Let’s talk about pie. Pie! Is there a better dessert? Cookies are portable, and cake is nice, and cupcakes are fun but (I think) overrated. Pie, on the other hand. It takes some time to make; you can’t whip one up in ten minutes, especially if you’re making the crust from scratch. People are a little scared by pie dough, which is understandable – it seems finicky and hard to master. I still have not come close to the perfect pie crust. It doesn’t really matter, though. I think what I find so appealing about it is that making a pie really seems like a labour of love. Pie = love. Maybe I will get that tattooed on my body. Also, my name is one letter away from pie, which probably means something significant.
Because one of the best aspects of travelling is sampling the local cuisine, and because I want to have an excuse for eating copious amounts of pie, I will be your trusty pie blogger for the next few months. In the name of research and whatnot. Mostly I will post photos of delicious pastries and try to make you envious.
The very first piece of pie I had was at the beginning of the first test trip we did. We were driving down the highway, trying to find a grocery store, when I spotted the words “Pie House” and immediately made Mark turn around. This was just outside of Portland. The spinning display case was fantastic:
Mark chose pumpkin and I ordered apple with a slice of Tillamook cheddar. The waitress had never heard of pairing cheese and apple pie, so she probably thought I was batshit crazy. Unfortunately, the pie was only so-so, but it looked real good:
I suspect the crust had massive amounts of shortening in it, which made it flaky but rather tasteless. However, I regret nothing! NOTHING.
The next pie we sampled was in Lynden, Washington, very close to home – just south of the border near Vancouver. The best thing about going here was that the pie blew every other pie I’ve ever tasted out of the water. The worst thing about going here was that I may have already sampled the pinnacle of pie greatness. Here is how happy I felt about the bumbleberry (raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) pie:
And here is how I rated it:
Next up was Panhandler Pies in Sandpoint, Idaho. My family visited Sandpoint once or twice while I was growing up, so while the pie is not at all spectacular, it does have the sweet taste of nostalgia attached to it. I had chocolate cream pie, which is pretty hard to screw up.
Finally, we both had our first tastes of Saskatoon berries at the Berry Barn. We shared a slice of Saskatoon berry pie with whipped cream, and though it was pretty tasty, I found the filling to be a bit too thick (obviously involving lots of corn starch) and the crust was nothing spectacular. I actually enjoyed the Saskatoon berry more on its own, plucked straight off a bush. It was surprisingly sweet, much less tart than most berries. The thing I can best compare it to is a Rainier cherry, although my palate is far from refined, so maybe I’m just making that up. There’s a good chance I’m making that up. Anyway, it was a beautiful piece of pie:
We will soon be heading to Amish country, where the pies are renowned. I will do my best to locate the very best pie I can, because I know this is important work I’m doing.
P.S. For a fun and safe game, take a shot every time you read the word “pie” in this blog post.