These pies called floaters or pie floaters may have British roots, but they are a staple in Australia.
A pie floater is essentially a meat pie that is placed upside down in a bowl of thick pea soup, sometimes topped with tomato sauce or vinegar. Everything can get a bit soggy, but the rich gravy pairs well with the tender meat chunks and flaky pastry.
The floaters have been sold in Adelaide, Australia since 1871. It’s unclear how the interesting combo came to be but there could be some English roots. Dumplings in soup were known as floaters. Pea soup was also a popular dish in Britain.
Floaters were originally served from horse-drawn pie carts. Many of the unemployed visited pie carts during the depression, as cart owners would give away their unsold pies for free at closing time. These days it’s known as a popular late-night food. This dish was named a south Australian heritage icon in 2003.
There aren’t a lot of pair carts around today, but you can still find the staple at some select bakeries. So, if you’re a fan of savory pastries and don’t mind a little a few soggy ingredients, then this interesting Australian dish could be worth a try.