An Ode to TastyPies

TastyPies, shortly before they were devoured.

Eight days. That’s all time you have to consume a TastyPie once it leaves the warm confines of the Philadelphia-based Tasty Baking Company’s ovens.

Oh, sure, it’s still edible thereafter, but we’re talking about a fresh product here whose flavor profile changes as time takes its ravaging toll. It may be packaged to travel and sit on a shelf, but Philadelphia expats will tell you that the TastyPie they find on some drug store shelf three hundred miles from the bakery just isn’t the same as a TastyPie bought from a South Philly deli minutes after the distributor’s truck has rolled away.

Living a good two to three hours from Philadelphia, I try to stock up on TastyPies whenever I’m up there, drawing knowing stares from other travelers in 30th Street Station when I purchase ten at a time prior to catching a Northeast Regional home. Or, if I’ve bought the last Blueberry, cutting stares that threaten bodily harm.

What inspires this devotion, this hoarding instinct in otherwise rational adults? Just look at the packaging itself. No hiding of the pastry behind a wrapper with an idealized illustration—there it is, preening behind cellophane, cracks and flakes and all. Love me as I am, it cries.

TastyKake claims to make a quarter-million TastyPies a day, but they don’t look stamped out, like some widget on a press. TastyPies have character.

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Philly Pork Passion in the Post

In what might be a first, and almost certainly will be a last, Movement Point has scooped the Washington Post!

In today’s Post, we find a paean to the Philadelphia roast pork sandwich, essentially replicating the findings here at Movement Point a full month ago about the superior quality of the roast pork sandwich as compared to the cheesesteak. It’s hard being a trend setter . . .

Oblique View of Roast Pork Sandwich from DiNic's on

Tim Warren’s article, “Gee Whiz, Cheesesteak Isn’t Philly’s Best Sub,” nicely describes the life-altering experience of his first roast pork sandwich encounter:

But when the transformative moment came for me, when the broccoli rabe mingled with the provolone and pork and juices in my mouth, it was easy to move on. Going from cheesesteaks to roast pork sandwiches was like listening to whatever pop music was on the radio, and one day discovering a station that played Sinatra and Duke Ellington.

Welcome to the fold, Tim.

Roast Pork Perfection

The Holy Trinity, if you will, of Philadelphia food: the cheesesteak, the soft pretzel, and any incarnation of the TastyKake.

But—blasphemy!—I hereby disavow the cheesesteak, for I have tasted of the roast pork sandwich, dripping with pan juices and sauteed greenery.

Roast Pork Sandwich

This salty wonder has long been available, but it failed to appear on my mental menu of Philadelphia foods before I came across a lackluster mention of the sandwich on Frank Bruni’s New York Times food blog:

And the roast pork sandwich, on a round and soggy roll, was disappointing through and through. The meat had so little taste it could have been mistaken for turkey.

Not an auspicious review, but the entry piqued my interest. Where had this sandwich, apparently a Philadelphia classic, been all my life?

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