pie cart

Pie floater

A pie floater is a meal served at pie carts in Adelaide and elsewhere in South Australia. It was once more widely available in other parts of Australia but its popularity waned.

A pie floater consists of the traditional Australian meat pie sitting, usually inverted, in a plate of thick green pea soup. It is typically covered with tomato sauce (similar to ketchup) and, although subject to the taste of the individual consumer, mint sauce and salt and pepper are also traditionally added to complement the dish.

The addition of the pea soup provides extra flavour and dietary fibre, and extends what otherwise may be considered a snack to a full meal. Anthony Bourdain, Joe Cocker, Billy Connolly and Nigel Mansell are high profile fans of the pie floater.

In 2003, the pie floater was recognised as a South Australian Heritage Icon by the National Trust of Australia.

A well known version of the pie floater in Australia comes from Harry's Cafe de Wheels pie cart situated in Woolloomooloo, New South Wales. Harry's Cafe de Wheels is listed on the National Trust Register as an historic icon.

Across the rest of Australia, a similar taste experience can be found in a pea pie, a meat pie with a layer of mushy peas under the crust, often sold at local bakeries. A variation on the pie floater is to substitute the pea soup with mushy peas.

The Pie Floater also makes an appearance in the Discworld novel The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett, where it is sold by Fair Go Dibbler, one of a number of similar characters who sell "regional delicacies" across the Disc.

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