Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Is Apple Pie American?
Shelly has asked a very pertinent question that I think applies to all of us in some way or another.
"I was thinking this morning, as I ate a piece of apple pie for breakfast, about how apple pie is supposed to be the quintessential hallmark of classic americana. But, is apple pie really an American invention? I mean, it, along w/ baseball, is the underpinning of our fair country but what if it's not even an American-based pastry!? Is it possible that it's a direct derivative of Apple Streudel, (which is so German, we dare not associate w/ it)?"
What I have discovered, is that apple pie is in fact an old English dessert. The recipe posted here is from 1381.
"In England, apple pie is a dessert of enduring popularity, eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream, double cream or custard."
I think we have claimed it to be our own in many ways. And we have changed the recipe many times. Originally there was not sugar in apple pie and it was a more tart dessert, often served with cheddar cheese.
Plus, apple trees are not native to the United States. They were carefully brought here from Europe along with the desire for this excellent pie. The phrase, "As American as apple pie!" may have possibly been instigated by the Apple Marketing Board of New York State to increase apple sales.
Thus, we conclude that Apple Pie, as much as Americans love it, is not originally an American invention. However, I may have to make one tonight as now I have been craving apple pie for several days.
And I'll give ten points to anyone who can decipher the apple pie recipe.