Celebrating Community Heroes on National Pie Day

Celebrating Community Heroes on National Pie Day

Food & Drink

Celebrating Community Heroes on National Pie Day

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Why is National Pie Day celebrated on January 23? The answer is easy as pie…or as 1/23.

The American Pie Council (APC) suggests that patriotic citizens recognize this special day by honoring a local hero with—what else?—a freshly baked pie.

Whether you choose All-American apple, classic coconut cream or luscious lemon meringue, it’s a great way to express appreciation for people like the firefighters and police officers who protect and serve our local communities.

“Sharing a favorite pie with the hero in your neighborhood or city is a fun, thoughtful way to recognize their service to your community,” says Linda Hoskins, executive director, of the American Pie Council. “At a time when so much of our culture is impersonal and fast-paced, pie is a kind, meaningful gift that encourages us to take a break, linger at the kitchen table and savor the goodness of life.”

Each year, the APC, its associate members, and pie lovers from around the country celebrate National Pie Day on 1/23 as a tribute to the wholesome fun and goodness of pie. The American Pie Council is an organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie.

The APC urges Americans to stock up on ingredients and create their own tasty treats for the National Pie Day. And when it comes to buying pie, families have a growing array of options – from their favorite supermarket to neighborhood bakeries to trendy specialty pie shops.

The Food Channel named small pies one of the top ten foods to watch in 2011 and Nation’s Restaurant News named pies as the top restaurant trend for 2011. Pie is hot!

“Pies are part of our American heritage, but they are becoming even more popular among dessert lovers. So whether you choose a hardworking firefighter or brave local police officer to recognize, you can rest assured your community hero will love receiving a pie,” says Hoskins. “After all, 90 percent of Americans agree that a slice of pie represents one of the simple pleasures in life.”

Which pie should you choose to celebrate National Pie Day? Will it be one of the 231 varieties of apple pie, the favorite of 36 million Americans? Perhaps pumpkin pie, which was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623. Or, maybe a nutty pecan pie, which is the third most popular choice in our nation of pie lovers.

Here are links to award-winning recipes from the APC’s 2010 National Pie Championships.

Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie, Amateur Best of Show winner from Kate Stewart Ronver, Plano, Tex.

Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pie, Professional Best of Show winner from Andrea Spring, Bradenton, Fla.

Mango Cream Pie, Junior Chef Best of Show winner from Devin Davis, Plant City, Fla.

The National Pie Championships are held every spring. This year’s competition will take place April 8–10, 2011, at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Entry rules can be found on the APC website.

As pie bakers across the country contemplate their choices for National Pie Day, they can visit the APC Web site – www.piecouncil.org – to browse “pie-deas” and award-winning recipes that can help anyone create the perfect pie. But if you don’t feel like baking, you could just pass off a store-bought pie as homemade … 7 percent of Americans have!

As pie lovers bake or taste pie, they usually do so with a smile on their face. America’s quintessential dessert presents an opportunity to create or select something special for an important member of our community. This year, show your “pietriotism” by choosing a local hero to thank as part of National Pie Day.

“For their commitment and service to our communities, heroes deserve our gratitude,” suggests Hoskins, “Not to mention the sweet gift of a homemade or oven-fresh pie.”

For those interested, the American Pie Council offers personal, professional and commercial memberships.  For more information, visit www.piecouncil.org.

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