The Pleasures of Wine… and Pie?

Did you know that American Pie Day is just five days away?

The date for 2011 is Sunday, January 23.

Created by the American Pie Council, National Pie Day is dedicated to the celebration of pie. As part of our American heritage, this day is a perfect opportunity to pass on the love and enjoyment of pie eating and pie making to future generations.

And did you know that certain types of pie match beautifully with certain types of wine? More on that in a moment. But first, a few fascinating facts about pie, courtesy of the APC…

* Pie has been around since the days of the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in “reeds,” which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling – not for eating with the filling.

* The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe, as the Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word pie was popular in the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey concoction.

* The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the 12th century. The crust of the pie was referred to as “coffin.” There was actually more crust than filling. Often, these pies were made using fowl and the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I.

* Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long, narrow pans, calling them “coffins” like the crust in England. As in Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking. It was during the American Revolution that the term “crust” was used instead of “coffyn.”

* Over the years, pie has evolved to become what it is today “the most traditional American dessert.” Pie has become so much a part of American culture throughout the years that we now commonly use the term “as American as apple pie.”

And speaking of apple pie, it makes the best of all pie pairing partners for wine. The wine to try? Almost any dessert-style wine, particularly ones made from Sauvignon Blanc or Muscat Canelli (a.k.a. Moscato).

Another great match: pecan pie with Port.

January 23 is one day when you can have your pie and drink wine, too.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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