National Pie Day:
A celebration lasting the entire day of January 23rd annually, is a day devoted to one of the most delicious, versatile, and ubiquitous foods in the US- pies. We have days honoring important things in our lives, so why not honor the slices of goodness which have pleased our taste buds since time immemorial?
|2022||23rd January||Sunday||United States|
|2023||23rd January||Monday||United States|
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Why National Pie Day?
Pies are sweet; pies are savory; they can be vegan; they can have meat! Pies are probably one of the most versatile foods we’ve come across. They’re easy to cook, and you can probably cook a different sort of pie every day for months before getting bored of pies. If you think they’re diverse in just the way they’re filled, I’m not sorry to say you’re wrong. According to the American Pie council, the world thinks so as well- 186 million units of pies are sold every year in US grocery stores!
If we look at the crust, there can be a single crust (with a single pastry of goodness lining the baking dish below the filling), and the top is left open. Whereas the top crust fits the conventional mental image of a pie where the top is covered in pastry as well. All those pies with a soft or flaky looking, golden-brown crust, either plain or with intricate patterns (dripping with butter and ice cream in some recipes), are examples of top crust pies.
Usually, shortcrust pastry is used for the purpose, but that’s not all; it’s not necessary to restrict yourself to pastry pie crusts. Take a trick or two from cheesecakes and make a crust out of biscuits. Take those Thanksgiving leftovers and make a crust out of mashed potatoes (fill it with gallons of that sweet turkey and gravy, too!), or go simple and use bread crumbs. Anything is a pie if you try hard enough!
This diversity in the pie is linked to its conception. It’s theorized that the name “Pie” comes from the bird “magpie,” which collects anything and everything it’s its nest. In medieval times, pies contained whatever meat people could get their hands on, kind of like the stew’s history (another food quite frequently enjoyed in the States). The creation of dishes mainly relies on convenience and the resources available. Recipes that can make anything palatable are valued, and pie is one of them, which a certain versatility and simplicity never quite seen before. It’s just a filling enclosed in a crust! So simple, yet so special.
The Pie has quite a colorful history. There are records of chicken pie recipes and pie-like dessert preparations dating back to Pharaoh Ramesses II’s time. These proto-pies were often like freeform crusty galettes, and the crust was of ground oats and barley with a dash of honey. This gradually developed into the pie we know and love thanks to the Greeks and the Romans.
Pies were made more to preserve the meat fillings and not to be delicious treats on their own, but evolution, of course, works on food as well. Ancient Greeks are credited for the use and development of small fruit-filled pastries, and the Romans are finally said to come up with the approach of baking covered meats in pastry which is quite like our modern-day approach of making savory meat pies. Roman pie dough uses rye flour with vegetable oils, most prominently olive oil.
After that, Roman books (most prominently the Apicius) are rife with mentions of recipes similar to the modern pie. The creation of a food item so good, it surely deserves a day to itself.
In modern times, the Apple Pie is America’s favorite (liked by a whopping 36 million people, a fact courtesy of the American Pie Council). Something about it is quintessentially American: the golden-brown buttery crust, the flaky texture, the sweet melt-in-you-mouth-filling. No wonder it’s the fan-favorite, followed closely by Pumpkin Pie (thanks, Harry Potter!), Chocolate Cream Pie (blame the French for their chocolate tarts), and cherry pie. The day stands for all the tasty pies a mother makes for her children; a person makes for their spouse. The very embodiment of the word “comfort.”
How Can We Celebrate National Pie Day:
National Pie Day is a holiday to celebrate one of the best and most fun foods to ever exist, so its celebration should be just as fun!
Have a Literal Pie Day
Why not take the “National Pie Day” literally and have an entire day where you have as many different types of pie as possible? Start your day with the classic Apple Pie, move to lunch with a mince pie, and then dinner with the flavorful and different Pumpkin Pie! Mix and match, include your favorite pie into the fest, try each family member’s favorite pie. The opportunities are endless!
Create Your Ideal Pie
Why not create your pie with your favorite ingredients? Mix and match like the melting pot of cultures the United States is: chicken wings pie? Why not? If it exists, there can be a pie for it. Share your creativity with the world with #NationalPieDay!
Bake a Pie Together
Call the kids to the kitchen, make and bake with them. This is a great opportunity to introduce your tater tots to the world of cooking and baking. Maybe this is the day when they finally find their calling as a baker and chef, or this is the beginning of a family tradition that might continue for generations to come. The children will welcome a change of routine and a chance to create something and share it with friends and family finally, and of course, social media.
Sky’s the limit to what you can do to make a mundane day a fun celebration instead! Show some love and share your party pie pictures with your friends; make them jealous!
Interesting facts About National Pie Day:
- One in five Americans has admitted to eating an entire pie by themselves! One can be quite voracious when it comes to pie…
- A very small proportion of people (9% according to the American Pie Council) eat their pie crust first. There are weirdos everywhere, aren’t they?
- The chocolate pie has romantic connotations for a significant portion of the population. A candle night dinner ending in a chocolate pie? C’est la vie.
- The pie was declared a pagan form of pleasure and banned for 16 years following 1644. An underground black market trading of pie ensued.
History of National Pie Day:
National Pie Day‘s saga started with a teacher named Charlie Papazian who liked pies so much that he had a birthday pie instead of a birthday cake. The man declared his birthday, January 23rd, as the National Pie Day and went on to be the founder of the American Pie Council- which is known for its meticulous contributions to all things pie. They’ve provided the world with significant and interesting facts on the pie, educating everyone about it, anywhere and everywhere.