50 Pies For 50 States

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Has 2020 Changed Your View Of The Us

50 Pies in the Face!

Yes and no. My project has a very sweet and saccharine view of America, and this year has been very tumultuous. Its hard when you hold something up on a pedestal.

This dreamy, romantic view of America, what I find to be so inspiring and wonderful, is that have looked at everything that is not right and tried to make change, tried to move themselves forward and acknowledge the things that are wrong. What more could you ask from a country but for them to acknowledge something and try and course correct?

New York: Concord Grape Pie

You thought we were going to say cheesecake didnt you? Goes to show how much you know about this states rich agricultural history. If you havent heard of grape pie, thats likely because its a relative newcomer to the scene. It originated in the grape-heavy Finger Lakes region of New York state thats also known for its wine grapes. Irene Bouchard, a resident of Naples, New York, since the 1940s is generally considered the mother of grape pie. In the early 1960s, Al Hodges, owner of Redwood Restaurant, recruited her to help him make her signature grape pies for his customers. Her recipes proved outrageously popular, and demand was so high she made as many as 17,000 pies every year, earning her the nickname Grape Pie Queen of Naples.

Monica Schenk is carrying on the Concord grape pie tradition in Naples at her shop, Monicas Pies. Grape pie should be the New York state pie, she says. We have so many grapes here and have not heard of any other area making grape pies.

Colorado: Palisade Peach Pie

Palisade, Colorado, had the first Peach Day festival in 1909, and President William Howard Taft was the headline speaker. So even though Georgia owns the branding as the peach state, peach pie in Colorado deserves some love especially during harvest season from June through October.

Palisade peaches are the best in the world, Frank Bonanno of Bonanno Concepts, which runs Wednesdays Pie in Denver, says hell argue to his grave. They release sugar to defend themselves from cold mountain nights, so theyre intensely sweet, hearty, and constantly trying to get the rest of the country to recognize their greatness. In short: each pie with a little Stranahans straight up. Yeah, thats Colorado.

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Why Did You Choose Savannah For College

Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997 and I went to English Schools Foundation schools. I wanted to apply to schools in America, and Id gone to a couple of summer camps to figure out what colleges I wanted to go to.

Ill apply to Parsons, Ill apply to FIT and then I had just heard about the Savannah College of Art and Design from an episode of One Tree Hill, I thought Id apply there too.

I had just heard about the Savannah College of Art and Design from an episode of One Tree Hill, I thought I would apply there too.

I really liked it, Im going to try something completely new. Im going to go from Hong Kong to Savannah and its going to be fine. Im not going to lie, the first three months I thought I made the wrong decision. The time difference is 12 hours, which is excruciating. I couldnt just call my dad or my friends.

This was the time in my life where I could make my own journey, to take things into my own hands. I can put myself in a really uncomfortable situation and maybe Ill grow from it. In Hong Kong I was in a bubble with my friends, I was in a really comfortable spot. I kind of wanted to struggle a little bit, I wanted to test myself.

That was the best decision I ever made in my life. Everyone says you should take more risks, and sometimes it really pays off. Im a good example of how a really big risk really paid off.

Hawaii: Chocolate Haupia Pie

50 Pies for 50 States

Haupia, a coconut pudding thats a classic in Hawaii, mixes with chocolate for this classic dessert. The origins of the ingredients make chocolate haupia pie an obvious choice, but pretty much any tropical pie is signature Hawaii, says Jan Hori, co-founder of Hawaiian Pie Company.

that represents Hawaii would be anything with a tropical flair, Hori says. People locally are really into the culture of food and sharing the flavors. For example, for us, we do a uala pie and then we top it with a cream cheese topping not your standard cream cheese its got a flavor of coconut in it.

During the holidays, Hori notes that pumpkin custard is a hit, and people stalk the Hawaiian Pie Companys announcements for when the seasonal pies are released.

Read Also: Where To Buy Fresh Peach Pie

South Carolina: Coconut Cream Pie

Variations of coconut pie are available across all of South Carolina, and no adaptation of the dessert is more Southern than coconut cream pie. The treat is made with a graham cracker base and a shredded coconut filling and is topped with whipped cream. In between making your own version of the dessert, brush up on more state food fun facts.

Florida: Key Lime Pie

Not only does Florida have beautiful beaches, but the state also has great pie. Florida declared Key lime pie its official state dessert in 2006, which makes sense given the states history as a top producer of citrus fruit. Made with a graham cracker crust, tangy Key lime custard and sweetened whipped cream, Key lime pie is a legendary Floridian dessert.

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West Virginia: Vinegar Pie

Vinegar isnt typically an ingredient you find accompanying desserts, but this beloved West Virginia pie is one exception. Vinegar pie epitomizes Appalachian cuisine by making use of cheap ingredients and those readily available in a pantry. According to food writer Mike Costello, vinegar pie emerged as one of many desperation pies, created to fit the financial constraints of the Great Depression. The vinegar, pressed from apples, and spiced with nutmeg, mimicked the tart sweetness of lemon at a time when the citrus fruit wasnt widely available. Costello praises the creativity of Appalachian cooks, writing that he prefers to call recipes like the one for vinegar pie innovation pies.

Alabama: Sweet Potato Pie

50 People Brag About Their State’s Best Dessert | Culturally Speaking | Condé Nast Traveler

Photo: Lynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock

The South is known for its pies, and Alabama is no exception. Its a region and state also known for its country music anthems. Few match up to Song of the South by the band Alabama, and theres a shout-out to sweet potato pie right there in the second line and chorus . No, Alabama doesnt grow the most sweet potatoes in the country and it hasnt officially designated it as the state pie, but the latter should be seriously considered. Just try listening to the song without craving some warm, homemade sweet potato pie in a sleepy Alabama town. Though, it should be noted, Alabamas state nut is the pecan, so dont hesitate to associate pecan pie with the state either.

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Was Your Family Surprised Byyour Choice

dad has always raised me to be a very independent, free thinking woman so he was surprised, but not that surprised. He knows I like to do things my own way and carve my own path.

Dad is Chinese but he grew up in Singapore, went to college in Canada, graduate school at Cornell. Hes forward thinking, which you have to be with three headstrong daughters, and always encouraged me to pursue what I loved, which was art. We were raised to believe we could do anything and the only limits we had were those we set for ourselves.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

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Gently spiced custard filled with plump raisins nestled in a flaky pie crust and tucked under a layer of toasted sweet meringue in this Sour Cream Raisin Pie that is a Midwest classic! It might sound strange but give it a try and youll be pleasantly surprised!

We love pie around these parts and truth be told Ill take pie over cake almost any day of the week! Be sure to try our Indiana Sugar Cream Pie, Dutch Apple Pie , and Easy Blueberry Custard Pie!

Recommended Reading: Hershey’s Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe

Massachusetts: Boston Cream Pie

This pies ancestry traces back to 1855 at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, now the Omni Parker House, which still bakes about 25 Boston cream pies daily. Some would call it a pie imposter because it actually lacks a crucial element theres no crust to be found. And, despite its name, it contains no cream. Basically its just custard smooshed between a few layers of yellow or white cake with chocolate frosting on top. Say what you will, its at least pie in name.

Go to: Omni Parker House

Rhode Island: Custard Pie

50 Pies for 50 States

This dessert is so iconic in Rhode Island that the states premiere Led Zeppelin cover band is called Custard Pie. At Greggs Restaurants, which has locations in Providence and Warwick, the custard pie is especially legendary. Equally as beloved are the custard pies at one of the states oldest bakeries, Wayland Bakery, which specializes in coconut custard pie. Custard pies have been a staple of New England cuisine since at least the mid-1800s. One of the first recipes for custard pie appeared in the 1845 edition of the The New England Economical Housekeeper.

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What Is Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Sour cream raisin pie is an easy custard pie that actually tastes much better than it sounds. With a great amount of vanilla flavoring and spices, its perfect for fall weather . This old school pie is incredible and packed with flavors and textures that just work well together.

We were all dubious about how this pie would turn out, if Im being completely honest. While we arent raisin haters, I dont particularly love them in desserts aside from oatmeal cookies and apple strudel.

But as we each took our first tentative bites of this pie, everybody had the same astonished reactions of delight at its wonderful texture and flavors. Plumping the raisins beforehand is key so they are soft instead of chewy when you bite into the pie. And the perfect balance of spices is the perfect accent, rather than overpowering the sweet, homey flavor of the custard.

An Ode La Mode: 1 Baker Savors America Creating 50 Pies For 50 States

  • Stacey Mei Yan Fong has been baking her way across the United States: Clockwise from upper left, a baked Alaska pie, Utah’s funeral potato pie, Nevada’s all you can eat buffet pie, South Carolina’s peach pie, Ohio’s buckeye pie, Iowa’s s’mores pie, Missouri’s frozen custard pie, and Minnesota’s corn dog casserole pie.Stacey Mei Yan Fong

Before the pandemic trapped Stacey Mei Yan Fong in her Brooklyn kitchen, the 32-year-old handbag designer was baking her way across America, one pie at a time.

Fong loves the United States, and she loves its signature dessert. Born in Singapore, raised in Indonesia and Hong Kong, Fong moved to the U.S. to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She brings the singular passion of a pop-culture-obsessed immigrant to her project 50 Pies/ 50 States. In 2016, while applying for a green card, she started baking a pie to honor every state in the country, documenting the process and her website.

50 Pies / 50 States feels like a virtual road trip, with elaborate pies that reflect Fong’s commitment to capturing the complexity of each state’s cuisine. That means no ordinary peach pie for Georgia. Instead, imagine a stewed sweet tea peach pie with brown sugar pecan crumble.

The obvious is anathema to Fong. As she points out, Texas may be best known for pecans and barbeque, but the baker found herself drawn to another signature product: its ruby red grapefruit.


Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

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Missouri: Gooey Butter Cake

Missouris most iconic dessert is its famous gooey butter cake, which was invented in St. Louis, and can also take on the form of pie. The cake traditionally is made with a butter mixture that is poured over a homemade Danish or coffee cake. The gooey butter cake has been adapted into other forms like delicious cookies, ice cream flavors and pie.

Maryland: The Baltimore Bomb

Desperation Pies – Let’s Bake a Water Pie!

Photo: Dangerously Delicious Pies

Created by Baltimores Dangerously Delicious Pies, this city and state favorite is a vanilla custard pie with crumbled up Berger cookies inside. Berger cookies are a fudge-covered local favorite thats been around for about 75 years, says Dangerously Delicious Pies Mary Martian Wortman. While the Baltimore Bomb wins out on the street front, Wortman also adds that a crab and cheddar quiche breakfast pie with crab meat and Old Bay seasoning is just as worthy as Marylands signature pie.

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Do Your Creations Help Foster A Sense Of Home

How I make my home is I try to make friends with whoever I can. I love listening to peoples history and where they come from. I loved talking to them about the food they ate growing up and what traditions they have.

Im a nester and I feel like its because I moved a lot as a kid. Whenever I move in somewhere, I hang pictures immediately, make my bed, put a rug down, and put a plant up.

Missouri: Pawpaw Cream Pie

Missouris most famous dessert is the ice cream cone, as the treat was debuted for the first time at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair. When it comes to pie, though, you have to look to the pawpaw, which became the states official fruit tree in 2019. The pawpaw is similar to bananas, and the Asimina triloba species is native to Missouri. Is it the most ubiquitous pie ingredient in Missouri? No. It does have lineage, though.

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Stacey Mei 50 Pies 50 States

Before COVID-19 hit, Stacey Mei was six pies away from completing her project, a labor of love capturing the unique qualities of each U.S. state and the pies created in their honor. Charm and humor sprinkle the pie delivery tales to each state, and the anecdotes are as delicious as the pies look.

Fun Fact: Madison, Alabama is the first place I ever got in a girl fight defending the honor of a friend. Dont worry, I won.

Not wanting to short-change the remaining states, Stacey isnt making the remaining pies until after the pandemic. This has not stopped her from baking, however. I spoke with her about her journey.

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