We’ve all heard the expression “as American as apple pie.” But apple pie may not be as American as you think. Not to mention that when you factor in the diversity of life in the “melting pot” of American culture, there’s hardly one way to enjoy apple pie. In fact, today there are practically infinite incarnations of this time-honored treat. Let’s take a closer look at the origins of apple pie, along with some tasty twists on tradition.
Tracing Apple Pie’s American Heritage
In short form, the answer to this question is an emphatic no. Why emphatic? Because as it turns out, apples aren’t indigenous to America. Rather, they came over with the Pilgrims from England, where they’d existed for thousands of years.
Historians believe that apple trees actually originated in Asia before making their way to England and finally crossing the Atlantic to America. Once there, however, they flourished. While just 70 varieties of apples existed in England in the 1600s, more than 14,000 varieties were under cultivation in the U.S. by the 1800s. Since that time, America has claimed a top spot among the planet’s most prolific apple producers.
You may be wondering if apple pie, at least, began in the U.S.? Not so, either. Pies were also introduced to the continent by the early settlers, although these were hardly the sweet, luscious versions we know and love today. Not only were they filled with meat and more savory than sweet, but they were also butter-free, meaning they had anything but the light, flaky, crave-worthy crusts of contemporary times.
So where did the expression “as American as apple pie” even come from? During World War II, soldiers fought “for mom and apple pie,” which evolved over time into the modern-day apple adage. And while it’s true that America can officially lay claim to being the birthplace of neither apples nor apple pie, the rampant spread of the fruit — and evolution of meat pie into beloved dessert — is an apt symbol for the remarkable growth and prosperity of the nation itself.
Pie Diversity: Three Picks and More
Whether or not apple pie originated here, let’s face it: today, there’s nothing more quintessentially American than digging into a hot, juicy slice of fresh-baked apple pie. But pulling off a pie worthy of this dessert legacy can be a challenge — particularly for time-strapped bakers. Enter every apple pie lover’s new best friend: mail order pies.
But these are just a small sampling of today’s apple pie offerings. Of course, you won’t know which you like best until you try them all. Consider it an act of another great American construct: diplomacy.
Ultimately, whether apple pies are American or not has little bearing on why we love them today. What does? Their sheer deliciousness. So whether you’re ordering up dessert for your holiday feast or just the perfect way to end a good, old-fashioned family dinner, mail order pies offer an amazing alternative to baking your own. Just don’t forget to order up the ice cream to go on top. But mail order food is so much more than pie and ice cream. Wondering what else we’ve got cooking? Shop our extensive inventory of gourmet foods and gifts today.