National Pie Day!

Sunday, January 23 is National Pie Day! I love pie, and will be having some on this very special day, my favorite, strawberry/rhubarb. I hope you enjoy some pie too!

From the National Pie Day website: Sponsored by the American Pie Council (yes, that’s a real thing!), National Pie Day lets us enjoy one of our favorite desserts guilt-free. After all, we’re celebrating a national holiday!

“While pie exists in some form all over the world, the United States has an inextricable relationship with the flaky dessert. From Don McLean’s epic song “American Pie” to expressions like “as American as apple pie,” our country embraces the pie — apple in particular — as a symbol of national pride.”


One of the oldest prepared foods, pie shows up in written recipes dating back as far as the ancient Romans. The first known pie recipe was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. The Romans made pies with a variety of meats, seafood, and fruit, and developed a dense pie similar to cheesecake. At sumptuous Roman feasts, pie played a role in several courses.

Until recently, pie crust was mostly used as a vehicle for filling. Unlike many of today’s luscious, buttery crusts, early pie crusts often didn’t get eaten at all. The crust acted as a container to keep the meat moist and prevent it from burning.

Pies first appeared in England in the 12th century, still mostly filled with meat. The dubious origin of some pie fillings gave rise to jokes and horror stories, almost always untrue. When the Puritans and other English settlers fled for the New World, they took pie with them. But although in current times, no American Thanksgiving table is complete without pumpkin and pecan pies, sweet pies didn’t make an appearance at the so-called “First Thanksgiving” and pumpkin pie didn’t become popular until the 1800s. Today, sweet pies overwhelmingly outsell savory pies, and pumpkin pie is an enduring fixture of the Thanksgiving meal.

Not to be confused with National Pi Day, National Pie Day has nothing to do with math and everything to do with that sweet American treat. Created in the 1970s by Charlie Papazian (who conveniently placed the day on his birthday), National Pie Day encourages us all to take a break with America’s favorite dessert.

So preheat your oven or visit your local bakery, grab a whole pie or a slice, and celebrate the simple, delicious pleasures of good pie. Enjoy!

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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23 Responses to National Pie Day!

  1. tracybham says:

    My favorite pie is pecan pie, but the only pie we have regularly is pumpkin pie.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Who doesn’t like pie? Well, some people, I suppose, but not me. Jackie loves cherry, which I don’t like at all, not being a fan of the fruit in general. But I will take most other pies (other than pumpkin) – apple, blueberry, peach, strawberry rhubarb, plus cream pies and chocolate pies, pecan pie (like Tracy), you can pretty much name it. I don’t think we have pie on the menu today, but we are going to the local Greenmarket after breakfast, so who knows what might be there? Two weeks ago there was this incredible looking pecan pie, Tracy, that we looked at as a guy bought it out from under us. There were about a zillion pecans on it.

    • I’m not really a nut pie person, I go for fruits and berries. My Mom and brother used to love lemon meringue best of all.

    • tracybham says:

      Jeff, I am very picky about buying pecan pies, I want them to be perfect. The one you describe sounds very good. And I hardly ever have one because I would have to eat all of it, and that would not be good.

      • tracybham says:

        Good question, Rick, I haven’t tried. I could probably make bar cookies that would be a decent approximation, but I just don’t bake that much.

        • I suppose if you only desire pecan pie annually, at the holidays, you could try such a thing then. Pies are often cut into six slices, so one a day for a week wouldn’t seem excessive, but I’ll bet you could buy a good one, slice it into sixths, then freeze them and thaw and eat occasionally.

          The Blue Raeven pie I show is wonderful and I consume the pie over five days. Fruit pies are lighter than pecan, mince or pumpkin, however.

  3. 1412064gk says:

    Like Tracy, I’m a fan of pecan pie. Diane favors apple pie.

  4. patti abbott says:

    neither my miother or grandmother baked pies. So I couldn’t make one to save myself. But I certainly am glad when I run into one. Any kind will do. Phil liked pecan. I guess my favorite would be lemon meringue. My father always looked for raisin pie but he only ever found it in Pennsylvania Dutch areas.

  5. patti abbott says:

    It looks like mine disappeared. My favorite is lemon meringue. My father always hoped for raisin but that was a rarity.

  6. rawdoncrawley says:

    Two other opinions on pies:

    In Massachusetts all the way
    From Boston down to Buzzards Bay
    They feed you till you want to die
    On rhubarb pie and pumpkin pie,
    And horrible huckleberry pie,
    And when you summon strength to cry,
    “What is there else that I can try?”
    They stare at you in mild surprise
    And serve you other kinds of pies.
    – Hilaire Belloc

    In Saki’s The Unbearable Bassington a couple encounter ‘a party of Americans, who were sitting in judgment on the cuisine of the country they were passing through, and finding few extenuating circumstances.
    ‘”What Mr. Lonkins wants is a real deep cherry pie,” announced a lady in a tone of dramatic and honest conviction.
    ‘“Why, yes, that is so,” corroborated a gentleman who was apparently the Mr. Lonkins in question; “a real deep cherry pie.”
    ‘“We had the same trouble way back in Paris,” proclaimed another lady; “little Jerome and the girls don’t want to eat any more crème renversée. I’d give anything if they could get some real cherry pie.”
    ‘“Real deep cherry pie,” assented Mr. Lonkins.
    “Way down in Ohio we used to have peach pie that was real good,” said Mrs. Lonkins, turning on a tap of reminiscence that presently flowed to a cascade. The subject of pies seemed to lend itself to indefinite expansion…’

  7. tracybham says:

    I remember now that my father loved mincemeat pie, so my mother would make one occasionally. He liked spicy things, like spice cake.

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