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ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER: Look to the pies!

Playwright and director David Mamet once observed, “We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie.” Perhaps more to the point, celebrated gourmand Homer Simpson simply stated (well, drooled, actually): “Mmmm… Pie!” So, it is timely, with National Pie Day at hand on Saturday (Jan. 23), that perhaps we should look to the pies for solace during these days of trouble and strife.

And while the pandemic (stress!) prevents us at present from partaking in most of the delicacies mentioned below, here at least are a few unique suggestions to add to your foodie-inspired bucket list and whet the appetite for when travel returns:


Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies, Mount Airy, North Carolina

Sonker is unique and delicious dessert from Surry County, North Carolina. The dish resembles a pot pie or cobbler and comes together by blending fruit and unshaped dough, often sweetened with sugar or sourghum cane molasses. Sonker has become part of the fabric of life in the region.

Family recipes have been passed down for generations and many believe the dish originated as a way to maximize the usage of fruit in hard times and/or stretch the usage of fruit that was at the end of ripeness. Today, the Surrey Sonker Trail features five places countywide that offer this authentic Southern delicacy on their regular menu.


Photo – Visit Maryland

A soul-food favourite and a Chesapeake tradition dating back to colonial days, Maryland White Potato Pie is a bright and beautiful take on the simple potato with a healthy helping of sweetness and a ripping citrus zest.

Sweet White Potato Pies have been a long-standing tradition across the state and most of the recipes found online are generally associated with Maryland in some capacity. Easy to make, easy to transport, and easy on the wallet, what’s not to love?


Photo – Arizona Office of Tourism

Cacti might not look like good eating, but dessert people have long prized certain species for the way they taste. Prickly pear cactus pads and flowers are said to be great sources of antioxidants, whether eaten in the form of jellies, salsas, margaritas or even… pie filling.

The 103-km Arizona Cactus Ranch outside of Green Valley harvests prickly pear fruit buds every August and September. The ranch sells prickly pear nectar, fruit spread, and fruit bars, and its website offers some prickly pear recipes. The ripe and sweet fruit is a perfect addition to an Arizona-inspired dessert pie.


Cassava Pie– Bermuda Tourism Authority

Cassava Pie has been Bermuda’s national dish for more than 300 years and is considered an essential part of any special dinner on the island. The dish is as pervasive on Bermudian holiday plates as turkey is in Canada. Cassava is a sweet cake made with butter, eggs, vanilla, and shredded cassava root, and often layered with meat and chicken.

Over time, families have adapted the recipe to suit their own tastes, but the tradition of serving some version of this sweet, spicy and savoury dish lives on.


Frederick’s Pastries classic dark chocolate Whoopie Pie

While several states – including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, and Massachusetts – claim to be the birthplace of the delicious Whoopie Pie, “They all know deep down – it’s definitely New Hampshire,” claims the state the state tourist board.

In any case, no one can dispute the fact that plenty of New Hampshire bakeries are experts at turning out the delicious treats – from the classic chocolate to pumpkin and other flavours – and there’s no denying that these cakey cookies with creamy, gooey filling are a unique kind of delight and a spin on the classic pie!





First published at Travel Industry Today

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