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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Tags : Business InsiderBusiness Insider UKEATINGEelsEnglandfastFoodHistoryinsiderinterviewJelliedJellied EelsLondonLondonsmashOldestORIGINALPieRESTAURANTSTravelUKUK Original Videovideo

The author Livia

Crossfitter, Blogger, World's Pickiest Vegetarian, Ninja in Training, Vampire Slayer. Blue is my favourite color. It's also the only color.


  1. I respect people that keep up traditions but the owners attitude toward gravy is a bit much…. Ok its his personal preference and recommendation that it is eaten with parsley liquor sauce but if a customer wants abit gravy just give em abit dont make a song and dance about it…… Pies look amazing as does the mash but id be pissed if i didnt like the sauce and it ruined the meal..

  2. We order manzies pie and mash, and the liqour, bloody handsome. Alot of ppl outside of London eat it as we moved away from London but still crave that meal, including the eels. Most comforting meal ever.

  3. I used to have pie and mash growing up, but the only pie and mash shop near us closed down, so I haven't had it in yearsssss

  4. Double pie n mash with chilli vinegar and a bowl of hot eels on a Saturday afternoon sitting in Joe Cooke's at Hoxton ( sheer bliss )…..Sadly spoilt when you look out the window and realise you can hardly see a British face/market stall.

  5. No lumps in the mash ! No offal in the pies ! (only then can it claim to be a proper 'Pie & Mash') can you say that ?

  6. Eel sauce should NOT be mixed with [vegetarian] Parsley sauce ! That is so wrong.
    Not everyone (not many, really!) likes Eels.

  7. Used to go here regularly as its in the he market, the plank making the film is a home grown tourist, no one has jellied eels with pie and mash.
    You could have stewed eels (served hot) with mash and a pie on the side.

  8. That looks disgusting! Cheap working class unhealthy food. No wonder over 65% if adults in Britain are overweight to obese

  9. I noticed when they were being filmed they actually put mince in the pies. They normally just smear it on with a knife.

  10. Its a shame the poms are shit people , other wise i would go to England to eat all those pies like theres no tomorrow.
    All you poms are shit

  11. I’ve ate pie and mash since I was a very young boy, I’m an old boy now , and in all those years I’ve never seen anyone eat jellied eels with pie and mash. Stewed eels but never jellied .

  12. Jellied eels.. I remember trying eels and it was horrific. Didn't like the taste, but the pies and mash look soooo good. Also the way he says sauce. Sowce.

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