The History of Classic Pies

When we think of pie, we think of it as an All-American dessert that comes in a variety of forms and flavors. We enjoy pumpkin pies and pecan pies around Thanksgiving with friends and family, and we certainly love helping ourselves to a rich slice of apple pie at an outdoor picnic. Whether you’re thinking mini-pies, pie pops, or a chocolate mousses pie, the origin of the pie is not as American as we’d like to think.


Most historians attribute the invention of the pie to the Greeks. Pies in ancient Greece were often savory, filled with meat. Romans added pies to their dining repertoire, often in the form of savory pies and even published the first recorded pie recipe. These pies were usually served as a part of their dessert course or secundae mensea. Eventually, sweet pies became very popular, according to Roman politician Cato the Younger, especially a particular cheesecake-like dish.

In 12th-century England, “pyes” were primarily savory until the pilgrims realized how tasty a fruit pie was while they were still trying to figure out what was growing and what could thrive in their new land. The first American apple pie recipe didn’t appear until 1881 but one thing is clear: the pie has evolved into something very deep and important in American food culture.

What we recognize as pie today is often round and has a sweet filling. Wedding pies and pie dessert tables have been a popular wedding food trend because pies are so versatile, fun, and delicious!

So now that you know all about pies consider having a Pie Party! Invite friends to make their own pie to bring and share. The diversity of the dishes that show up at a potluck always amazes. Especially at harvest time, when there’s so much produce to choose from.