Think of your favorite dessert. Maybe it’s ice cream, or brownies, or candy, or cookies, or even better– pie. When we think of pie, most of us think of a classic apple pie, but the sweet-tart cherry pie deserves a place next to its brother on the dessert tray. Pies come in all types.
The pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, the blueberry pies in the summertime, pecan pies at Christmas. So, do you like your pie sharp and tart, or do you prefer a more sweet and smooth pie? Today’s the best day to have a pie!
The History of Pie
To learn more about the tangy cherry pie, we must first dive into the history of pies as a dessert. Historians believe the first pie was made by the early Romans, who came up with the idea through the Greeks. The ancient Roman pie was quite different than the desserts of today. These pies were often made with a sweet or savory filling put inside a reed.
The reed plant was meant to hold the filling, but the reeds were not eaten, just as a container for the filling which was scooped out. The Roman pie recipes were not always clear, and the fillings could have been made with a variety of ingredient combinations.
As the Romans spread their knowledge of pie, they began to frequent Europe in the 14th century. The Oxford English Dictionary shows that the word pie became most frequently used in this era, as recipes spread across Europe. Historians later discovered that the first written pie recipe came from the Romans and included a filling of rye flour, goat cheese, and honey.
The first European pies were not those we know today. Often called “pyes”, they had quite a grotesque recipe. These pies were meat pies made with a variety of fowl and small prey. The pie crust was called the “coffyn” and many of these pies were mostly crust with tiny amounts of filling. In pies using fowl as a filling, the legs of the fowl were jammed into the crust and used as handles to eat the pie!
Fruit pies began to develop in the 1500s. The first time a cherry pie recipe was served was to Queen Elizabeth I in England! As the pies spread to America, they were often served in Roman style, where the crust was discarded after the filling had been eaten. Researchers assume that the term “crust” as we know it today was created to replace “coffyn” during the Revolutionary War! Many centuries later, pies have become one of the “most traditional American deserts” with many using the phrase “as American as apple pie”!
Fun Facts About (Cherry) Pies!
It’s no surprise that pies are a famous choice in the dessert world. In fact, they are so popular there is actually an entire American Pie Council devoted to this dessert! If you’re not a pie expert, here are some fun pie facts that may surprise and delight you:
- In the United States, there is a town called Pie Town, New Mexico!
- The largest pie ever made was weighed in around 10,540 kilograms, or 23,236.7 pounds!
- Around $700 million worth of pies are sold in groceries around the world each year!
- 47% of people immediately think of pie when asked to explain something comforting!
- Starting in the 1890’s, “pie” was a common word to describe something simple, thus creating the term “easy as pie”!
- Around 20% of Americans have claimed to have eaten an entire pie by themselves– usually in one sitting!
- National Cherry Pie Day isn’t the only pie day, other flavors have their own days such as blueberry, strawberry-rhubarb, original strawberry, and Boston Cream!
- Similar to the early Roman recipes, many people enjoy eating only the filling. Only 9% of people prefer crust pizza first!
How to Celebrate National Cherry Pie Day
Thankfully, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate this day! If you enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen, consider baking a cherry pie today to celebrate. Then, invite over friends or family to sit down and have a slice of the warm, tart pie you just baked. If you’re looking ofr a bit more creativity, consider making a variant of the traditional cherry pie. Some of these hybrid recipes include cherry pie with mix-ins like cinnamon, orange, blueberry, pecans, and chocolate chips.
Want to use this day as an excuse to get out of the house? Consider stopping by your favorite bakery or pie shop and order a slice of cherry pie. Invite a friend with you for company, and post a picture of your slice of pie with the hashtag #NationalCherryPieDay.
If you’re less into baking and eating sweets, consider an alternative method to pie eating. Instead, try enjoying a cherry pie scented product to pay tribute to the cherished dessert. Stores like Bath and Body Works and other body companies sell a variety of cherry pie scented lotions, soaps, perfumes, and sanitizers, some with the names of “Sugared Cherry Crisp” and “Classic Cherry Pie.”
If you want to take it a step further, relax at home with a tall glass of Stanly’s Cherry Pie Pinot Noir wine or a different cherry pie inspired wine. Consider also purchasing a pie (specifically cherry pie) scented candle to burn while you enjoy a slice of pie or a glass of pie wine!
Whether you’re a passionate baker or not, there are plenty of ways for you to celebrate this dessert– whether its by drink, food, or body product! So, spend today celebrating a classically refreshing and tart dessert that has a history as rich as the pie itself!