Beatilles and Roasted Pigeon with Spring Vegetables and Truffles Crumbled

A Battalia Pie is (or, rather – was) a pie filled with beatilles, or ‘small blessed objects.’ According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word beatilles originally applied to small pieces of needlework embroidered (by nuns in convents, of course) with images of sacred subjects. At some point in time (the seventeenth century?), it came to refer to pies filled with such small blessed ingredients as ‘Cocks-combs, Goose-gibbets, Ghizzards, Livers, and other Appurtenances of Fowls’ (1706.) It seems that pie-bakers and pie-consumers in the English-speaking world did not have a thorough knowledge of the Latin language however, and the process of folk etymology came into play. The word beatilles as it was spoken by pie enthusiasts became confused with the similar words with military references – and beatilles became battalia. It was a logical next step in the evolution of Battalia Pies that sometimes they were constructed in the shape of castles or other fortifications. TheOldFoodie