This Uruguayan Meat Factory Made Britain’s Most Iconic Pies

Fray Bentos. For many British people, these words bring to mind meatballs in tomato sauce, the comforting aroma of pie, maybe corned beef sandwiches.

I pie with my little eye...
I pie with my little eye…

The precursor to microwave dinners, Britain started cracking open the now legendary canned steak and kidney pies and meat products in the 1960s, and both celebrity chefs and time-poor cooks are still eating them today.

The Fray Bentos story begins in 1863 in the eponymous town, located not in global beef powerhouse Argentina but in tiny neighbour Uruguay.

Despite closing the business 116 years later, the Frigorífico Anglo Del Uruguay meatpacker—not just a factory but an entire complex nicknamed the “Anglo” neighbourhood—in its current guise as the Paisaje Industrial Fray Bentos (Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape) made the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site list earlier this month.

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