January 23rd Is National Pie Day

National Pie Day, which is celebrated each year on January 23rd, was created by the American Pie Council in 1986 to commemorate Crisco’s 75th anniversary of “serving foods to families everywhere.”

The American Pie Council encourages pie lovers across the country to honor pie by hosting a pie baking and tasting party, taking a pie to the office and sharing it with co-workers, or holding a pie sale for charity.

“Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the fun and fellowship with friends and family need to end, too…Throwing a pie party for National Pie Day on Jan. 23, is a great way to beat those post-holiday blues, reconnect with the ones you love, add some fun to the workplace, or perhaps even raise some money for a favorite charity.” – Linda Hoskins, executive director, American Pie Council

pie [pahy]: n.
1. a baked food having a filling of fruit, meat, pudding, etc., prepared in a pastry-lined pan or dish and often topped with a pastry crust: apple pie; meat pie.
2. a layer cake with a filling of custard, cream jelly, or the like: chocolate cream pie.

Believe it or not, pie has a great and vast history throughout the world.

– The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks.

– Pies made by the Greeks and Romans were sometimes made in reeds, which were used to hold the filling, and were not for eating with the filling.

– It is believed that the Romans were the first to publish a pie recipe; one for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.

– According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “pie” was a popular one in the 14th century.

– Early on in their history, pies were made mostly of meat; originally appearing in England as early as the 12th century. The pie crust was referred to as a “coffin” and there was more crust than filling.

– Often times the meat pies were made using birds, and the legs were left hanging out over the side of the pie dish to be used as handles.

Knowing that, the well-known children’s rhyme about blackbirds in a pie makes a lot more sense…..

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

– Fruit pies and tarts are thought to have first been made in the 1500s. England’s history says the first cherry pie was baked for Queen Elizabeth I.

– America was first introduced to pie by the English settlers, who would cook their pies in long narrow pans called “coffins” – a nod to their old-world English crust.

– As in Roman times, early American pie crusts were not meant to be eaten, but rather serve has a way to hold the filling during baking. It wasn’t until the American Revolution that term “crust” took over for “coffin” and was enjoyed as part of the pie eating experience.

Over the years, pie has grown to become known as “the most traditional American dessert” – with apple, of course, being the most American of them all. Pecan pie, by the way (which is one of this southern girl’s favorite) is the third most popular choice among the country’s pie lovers.

Aside from eating and enjoying your favorite pie as part of National Pie Day on January 23rd, the American Pie Council invites you to celebrate your love of pie this April…..

– Register for the 2012 APC Crisco National Pie Championships being held on April 27-29, 2012 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL. Entry forms are available on The American Pie Council’s site, www.piecouncil.org.

– If you’d rather eat and not bake, attend the APC Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco, featuring the Never Ending Pie Buffet, April 28-29, 2012 in Celebration, Fla.

Check with your local restaurants that serve pie – they just might be serving a free slice with your meal on January 23rs in honor of National Pie Day!

Happy National Pie Day, America!! How are you going to celebrate?

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