We live in tumultuous times. So said many a person in every generation, but still, we are living in this one, so it seems much more tumultuous to us. The tumult of the 1800s doesn’t feel so terrible without nary a toe dipped in its waters. Plus, history proved that the unrest of previous generations didn’t lead to the utter demise of society, whereas we don’t know that yet about the chaos of today. Jury’s still out on that one.
And so we, like previous generations, are looking for ways to survive the onslaught. It seems some respite has been found in something as simple as pie. According to a report from NPR, pie is the latest foodie craze. Pie bars and diners are popping up across the country, serving up a plate of comfort to those in need. Maura Glennon opened a pie shop and explains, “Right now, our culture needs a lot of comfort.”… “Pie is very comforting.”
Considering the pursuit of comfort is something I know a bit about, this trend caught my eye. And when that happens, I have to talk it out it with the sharp-minded Hannah Anderson, my Persuasion podcast co-host. We recorded a fast chat episode on pie’s rising popularity and discussed the underpinnings of the trend. What is it about pie that offers distinct comfort? It’s possible that the care and skill it takes to make a good pie contribute—there are steps to follow that take considerable time. Time is something few of us invest in baking. It’s reminiscent of a slower day, perhaps something we can remember grandma doing, the one who made the crust you can’t replicate. A great slice of pie is like ingesting nostalgia, because pie making isn’t the norm. This is why pie brings us comfort. The NPR article offers this support:
The recent proliferation of pie-centric eateries across America is proof that pie bars are having a culinary moment. But instead of mass-produced apple pie and other traditional flavors, this entrepreneurial generation of bakers make pie like mom used to make, but without the Crisco or Cool Whip. With fresh, seasonal ingredients and creative flavor combinations, they’re baking a wide assortment of traditional and innovative pies, like Glennon’s blackberry ginger (a lemony mix of whole berries and crystalized ginger in an all-butter crust) and salted chocolate bites (an ethereal fudge mini-pie in a graham-cracker crust).
Well, who could say no to that? Even I wouldn’t turn down such a treat, even though on the whole I’d rather have cookies or a cupcake. I’m committed to cupcakes, even after the epic Cupcake Crawl of 2013. As pie gains in popularity, cupcake sales are sure to take a hit. Excitement for a new experience and an extra dose of nostalgia is hard to beat.
But certainly in the world is wide enough for both pie and cupcakes.