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We Tried Pie, Mash, and Jellied Eels At One Of London's Oldest 'Fast Food' Restaurants

F. Cooke is one of the oldest fast food restaurants in London. They’ve been serving handmade pies and mash with traditional jellied eels since 1862, and not much has changed since then.

“This is the oldest traditional meal in the East End of London. This is it,” owner Joe Cooke told Business Insider. “It hasn’t altered, and as far as I’m concerned it won’t alter.”

Their pies are made using a divider machine splits that the dough into 36 perfect pieces. Each piece is then rolled and filled with mincemeat mixed with salt, pepper, and caramel.

On a busy day they can make up to 600 pies.

Pies are served with potato mash and a sauce called liquor made from parsley and the juice of cooked eels.

“It was my great-grandfather who put the eel sauce, the parsley sauce which is predominantly a fish sauce with the meat pie,” said Cooke. “Thank God it worked. That was it.”

F. Cooke has stayed at traditional as possible. They still sprinkle sawdust on the floor.

As per pie etiquette, knives here are banned, and pies are to be eaten with fork and spoon only. The same can be said for gravy. “You mention the G word and you’re gone. It does not come with gravy. It might do up north or wherever it is, but here the traditional meal is pie and mash and parsley sauce liquor. That’s it.”

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