Who doesn’t love pie? With so many varieties of sweet and savory recipes, you could be sampling every kind for years to come. This endless array of pie does not come without a long history to accompany it. Since the 1300’s, pies and pastries have made up an important and long lasting portion of our diet.
Pie has extremely humble beginnings.The idea of the meat pie came about to keep meat moist and tender. Exposed in the clay oven, meat would be drained of its moisture and tenderness, leaving it tough and undesirable. Once people realized dough resembled clay, they packed mixtures of meat inside, creating a new juicy meal for consumption. The crust was created not only as a shell to hold and protect the pie’s contents, but was also as an easier, portable, container. Interestingly enough, the crust was often called the ‘coffin’ of the pie since the filling inside was cooked meat, or more morbidly, dead animal. That name wouldn’t go over to well today. Also different from today, the crust was not tasty and flakey but instead thick, tough, and mostly inedible. Due to this the cooked inside was picked out and eaten alone.
Historians like to credit the meat pie to Greeks, and sweet dessert pies are credited to the Romans. Though America is known for their sweet pies today, coming from England the pilgrims began with several savory recipes, only adding to the variety as they discovered and experimented with new ingredients. Contrary to popular belief the pumpkin pie was not in the first thanksgiving, and didn’t even become popular until the 1800’s. Pies underwent many alterations and tests to achieve their broad appeal today, and they retain their popularity by keeping old favorites like apple pie alive. However, variety in pie is still growing, and will likely never stop. You could stumble across a new favorite at any time, and isn’t that just a wonderful thing?