A Brief History of the Humble Pie

A Brief History of the Humble Pie

Few traditions bring people literal comfort and joy the way food does. Whether it's a special occasion with Creekstone MasterChef quality beef steaks or a regular family gathering with hand-tied sausages, food is at the center of almost every one of our events and get-togethers. One course in particular – or rather, one dish in particular – is a universal tradition: pie. Although pie is often thought of as all-American, variations of pie are served as dessert regardless of where someone lives, their cultural heritage, or their religious affiliation.

So just how did pies originally come to be, and how did they ultimately become one of the most ubiquitous desserts in the world? 

The history of pies

According to the American Pie Council, the earliest sweet pies can be traced back to the ancient Romans. The word "pie" started appearing regularly in writing in the 14th century, and the first known published pie recipe was an almost cheesecake-like goat cheese-and-honey pie with a rye crust. Interestingly, these original crusts weren't eaten but were instead used solely as filling holders. 

Savory pies, primarily made with meat, date back much further than their sweet counterparts. Historians credit 12th-century England with making the original meat pyes, which were often made with fowl and featured more crust than filling – presumably because it was much more affordable and easier to find ingredients for.

It is widely believed that the English people began making sweet pies after learning about them from the Romans. Fruit pies, often called pasties, started to appear throughout England in the 1500s. Those included apple pies, which of course are often regarded as an American invention. When English settlers arrived in America throughout the next century, they brought pies with them – both savory and sweet. It took some time for sweet pies to catch on, but indeed they did. Time magazine states that a 1796 American cookbook had just three sweet pie recipes, but one written in the 1800s featured eight. In 1947's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, 65 sweet pie varieties were listed. 

Holiday Pies at Lakewood Meats & Sausage

As an old-fashioned butcher in Lodi, tradition is something we hold dear at Lakewood Meats & Sausage. Meat and pies have always gone hand in hand and there's truly no better way to finish off a hearty meal of hand-tied sausages or Creekstone MasterChef quality beef than with a slice of sweet pie. To that end, we're proud to offer carefully-selected varieties of scratch-made pies in our shop, Pecan Maple Cream, Mint Fudge Chocolate Cream, Eggnog Cream and other delicious flavors.  

We work with a local cottage kitchen – another Lodi small business – to offer our customers these pies, which are the perfect complement to any holiday meal. Our pies are available on a first-come, first-served basis during the holidays. To order yours from the best old-fashioned butcher in Lodi, stop in our shop Monday through Saturday or call us at (209) 369-1122. Don't forget, we also have an extensive selection of hand-tied sausages and other gourmet meats for your holiday meal!

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