Here are most beautiful postprandial words one can hear:
As we all know, pies are one of America’s greatest contributions to world cuisine (and don’t mention the French tartes, which, although often superb, are not PIES, while the best British pies are the savory ones, like Melton Mowbray pork pie). Our other great contribution is barbecue.
I’ve been keeping a mental fork all week, ever since I saw the announcement of the Second Annual South Side Pie Challenge held in the Ray School, an elementary school a mere two blocks from my office. The best pie-makers of Chicago’s South Side bring two exemplars of their finest pie to the Challenge, and enter in one of four categories: fruit, nut, cream, and sweet potato/pumpkin.
The judges taste one of the two pies before the competition, and then the doors open to let the eager public in to sample for themselves. I, of course, was right on time, hoping to eat as much pie as I could. For $3 you could purchase one piece, or for $10 four (with one cup of coffee per slice). I, of course, went for four, concentrating on the prizewinners. I managed to down two pieces on the spot, and brought the others home for tomorrow to avoid sugar shock.
A beautiful sight:
The fruit pies:
Moar fruit pies:
The cream pies:
The nut pies (I forgot to photograph the pumpkin/sweet potato pies, but they weren’t moving fast):
And some fruit pies:
Two blueberry pies, one of which I sampled (the first one below, of course, as it was the prizewinner):
Cherry almond pie. Ain’t that a pretty sight?
Nut pies (these were all pecan, the best of all nut pies):
The prizewinner: pecan fudge, which is reposing in my fridge right now:
The pies were served by cute schookids:
The creme pies, starting with one of my favorites:
Raspberry strawberry cream cheese pie. I much regret passing this one up:
“S’Cream” pie: peanut butter cream pie topped with crushed peanut M&Ms. A prizewinner, so I had to try it:
Turtle fudge pie: chocolate cream, and a ribbon of caramel, topped with a hard chocolate topping and then whipped cream and pecans. I had to have it.
After I polished off the blueberry pie, I had the turtle pie. It was fantastic, one of the best pies I’ve ever had:
And my pies for the morrow: the peanut butter cream pie and the prize-winning pecan fudge pie:
Oy, am I full!
My favorite pies are sour-cream raisin, cherry, low-bush blueberry (as served by Helen’s Restaurant in Machias, Maine), sour cream/raisin, lemon chess, strawberry, and the Midwestern staple, sugar pie.