When I was nobbut a girl, my mum sometimes served a Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie in lieu of a Sunday roast joint (we didn't have much money). I remember loving the pie - the pastry was cracklingly crisp and the meat, though average, had NO FAT - a big deal for me in those days. Now the pies are one of the many recession-busting food products, along with Bird's custard and Angel Delight (mmmm - remember the butterscotch). Since migrating childhood, I've never eaten a Fray Bentos pie, but I can't help wondering what I'd make of them now. Not sure if this will lead to a purchase. I hope I can resist - I prefer my pie memory not to be ruined by reality.
Pieman has a great potted (tinned?) history of the brand, named after a town in Uruguay where there was a corned beef factory. Actually, the concept of a corned beef factory is pretty vile. The pie have been made in the UK since 1958 - blimey, they're as old as me! To get at the pie, you need your tin opener; here is the pie rising in the glorious Fray Bentos: the opera. And then there's this wonderful spoof ad.