Week of March 13, 2022

Everyone Wants A Bigger Piece


Apple pie is less American than you might think. A recipe appears in a British cookbook from 1390, and later was brought to the US by colonists from Europe. The apple tree isn’t even native to North America, but Asia.


Pi is the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, but might be better known as the abbreviation for 3.14… This number, shown as a fraction as 22/7, is the ratio of circumference to diameter in a perfect circle.


The term “pie in the sky” which came to mean an idealistic but unlikely goal, was coined by labor activist Joe Hill in “The Preacher and The Slave,” a parody of the hymn “Sweet Bye and Bye.” The lyrics “work and pray, live on hay/You’ll get pie in the sky when you die” were intended to criticize religious leaders who sang of rewards in the afterlife but did little to improve workers’ lives in this one.


A pie to the face has been a slapstick staple for over a century, and it started with silent movies. Comedian Ben Turpin got the first known on-screen face pie in 1909’s “Mister Flip.”


To “eat humble pie” indicates that you must admit your error. However, the origin of this term seems to come indirectly from “umble pie,” which was a pie filled with animal organs and entrails, especially those of deer.


Pies are old. There is evidence that ancient Egyptians made the first pies about 6,000 years ago. These original pies were made with barley, oats, rye, or wheat and filled with honey.


The term “easy as pie” began in Australia in the 1920’s, and the term seems to be influenced by “pai,” the Maori word for “good.”