Monday, December 4, 2023

As American as apple pie... with cheese?

Today's learning is actually from yesterday. I learned a particularly strange saying, which goes "an apple pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze." Apparently, putting a slide of cheddar cheese on apple pie is not only something that is done, it is also generally accepted by many people, and also tastes good?

Apparently, pie with cheese predates pie with ice cream. Which makes sense. Ice cream is very hard to have around without a freezer, something which apparently was not so common until the 1950s (see attached. Fridge data used because freezer data maxed out at 40% adoption, which seems wrong).

The first literary mention of apple pie with cheese comes when 19th century poet and “Father of the Personal Newspaper Column” Eugene Field wrote a poem entirely dedicated to apple pie with cheese. Titled Apple-Pie And Cheese, one notable segment is:

The best of all physicians
Is apple-pie and cheese!

In 1999, Vermont passed a state law enshrining apple pie as the state pie, and that eating it with cheese is one of the formal techniques to eat it.

When serving apple pie in Vermont, a "good faith" effort shall be made to meet one or more of the following conditions:
(a) with a glass of cold milk,
(b) with a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce,
(c) with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I learned a lot of this from this blog, "Pie with cheese: Ancient pairing tradition or an a-la-mode travesty?" Anyway, a nice slice of sharp cheddar topping warm apple pie seems like a very established tradition, from Vermont to Mississippi. From the blog:

Apparently, nobody in Mississippi ever serves apple, pumpkin or any other pie with cheese. “Oh, God no! They’d put you away in a home,” he said, when asked if he had ever seen it in Mississippi.

I guess I have to try some sharp cheddar with apple pie someday, otherwise a stranger in Mississippi is going to check me in.