Buttermilk Pie. Arkansas.
Here’s the thing about me, guys. I don’t have a lot of vices. I don’t like drugs. I’m the worst at drinking. I rarely gamble. Strip clubs creep me out. In general, I am very little fun. But strangely, I cannot resist pie. Ever.
I have eaten pie in all sorts of circumstances. In a bowling alley in Cambridge, MA (apple, the worst I’ve ever had). During a blizzard in Montana at a rest stop near Glacier National Park (huckleberry, which is a real berry!). Picnic style in the basement of the Brandeis University library (lemon meringue, from a grocery store, but not bad). There are framed pictures of pie in my bedroom. I will eat pie for breakfast, and/or lunch, and/or dinner, and/or a midnight snack.
Lots of people prefer other pastries. I will not say that their opinions are wrong…wait, no. I will say that. They’re wrong. People, notably comedian Paul F. Tompkins, sometimes assert that cake is a superior dessert. It is not. First of all, the average slice of pie is way better than the average slice of cake. If you buy a blueberry pie from your local Stop and Shop (or Trader Joe’s if you’re a cool dad, Whole Foods if you’re rich, or farmer’s market if you’re a hipster) it will probably be pretty decent. Not gourmet. But edible. If you buy a cake from that same establishment, there is at least a fifty percent chance that it will taste like an airplane seat cushion that someone spilled sugar water on. And the frosting? Please. It’s so cloying that I’d rather just eat a diabetic’s amputated foot. Yes, a great cake can be as good as a great pie. But you better hope that your friends break the bank on their birthday, or else you’ll be eating a bean bag chair covered in sugar paste.
And cupcakes? Sure they can be delicious, but they’re new jack johnny-come-latelies to this discussion. Just because a couple of precious twerps serve you at weddings (which is actually a pretty good idea) we’re supposed to take you seriously in this dessert game? Come on now, cupcakes. Grownups are talking. Unless you’re a vegan. For some reason, cupcakes seem to be the most commonly found vegan dessert. So…props for that.
Side note: I prefer muffins to cupcakes anyway, most of the time. They have less frosting, and no one looks at you like a psycho for eating a muffin at 9 in the morning. A muffin is basically an acoustic cupcake. Cupcake: Unplugged. I do like a red velvet cupcake. And I have also heard that there is such a thing as a blue velvet cupcake, which I imagine would ideally eaten with a Pabst Blue Ribbon while Dennis Hopper screams “Baby wants to [fornicate]!”
No other baked goods really have a place in this discussion. Donuts are for people who would eat cake in the morning if it wouldn’t cause an intervention. Tarts, crumbles, and cobblers are too seasonal/regional. And if you eat more than one eclair per month, you will be dead within a year, mark my words.
Regardless. My love of pie is enduring and well documented. Three years ago I threw myself a Sur-Pies party on my birthday. It was not a surprise party that I threw for myself. That would have been pathetic. It was a regular party, but the surprise was the type of pie that each person showed up with. There were thirteen pies on my kitchen table. It was the best birthday ever.
I love pie so much that if pie was like: “I’m in love with you.” I would be like: “No pie, let’s not ruin what we have right now. I could never stand to lose you.” And then I would be like: “Stop talking to me, dessert. That only happens when you’re crazy!”
I don’t even have a favorite pie. It’s like picking a favorite child, I imagine, if all of your children have won the Nobel Prize in Being Delicious. That metaphor went off the rails fast. But you get it. I will even eat pies with bananas in them. And bananas are horrifying.
So there you have it. If you are ever plotting to ruin my life, don’t try to get me to get hooked on cocaine or throw my money away on dog racing (worst way to gamble away your money, by the way. just buy a dog with that cash and watch it run around your living room table.) or prostitutes. Just let me in the back room of a bakery and tell me to go nuts. I’ll probably OD by morning. But at least I’ll have gone out doing what I love.
Huckleberry Pie. Montana.