroom DIY artist and multi-instrumentalist, Tobias and the Lion releases his new single Guessed At Being. The track, which he wrote, recorded and produced himself, is an intriguing listen that talks of loneliness and heartbreak. It’s uniquely structured and, alongside the staccato vocals, atmospheric banjo and shuffling rhythms, features the spoken word talents of Newcastle writer Lauren Gosling.

Here, Tobias and the Lion tells us about his top five pork pies from local butchers…

When NARC. Magazine Asked me to write a Bunch Of Fives on any theme that I would like, I thought to myself “maybe I could do something about music?” Although, anyone who searches my social media accounts will easily know about my musical tastes. Then I thought to myself what is more personal to me? What is more meaningful to me? Then, it just came to me as I was eating a beautiful, fulfilling, and crusty pork pie. So, without further ado here is Tobias and the Lion’s top five pork pies from the North-East.

1:  Petch Butchers in Great Ayton Large Pork and Apple Pie
About 13 years ago I moved to Teesside from Derby. I was born in Leicester and spent most of my teenage years in the Midlands where pork pies are not really part of our culture. The only pork pies I tried were the unsatisfying ones that were bought from the supermarket and little did I know the true flavour that a pork pie contained. While having a family trip to visit captain cooks monuments we had a short stop at Petch butchers and I did not know stopping at this humble butchers would change my whole culinary experience. The warm crust pastry cooked to perfection, the meat inside is juicy and flavorful with the sweetness of the homemade apple sauce on top to finish it off. The reason why I added large is because a small pie will not satisfy you and only a large one is ever sufficient. Dr Petch, you are truly a master of pies.

2:  Petch Butchers in Great Ayton Large Pork Pie
I believe that Petch Pies are the best that I have had in my life so, it seems fitting a traditional pork pie should be my number 2. Personally, the apple sauce is the vital part but these pies are so amazing that if there is no apple sauce on it it is still a scrumptious and delicious treat. I also want to reiterate that you should not get a regular-sized pie and it should always be a large pork pie as it has never satisfied me just to have a small one.

3: G. Bolam Food, Sedgefield Pork and Apple Pie
I’ve heard about this magical place where you can buy any type or part of meat. When my friends would visit this place they would pull a face of smugness and pride. When you go to the shop it looks like you are visiting a 1950s version of Morrisons and it has the strangest collection of individuals from Society. when you visit the bakery you are mesmerised by the large selection of sweet and savoury. Bolam’s decided to remove the top off the pork pie and replace it with a large amount of scrumptious apple sauce; unlike, Petch’s lattice pastry on top it is a bold move. This move though has really paid off, you get a great chunk of meat with the sauce oozing out of the side and the experience you receive is really worth a visit.

4: Five Houses Farm Shop and Kitchen, Crathorne Pork Pie
This is a hidden jem just outside of Yarm which has a collection of organic food from the farm shop and a pleasant restaurant on the side that is truly worth a visit. The pork pie does not disappoint and in some cases, you may be able to get it warm. The issue is with the size of the pie. It tastes amazing and it’s very close to the top contenders but just lacks in size. Five houses is definitely worth a visit and has a superb restaurant so if you are in the area, pop in and give it a visit.

5: Blackwells, Norton, Pork Pies
Based in the small town of Norton, Blackwell opened in 1954 and has been serving delicious food ever since. This shop was recommended to me by family members and when visiting Norton I decided to take the plunge and try that delicious pork pies. The crust on the pork pie has a softer texture which some people may prefer but, for me, I prefer a crust that is crunchy with a soft undertone. The pork flavour is amazing and it is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Well, there it is, my top five pork pies. I hope that you can come and support these local businesses when you are in the area. I may not have been born in the North East but, I feel that it is my home and I think there is so much culture in the area for everyone to enjoy. So take a chance, go to a local venue, see a local band You’ve never heard of before, get some food from an independent business, read the local magazines and enjoy all that the North-East has to offer.


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