Pi isn’t just for mathematics anymore. Pie is the new cupcake in comfort cuisine, and today – 3.14 if you’re counting – pie lovers around the country celebrate the confluence of crust and filling that produces love. Or at least, dessert.
Story is that in 1988 a physicist at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, Larry Shaw, noticed that the numeric shorthand for March 14 could represent π , the most celebrated of all mathematical symbols. Wikipedia notes that the Exploratorium staff marched around one of its circular spaces, then ate fruit pies. The Exploratorium still celebrates the holiday, if you can’t resist a party.
Even stranger, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution that recognized March 14th, 2009 as National Pi Day. Really.
A friend of mine from back in the dot-com days, Beth Howard, fled the world of hi-tech and moved to Eldon, Iowa a few years back, and decided to fulfill her own life’s dream: she bakes pies.
Not only does she bake pies, she writes cookbooks (“Making Piece”), promotes the pie lifestyle, has a website called The World Needs More Pie (“Give a piece a chance”) and lives in the house that Grant Wood used as the backdrop for his celebrated American Gothic painting.
Here in Healdsburg, a quick survey of local bakeries and cafes revealed the not-unexpected result that few people know it’s National Pi Day.
“Really? I did not know that,” said Gina Brandeau at . When asked if they had pies anyway, she replied, “No pies. We don’t bake pies. We do bake tarts. We have blackberry, apple and apricot.”
In disbelief I called , where Janie Burgess answered. Remarkably, when asked if she knew it was National Pi Day, she say, “I do.” She even knew why, which was even more remarkable. But then the big question: do you have pies? “Not really, no. We just bake tarts.”
Perhaps, remarked a voice from the peanut gallery, we should celebrate National Tart Day.
I tried – “We don’t sell pies” – before going to the one sure short in town.
While Abe Agil at, last week’s winner in our contest, also was unaware it was National Pi Day, he said they did have pies.
“Of course,” he said. “We have cherry, berry, apple, lemon meringue, banana cream, coconut cream, cookies and cream, and cake…” I interrupted. We don’t care about cake, just pie.
So there you have it. They may know about National Pi Day in Healdsburg, but a good pie is hard to find. Thankfully, there’s Adel’s.
Tell us: What's your favorite pie recipe? Leave it in the comments!