Why Americans Love Their Apple Pie

You've heard the phrase "as American as apple pie." What makes apple pie so American? For one thing, we eat a lot of it, along with other fruit pies. But the history of pie in America shows that the pioneers changed the European idea of pie into something really good.  

The pie tradition of the New England colonies had come from old England with the settlers, who transformed the savory kidney and mincemeat pies of the British Isles into sweet pies filled with fruits that grew well along the Atlantic Coast. The crusts changed, too. They were lighter and flakier because lard from pigs was more abundant in the Colonies than tallow from cows. (Sugar and spices were imported to the Colonies from Britain, which controlled most trade.) In 1892, Rudyard Kipling described the Northeast as “the great American pie belt,” a title that traditionalists claimed proudly. As the population moved west, the pie recipes did, too.

Pie-eating could give one a bad reputation at times, and around the turn of the 20th century there was a campaign against pie. But Americans always return to the pastry we love. Read the history of pie in America at Smithsonian.

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