There is no question that when it comes to dessert, Americans choose pie. Here at Fill Your Plate, one of our favorites is the Farmer’s Mud Pie. From apple to cherry, from chocolate to banana cream, Crisco.com says the average American eats six slices of pie per year. This month, Americans everywhere will be celebrating National Pie Day on January 23rd by baking pies, buying pies, giving pies, and most importantly, eating pies. Grab your pie plate and get ready to celebrate!
Where Did Pie Come From?
- Although Americans have chosen pie as their national dessert, pie is not actually an American creation. The first pies are created by the ancient Egyptians over 4000 years ago.
- The first pies didn’t have the flaky crust we associate with pies today. Originally pie crust was created as a vessel to hold the contents and generally was not edible.
- From Egypt, pies traveled to ancient Rome where the first published pie recipe can be found instructing how to create a pie filled with rye-crusted goat cheese and honey.
- The technique of wrapping meat, spices, and other ingredients inside a dough wrapper and then baking was also used as portable food for long journeys.
- In the 15th century, the English were fond of savory pies and often used cooked birds placed atop the pie to indicate what kind of pie it was. This explains why a cooked peacock perched on a peacock pie was served at the coronation of King Henry VI.
- Queen Elizabeth is credited for creating the first ever cherry pie, a break from the standard tradition of pies that featured savory fillings.
- American settlers brought pie to the New World and the first pumpkin pie graced the tables of the second Thanksgiving in 1623.
Pie by the Numbers
- 186 million pies are sold in grocery stores each year.
- If you placed all the pies sold in American grocery stores in one year end to end they would more than encircle the Earth.
- 1 out of 5 Americans have eaten an entire pie themselves.
- While 32% of Americans like their pie without any crust on top, nearly 10% eat their pie crust first.
Who Makes the Best Pie?
- According to the American Pie Council, when asked which TV mom would make the best pie, people chose Carol Brady of the Brady Bunch over second place finisher Claire Huxtable of the Cosby Show and third place mom, Bree Van de Camp from Desperate Housewives.
- In the same survey, people chose their own mom more than 25% of the time only narrowly beating out pies bought in stores.
- However, other sources say that 25% of American women believe they make the best pie.
Types of Pie
Wikipedia’s page on pie lists several different kinds of pie, the most common types are:
- Filled Pie – This type of pie is also called single crust and only has crust on the bottom of the pie. Most pumpkin pies are baked this way.
- Top-Crust Pie – This type of pie is sometimes called cobbler and features filling covered with a flaky or crumbly crust.
- Two-Crust Pie – This type of pie has a crust on the bottom and another crust over the filling. The two crusts are attached at the edges to completely enclose the filling.
How to Celebrate National Pie Day
Here are some great suggestions from the American Pie Council for how to celebrate National Pie Day on January 23rd.
- Show your appreciation for those who serve your community and bake a pie or two for your “hometown heroes” at the police station, fire station, or other community service organization.
- Warm up the cold January day with a savory pie as a special treat for the family.
- Make, bake, or buy pie and take it into the office to show your coworkers how much you appreciate them.
- Take time to teach your children how to make your favorite pie and share memories of sharing pie with your family when you were younger.