1. Being palm-sized means...
You can surreptitiously, yet easily, eat it during meetings while pretending to cough. Feast magazine's Polish creamy mushroom-filled pasties are our pick, with a just-right buttery pastry — not too dry but not too flaky to leave telltale crumbs in your moustache or on your shirt.
2. It's a great way to teach kids geometry (and yourself, too)
3. And a very sneaky way to make kids like fruit — just wrap it in pastry
Like these Dutch apples and pears in pyjamas (those clever Dutch mums).
4. It's a three-bite, single-serve wonder
You'll never have to fill up on bread again thanks to this Moroccan lamb and pine nut cigar. Serve these high-rollers for breakfast or brunch alongside your poached eggs and your toast will be looking on in jealousy.
5. It's difficult to fry a whole regular-sized pie
Or this Brazilian pasteis filled with guava paste (below) from Feast. Who doesn't love deep-fried sweet dough?
6. Party pies were invented for a reason
7. Every bite is the perfect pastry-to-filling ratio
An important consideration when you've invested elbow grease into making Shane Delia's flaky pide dough for Maltese pork and pea pastizzi.
8. Think of a hand pie as a meat-filled candy
Addictive. And you can't just stop at one. Pop these Lebanese baharat-spiced beef and pine nut pies, called sambousik, in your mouth.
9. You can add booze to the dough
Take a leaf out of the Brazilian playbook and add cachaça (a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane) to your dough for these fried prawn pastries (pastels de camarão). This is Brazil! host Fernanda de Paula says, "cachaça will help the dough 'bubble' up and get crisp during frying." And the rest of the bottle comes in handy to make caipirinhas to go with your pastels, too, of course.
10. You can show off your crimping style
Argentinians have perfected the crimp (or repulgue) when it comes to empanadas, with a "crimp code" for various fillings so you'll never mix up your humita (top left) from your jamon y queso (bottom right).
11. And for those who are too lazy to crimp ...
When you need something no-fuss but nourishing to eat on the go. Then prepare your pumpkin and your tortilla...
12. You can do away with pie tins
13. Even ditch making pastry — cheat and use storebought
Use up all your leftover meat, and have party snacks ready in under an hour!
14. You're hand-span challenged
Then these are for you: Panzerotti is a filled thin bread pocket typical of Puglia, the most traditional filling being tomato and mozzarella. Small, deep-fried, addictive!
15. Or you have well-endowed hands
16. You can't afford plates or cutlery
Then a hand pie is your best friend, and you'll probably want to check out the rest of our hand pie recipes.
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