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The History of Pie | HistoryNet

by Enochadmin

My favourite three-letter phrase within the English language? P-I-E. However although it’s one of many first phrases you study as a toddler — and one of many easiest and shortest phrases in English — the pie has been round since earlier than the existence of both america of America or the nation of England. Pies are even older than the English language.

The origins of pie date again to the early Egyptian tradition. Their pie had a honey filling encased in a crusty cake comprised of barley, oats, rye or wheat. One Egyptian pill created earlier than 2000 B.C. offered a recipe for rooster pie. Each sound fairly scrumptious, and it exhibits the nation preferred each candy and savory pies. The traditional Greeks received in on the pie enterprise across the fifth century B.C. The pie pastry is talked about within the performs of Aristophanes, and heeven suggests there was a vocation of pastry chef, completely separate from a baker.  


It was the Roman Empire that expanded on the protecting of pies. They made a pastry of flour, oil and water to cowl up their meat of selection, nevertheless it initially was not meant to be consumed with the savory inside — it was strictly added to protect the juices. “Apicius,” a Roman cookbook although to have been written anyplace from the primary century A.D. to the fifth century A.D., has many recipes that embrace a pie casing. The intelligent Romans even developed a cheesecake known as “placenta,” which had a pastry base. Due to their growth of roadways, Roman concoctions traveled throughout Europe with a vibrant commerce system. So the world of pies expanded throughout the continent.  


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Nevertheless, it was Nice Britain that vaulted pies to the next stage. Definitions of pie from the 1300s clearly acknowledged it was both meat or fish lined in a pastry. Just like the Romans, these coverings had been meant to comprise the savory meals inside as a substitute of being eaten with it. The pastry topping additionally served to protect the meat or fish inside on lengthy voyages overseas and as an area saver for ships with restricted storage. This eradicated the necessity to convey alongside a cook dinner and the stay animals it might take to create the pies.  

The one knock on British pies was the terminology related to them. The phrase pie was spelled “pye,” which wasn’t so unhealthy, however the pastry protecting was known as a “coffyn,” extra steadily spelled at the moment as “coffin.” Many pie coverings had been really an oblong form, thus justifying the moniker. Nonetheless, this was positively a time period you didn’t need to affiliate with such a scrumptious deal with, however extra on that later. One unhealthy behavior when serving fowl in a pastry was to go away the chook’s legs hanging outdoors of the protecting to make it simpler to choose up. This technique was actually a crude presentation not appropriate for contemporary sensibilities.  

In the course of the period of knights in armor and damsels in England, pies turned a spotlight at opulent banquets. It turned vogue to take away the protecting to showcase the inside delicacies. (Aside from instances like Arya Stark’s revenge pie in “Sport of Thrones”). The flowery pies included on this interval had been typically outlandish. Think about an enormous pie that contained musicians or jesters. There have been few limits to the lengths these medieval individuals would discover. But when you concentrate on it, at the moment’s stunts contain typically placing an individual inside a big cake for birthdays and different occasions — even British nursery rhymes talked about “4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie.” Some thought this only a tall story, however royalty and aristocracy actually would try to impress their visitors by creating pies with stay animals inside.  

Geoffrey Chaucer branched out to pastries with fruit contained inside. He printed a recipe for apple pie lengthy earlier than it turned synonymous with mothers showcasing the wholesomeness of conventional American values. Along with the apples, substances included figs, pears and raisins however didn’t comprise any sugar. (Seems like a wholesome model of pie at the moment, utilizing the pure sweeteners throughout the fruits.)  

A letter exists from a baker to Jane Seymour, third spouse of Henry VIII stating, “… hope this pasty reaches you in higher situation to the final one …” exhibiting royalty continued to indulge within the delicacies.  


In the midst of the 1500s, England created a brand new sort of pie particularly for Queen Elizabeth I. The very first documented cherry pie was made particularly for the queen. No point out of her response to the style is recorded, however pastries continued to be a staple in England. When pie costs turned too inflated for many commoners, King Richard II issued an ordinance limiting the ceiling on the price inside London’s metropolis limits.   

Over time, Nice Britain continued to develop many varieties of pies. In Scotland, they’ve a Scotch pie (or mutton pie). As with pies with steak or kidney fillings, mutton pie is usually seasoned with copious quantities of pepper. Typically the within of the pie may also embrace potatoes, eggs, baked beans or gravy to enhance the meat.  

Even the British miners developed their very own model of pies that catered to their environment underground known as Cornish pasties. These had been full of beef or venison, potatoes and rutabagas or typically simply fruit. Like in earlier days, these pasties would final an entire week, being rolled up in a paste manufactured from flour and lard. As soon as baked, the hardened crust created a seal for the meals inside. They had been additionally simply tucked right into a miner’s pocket till wanted. 


So when did pie first journey to what would develop into the unique 13 colonies? It could sound cliché however the first pies arrived on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims at Cape Cod in 1620. (Bear in mind the pies made for lengthy ship voyages?) Sadly, the primary Thanksgiving didn’t point out any pie being consumed.  

Tastier pies had been on the horizon, as colonial America contained such sweeteners as maple syrup, cane syrup, molasses and honey collected from imported English bees. The very first American cookbook, dated 1796, contained a recipe for “Pompkin Pudding,” which was baked in a crust. Sorts of the principal substances included pumpkins, blueberries, pear, apple and quince. The recognition of pies alongside the East Coast grew, and because the nation expanded west, pies went alongside for the trip. The fillings of the pies grew, as nicely, on the westward trek with cream, custard, lemons, coconuts, blackberries, strawberries and lots of extra.  


When the American Civil Warfare erupted in 1861, pies had been consumed throughout each side of the Mason-Dixon Line. And some residents used individuals’s common love of pie to wage the conflict.  

On Sept. 12, 1861, a “free coloured girl” named Mrs. Welton was arrested for promoting poisoned pies to Union troopers on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. Pittsburgh was a hotbed of poison pie incidents, as nicely. A resident, Mrs. Nevins, managed to dispatch her husband, a retuning soldier, through a poisoned pie. She joined one other Pittsburgh girl named Grinder in garnering a sentence of dying.  

Arsenic and strychnine had been the precept culprits put into lethal pies. Nevertheless, girls within the South branched out with such death-dealing pie substances as floor glass and diamond mud gathered from a jeweler’s flooring.  

Members of the 52nd Massachusetts Infantry stationed in Louisiana had been explicit targets of feminine Southerners. After the reoccupation of Baton Rouge in late December 1862, this Yankee unit by chance burned down the state capitol constructing. That, mixed with the haughty attitudes of the Northerners, compelled the native women to realize a little bit of revenge on the invaders. One Bay State soldier had earlier been writing house about how a lot he missed his mom’s custard pie. By February, 1863, he wrote house that his “captain had forbidden them to purchase any pies from these Insurgent girls.” A comrade had “purchased one yesterday however was lifeless at the moment.”  

Even the aged received in on the pie motion. A grandmother in Plaquemine, Louisiana, throughout the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, had come house to seek out her 12-year-old grandson murdered by the occupying Federals for making rifle cartridges at house. She set about to battle again the one method she knew how, which was to incorporate some floor glass into pies she offered to troopers on the streets in Baton Rouge. 

Not all lethal pies had been intentional: Accidents brought on a few of the individuals to move away from consuming pies. On Dec. 1, 1864, a Minnesota newspaper lamented the poisoning of seven enlisted males from consuming a cracker pie. Fortuitously, nobody died, and it was found “arsenic had been utilized by mistake for tartaric acid.” Saleratus, the precursor to baking powder, contained some harmful properties and when not combined proper was deadly. 


A much less stomach-churning controversy over pies arose again in Boston within the mid-1800s. At present, there usually are not many individuals in america who haven’t heard of the well-known Boston cream pie. However every time somebody thinks they’ve proof of its true origin, one other document is discovered to refute the precise 12 months the favored pie was first made.  

Native legend has the pie being created in 1856. Claims have it being served for the grand opening of Boston’s Parker Home. Nevertheless, many can not or won’t clarify the existence of the Dedham Cream Pie. Printed recipes of the tasty Dedham, Massachusetts, pie come out across the identical time, and one recipe for it was printed within the metropolis of Boston. The individual documenting the Dedham dessert was a feminine doctor and nurse.         


Finally, the pie made its strategy to the Americas through totally different European cultures. As an illustration, the Spanish introduced over their model of the pie, the empanada. The title actually interprets into “enbreaded” or “wrapped in bread.” These treats had been variously full of meat, cheese, tomatoes or corn, amongst different meals. As soon as they crossed the ocean to North and South America, many empanadas had been baked however topic to being fried as nicely.  

Like a pastry, the dough is just folded over the substances inside. The contents and shapes might differ depending on the place they’re situated, however the precept is identical. One metropolis in Louisiana embraced these savory treats, dubbing them “Natchitoches meat pies.” They’re served in eating places and even at comfort shops proper off the I-49 exit and are available delicate or spicy beef or full of crawfish. Don’t despair for those who stay distant, as they’re even frozen and despatched throughout america boxed up.  

The Italians adopted go well with with a beautiful rendition of a savory pie known as a calzone. It’s virtually like a pizza folded over, and is widespread throughout the U.S. 


Within the early 1900s, pies went from being utilized in warfare to being the main focus of a conflict towards them. Because the nation launched into a nationwide well being motion, pie turned the main focus of a smear marketing campaign. Girls Residence Journal printed two articles condemning the favored dessert, with the creator, Sarah Tyson Rorer, stating: “The within of a pie is injurious [and] pies and desserts ae indigestible.”  

Because the Nineteen Fifties, although, pie has returned to being the phenomenon it deserves to be handled as. The vary of fillings has solely elevated over time, together with Key lime, potato chips and Oreos. So the subsequent time you dig right into a pie of any taste, take into consideration the lengthy journey it took over centuries, oceans and continents to get to you.

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