The Uncommon Life

Is apple pie really all-American?

April 4, 2013

Apple pie is only American in the sense that, like the country itself, it is an immigration success story. It had been a traditional treat in Britain and across Europe for centuries, but in the Americas the colonists were lacking one key ingredient: apples. America’s only indigenous apple is the crab apple. Seeds were brought over, and orchards began to spring up, but most of that initial fruit was too tart for eating and was instead made into cider. It took nearly 100 years, as sweeter varieties were being cultivated and as the settlers grew more prosperous, for the apple pie to put down roots as a culinary favorite in the New World.

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