Incoming pie! The story of food fights

It was a hot, dusty day at the O.K. Corral. Long ‘bout 3 p.m., two men squared off on the street, mere feet apart. Those that were both curious and brave stood to the side to see which would prevail.

Reaching quickly to his side, one of the men grabbed his weapon and said, “I’ve got a tomato and I’m not afraid to use it!” The crowd gasped.

His opponent fired back, “You’re done for. I’ve got a custard pie.” It took just moments for the loser to be covered in sugar, eggs and crust. To add insult to injury, it was a deep dish pie. His tomato on the ground, he bowed his head and snuck away.

OK, it’s a bit dramatic, but food fights have been a staple in comedy. They regularly appear as slapstick pranks … a cheap way to get a good laugh. Then there are the real food fights. In Spain, it’s La Tomatina, a day where residents and visitors hurl tomatoes at one another. In Italy it’s oranges and in Britain it’s custard pies. This week we look at food fights where they’ve happened and how you can stage your own. No doubt it will be a mess-terpiece.