For the first time ever, the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards will welcome vegan entries.
Local news source the New Zealand Herald reports that when Philippa Stephenson of the vegan cafe Tart Bakery tried to enter her vegan mince and cheese pie into this year’s competition, she was turned away. “I make and sell hundreds of these a day through both of our bakeries,” said Stephenson. “… and I thought they would give any meat pie made from animal suffering and planet degradation a run for its money.”
According to Bakels, which manufactures baking ingredients, her entry was rejected on the grounds that a vegan-only category would receive far fewer entries compared to the thousands for meat-based pies. The difference “wouldn’t create equal standing” when it came to awarding the nation’s best vegan pie.
Stephenson was barred from entering her vegan mince and cheese pie in the meat category due to rules that specify the use of only beef or lamb meat. While the Supreme Pie Awards features a vegetarian category, it explicitly prohibits vegan entries. Bakels managing director Brent Kersel said that it made no sense that the category excluded plant-based entries, but a vegan category will be established for 2019. The competition will also drop the fish pie category due to its lack of popularity.
Those looking to put their vegan pie recipes to the test will also have another option in two weeks’ time. In response to the rejection from the Bakels competition, Stephenson reached out the Vegan Society, which announced the start of The Supreme Vegan Pie Awards. Judging for the competition will take place on November 1, World Vegan Day.
“A pie without meat is still an iconic Kiwi meal on the run,” said Vegan Society national coordinator Amanda Sorrenson. “Vegans and those seeking a meat-free pie don’t want to miss out and can be tantalised with all sorts of exciting fillings, if anything possibly more diverse in variety.”
Across New Zealand, vegan pies are becoming increasingly available. Petrol chain Z Energy launched an on-the-go plant-based chana masala pie made by local brand The Goodtime Pie Co. Earlier this month, BP Petrol stations across the country introduced plant-based chicken satay pies by New Zealand-based vegan meat brand, Sunfed Meats.
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