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About Pie

I don’t have to argue the reasons why pie is obviously both the best dessert around and the most efficient way of serving your favorite fruits. The elaborate and savory pies that most people are accustomed to eating with their holiday meals are a recent creation. For starters, pies haven’t always been sweet. Humans have been wrapping various foods in crust since the Greco-Roman times. The Greeks originated the pastry shell, stuffing it with various meats to preserve them for long journeys.

I don’t have to argue the reasons why pie is obviously both the best dessert around and the most efficient way of serving your favorite fruits. The elaborate and savory pies that most people are accustomed to eating with their holiday meals are a recent creation. For starters, pies haven’t always been sweet. Humans have been wrapping various foods in crust since the Greco-Roman times. The Greeks originated the pastry shell, stuffing it with various meats to preserve them for long journeys.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

During 12th century England, pies started to resemble something close to the ones that we enjoy today. They were originally called “Pyes,” and were more crust than anything else. Meats were stuffed into crusts that were called “Coffyns,” (probably because they held dead animals,) and were eaten by all social classes. During the 1500s, pies started to develop into desserts. According to English Traditions, the first cherry pie was made for, or made by, Queen Elizabeth I.

Due to it’s versatility and practicality, it was only natural that the British settlers brought Pie to America when they arrived in the early 1600s. Pioneer women who often served pies with their meals quickly dominated the pie and made it a staple part of the colonists’ diets.

Notable Americans further implanted pie into American food culture. First lady Martha Washington included several pie recipes in her personal cookbook called "Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery", which has since been copied and distributed. Author Mark Twain, in his book "A Tramp Abroad," mentioned the American foods he missed while in Europe, listing “Apple pie ... Peach pie. American mince pie. Pumpkin pie. Squash pie. All sorts of American pastry.”

Bumbleberry Pie

Bumbleberry Pie

Within the last century, pie seems to have popped up all over American pop culture. Notorious bank robber Butch Cassidy’s first criminal offense was attempting to steal a pie. The New York Times said in 1902, “Pie is the American synonym of prosperity, and its varying contents the calendar of the changing seasons.” Don Mclean, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley have all written songs that include lyrics about different kinds of pies. ABC's television series “Pushing Daisies” is centered around a man who owns a pie shop called "The Pie Hole". Also, in 1999, a movie called “American Pie” shocked audiences everywhere for using a pie in a new, explicit way.

Although cupcakes seem to have been the trending sweet for the last several years, it seems that pie is making a comeback. According to National Public Radio, trend-spotters have noted many more pie shops opening. Restaurants are offering pie happy hours, and some people have taken to replacing traditional cakes with festive pies at their weddings.