Ipswich: ITFC’s pies are voted the best (and three places ahead of Norwich City)

IPSWICH: It’s the news Blues fans have been waiting years for – Ipswich Town are top of the league!

The Football Pie League that is.

Though the team might be lagging on the pitch, off it the Portman Road club are the undisputed champions when it comes to a mouth-watering half-time snack.

And with everything to play for in the derby tomorrow evening, Blues fans can take comfort in the fact that Ipswich Town are a full three places ahead of Norwich City, who are lounging in a mediocre fourth place in the pie league, run by Hospitality and Catering News.

Using Suffolk-brewed Adnam’s ale, the Portman Pie is stuffed with delicious beef and plenty of tasty gravy.

Mike Rieder, head of conferencing and hospitality at the club, came up with the pie’s secret recipe.

He said: “We started selling the Portman Pie at selected kiosks and now have them available around the ground. It’s a full meat pie and they are very popular.

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“It is a big pie full of beefsteak and Adnam’s ale with a specially created crust which has the perfect texture to melt in the mouth, but holds together the lashings of gravy.”

The club sells about 600 pies on match days cooked by the club’s kitchen operations manager Carl Collins.

Mr Rieder added: “We tried to bring in a really good-quality product and we are delighted we are top of the league. It is fantastic. It is a cracking pie.”

And the pie has already found favour with some up-and-coming stars at Portman Road.

Youngsters taking part in the Ipswich Town Charitable Trust holiday soccer camps at the club couldn’t wait to tuck into the traditional match day delicacy, declaring them the “best pies ever”.

Troy Brumpton, nine, said: “They are yummy and they smell really nice.”

n What do you think of the Portman Pie? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk