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National Pie Day (January 23)

Check out the weird holiday National Pie Day on January 23. Learn the history of National Pie Day, as well as get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 23 is National Pie Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Pie Day

In 1986, the American Pie Council began this weird holiday in order to celebrate Crisco’s 75th anniversary of “serving food to families everywhere.” Although other sources claim that Charlie Papazian created National Pie Day in the 1970s and placed it on his birthday, it didn’t become well-known until the American Pie Council adopted it.

In reality, pies have been in existence since around 10,000 BC in Egypt. This time period was also known as the Egyptian Neolithic period or the New Stone Age. Evidence of pies (aka flat round flour cakes with honey) were discovered in the tomb of the pharaoh Ramesses II.

We also see pie recipes in the ancient Roman times. The first known pie recipe was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Pie was more for meat than dessert. In those times, the crust was only there to hold in the filling – no one actually ate it.

Then pies came to England in the 12th century, still filled primarily with meat. The fact that you could never be sure about what was inside created a plethora of jokes and horror stories, including “Sweeney Todd.”

It was when the Puritans and other English settlers came to the New World in the 16th century that pies were introduced to North America. We traditionally serve sweet pies at Thanksgiving, but they actually weren’t even at the “First Thanksgiving!”

Sweet pies, including pumpkin pie, didn’t become popular until the 1800s, even though pumpkin pie first made its appearance in a cookbook in 1675.

In 1968, McDonald’s introduced its apple pie in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Pie exists all over the world, but the United States especially has a warm relationship with the baked dessert. Whether it’s a symbol of the 4th of July and summer – being “as American as apple pie” – or the 1972 famous country song by Don McLean called “American Pie,” there are quite a lot of cultural references to this delicious treat.

Throwing a pie in a person’s face has been a traditional comedic routine since Ben Turpin got one in the face in 1909 for the film Mr. Flip.

There are several other pie-Themed films, including Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, Waitress with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion, Blazing Saddles featuring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, and Julia & Julia with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep.

Some popular pie-themed songs include “High Hopes” by Frank Sinatra, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” by The Four Tops, “Wild Honey Pie” by the Beatles, “Custard Pie” by Led Zeppelin, “Sweet Potato Pie,” by James Taylor, “Cherry Pie” by Warrant, “Apple Pie a la Mode” by Destiny’s Child, and “Where’s My Apple Pie?” by Joan Baez.

Ideas for National Pie Day

Eat some pie! You can have some of these dessert pies or these savory pies, or you can give the recipes below a try!

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