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Re: As American As Apple Pie

Posted by ESC on September 01, 2000

In Reply to: As American As Apple Pie posted by Tony on August 31, 2000

: Who said this? When, where, why?

AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE - "America in So Many Words: Words that have Shaped America" by Allen Metcalf & David K. Barnhart" (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1997) has a section on the subject --"1697 apple pie." "Samuel Sewall, distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and citizen of Boston, went on a picnic expedition to Hog Island on October 1, 1697. There he dined on apple pie. He wrote in his diary, 'Had first Butter, Honey, Curds and cream. For Dinner, very good Rost Lamb, Turkey, Fowls, Applepy.' This is the first, but hardly the last, American mention of a dish whose patriotic symbolism is expressed in a 1984 book by Susan Purdy, 'As Easy as Pie': 'This is IT - what our country and flag are as American as. Since the earliest colonial days, apple pies have been enjoyed in America for breakfast, for an entrée, and for dinner. Colonist wrote home about them and foreign visitors noted apple pie as one of our first culinary specialties.' We cannot claim to have invented the apple pie, just to have perfected it." But here's the surprising part. The expression "as American as apple pie," the authors say, is not that old. "Apple pie figures in our figurative language, too, as in the expressions 'simple as pie' (since everyone supposedly knows how to make apple pie) and, though not an Americanism, 'apple-pie order' . But it was only in the twentieth century, apparently in the 1960s, that we began to be 'as American as apple pie.'"