This has been the year of the pie. From home cooks to Michelin-star chefs, excitement about pie in all its forms seems to be at an all-time high, and we think we know why. Pies are a showcase for seasonal ingredients and regional tastes. They’re nostalgic, and they are incredibly versatile—pie is everything that people want right now.
Pie’s Humble Origins
Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to make pie. The crust was simple, and it usually contained meat or other savory fillings. Pilgrims brought English-style “pye” recipes with them to the colonies. Pies were practical because the crusts preserved the fillings and kept them fresh during the winter months.
Pies have come a long way since then. They’re baked, fried, sweet, savory, extravagant, and simple, and although they’ve been around for a long time, pies are having a moment right now.
Pie Is a Showcase For All That Is Seasonal
Food tastes better when it’s made from produce that’s in season. Because the filling is the star, pie is the perfect showcase for what’s seasonal. Anyone who’s had a slice of blueberry pie in mid-August knows this to be true.
Pie Is Regional
Pie transports people to places they’ve been and places they want to be. From Greek Spanakopita and Moroccan Bisteeya to Florida Key Lime pie and Pennsylvania Shoofly pie, much like the international food trend, pie provides an authentic taste of a place that people are looking for in today’s cooking.
Pie Is Nostalgic
Childhood memories of food are at the heart of so many recent culinary trends. Everyone has memories of pie—whether it’s the apple pie that grandma used to always have on her counter or the coconut cream pie mom would make every year for your birthday, pie has a special way of bringing us back to happy times in our past.
Pie Is Versatile
Pie is nothing more than a crust with filling—which means it can be so much more than a crust with filling. It is a culinary blank canvas and chefs love its versatility.
- Pie works with dietary restrictions. This is key for today’s diners. It doesn’t take many adjustments for a pie to be vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and so on. (Preferably not all at the same time, okay?)
- Pie can be elegant or rustic. You’re just as likely to find a dazzling slice of pie on the menu at a high-end restaurant as you are to find a flaky pie bursting with juices at the local farmers market. The best thing about it? One is not inherently better than the other.
- Pie can take many forms. Think deep-dish, free-form, mini, and the increasingly popular hand pies. Pies are limited only by your imagination.
Read more about what’s coming up in the culinary world with the latest in FDR Food & Beverage Trends!
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