This January 23rd is National Pie Day, and pie lovers should use the opportunity to enjoy a piece and celebrate a sweeter slice of our history.
If you’ve ever tried to bake a pie crust from scratch and had it turn out less than perfect, don’t be too hard on yourself. It has taken centuries to perfect this staple American comfort food.
Although the phrase “there is nothing more American than apple pie” is widely known, pies were originally adapted from a traditional Greek and Roman dish. The Greeks were thought to be the originators of the famous pie shell, which they created by using a flour-water paste closely resembling pastry crust. Following suit, the Romans took the pastry shell and added a variety of meat to the mix.
This popular version of the meat pie spread throughout Europe and became especially loved by the English. It was also the English who first introduced fruit pies to the world, having originally called the desserts ‘pasties.’
The Pilgrims brought these sweet and savory English pie recipes across the ocean during their voyage to the New World in the 1600’s. The first American sweet pies with edible crusts emerged in the 1800’s; the same sweet, tangy, irresistible pies embraced today.
Since that time, pie has come a long way and transformed into an essential component of any holiday gathering. With so many different flavors of pie available, most everyone can find a pie that is sure to satisfy his or her taste. In fact, pie has become such a cultural phenomena that food critics have speculated it may one day surpass popularity of the cupcake.
Bakeries and restaurants especially have taken an interest in pie and made it a prominent feature on their menus. Village Inn, for example, has become the “go-to” restaurant for The Best Pie In America® offering award winning pie choices to its guests.
Society has even praised pie as a national symbol through songs such as “American Pie” by Don McLean, “Honey Pie” by the Beatles and “Sweet Potato Pie” by James Taylor. Did you know about all these songs with pie in them?
- Don McLean, “American Pie”
- Bob Dylan, “Country Pie”
- The Beatles, “Honey Pie”
- Kenny Chesney, “Key Lime Pie”
- Oasis, “Magic Pie”
- Neil Diamond, “Porcupine Pie”
- James Taylor, “Sweet Potato Pie”
- Joan Baez, “Where’s My Apple Pie”
- Bette Midler, “Blueberry Pie”
- Blind Boy Fuller, “I Want Some of Your Pie”
- The Strawbs, “Lemon Pie”
- Skip & Flip, “Cherry Pie”
- The Subdudes, “Sugar Pie”
- Led Zeppelin, “Custard Pie”
- The Beatles, “Wild Honey Pie”
- Ja’Net DuBois, “Movin’ On Up (The Jefferson’s Theme)”
- Danielson Famile, “Fathom the Nine Fruits Pie”
- Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, “Dragonfly Pie”
- Home Items, “Pie for Breakfast”
- Four Tops, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
We also continue to enjoy pie through inclusion in celebrations such as Easter, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In fact, pie has become so loved that there is even a national holiday recognizing its contribution to American culture and history.
This January 23rd is National Pie Day, and pie lovers should use the opportunity to enjoy a piece and celebrate a sweeter slice of our history. View the full size infographic here