90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Why Americans Are Pie People

With Guest Host John Harwood.

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

photo
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)The collection of pies sampled live on air on On Point Radio's July 25 broadcast. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)A close up of Renee McLeod's (delicious) sour cherry pie. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

We’ve all heard the phrase “American as apple pie.”  But stop and think: is it the apple, or pie itself? We didn’t invent it – ancient Egyptians may have. But in the mid-20th century bakers in suburbs across the country made it our own. We’ll hear about the state of the art, and regional variations,  from specialists in Iowa, New York, Massachusetts and our nation’s capital. We’ll  eat some too.  Apple or pecan?  Butter crust, or shortening?  Follow the recipe, or make it up as you go? This hour, On Point:  an iconic American dessert.

– John Harwood

Guests

Beth Howard, author of the new book “Ms. American Pie: Butter, Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House.” (@worldneedspie)

Willa Zhen, professor food anthropology at the Culinary Institute of America.

Renee McLeod, founder of Petsi Pies, an independent bakery and coffee bar in Somerville, Mass.

Marla Romash, pastry chef and caterer at Marla’s Magic, a bakery and catering company in Washington, D.C. Former White House communications director for former Vice President Al Gore. (@politcookieco)

From The Reading List

Vox: Pie vs cake — “Cake is fine to eat at your second cousin’s daughter’s 6th birthday party while you stand in the corner and bemoan your existence, or at the wedding of the first guy you ever loved, but it’s nothing to celebrate.Cake is just a circular dessert that is trying to be as good as pie. Both cake and pie can come in fruit or chocolate varieties. Both are baked in the oven. Both can be served in slices. But only one can be dense and dry and bland. Pie is an American tradition about love and family. Pie is delicious, and complicated, and infinitely better than cake.”

The Good Cook: Aye, Aye, Ms. American Pie! – “Iowa is pie heaven. New Englanders may take offense (but, really, Boston cream pie is more like a cake). Southerners will be mad enough to spit. But Iowa gets the prize, never more so than now that Beth M. Howard is touring the country for her new book, ‘Ms. American Pie.'”

New York Times: In the South, Cake or Pie for Dessert? — “When you bake a pie, you are in the kitchen in the company of ghosts. If you are crafting a crust, it’s most likely because at some point in your life, someone thought well enough of you to stand beside you at a counter and gift the muscle memory from her hands to yours.”

See our blog for some pie recipes from Beth Howard and other guests!

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment