There are fewer things to celebrate post-holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year have all come and gone. In the coming weeks, we have little to look forward to in terms of holidays, but thankfully we have food holidays to warm up our winter.

That’s where Monday, January 23 will play a part. That date is National Pie Day, a time to recognize a food that brings joy to millions of Americans. Not to be confused with National “Pi” Day (March 14, or 3.14), this day has little to do with math and a lot to do with "the most traditional American dessert".

According to the American Pie Council, pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. Early Romans may have made the first pies, which may have come from the Greeks before them. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that pie was a common word in the 14th century. In those days, pies were mostly filled with meat. Pies filled with fruit didn’t come along to somewhat later, perhaps during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England in the 1500s.

Pie first came to America with the pilgrims, who stuck with savory flavors until the realized the sweetness of different apple varieties worked so well in pies. This was chiefly due to the apple’s success in growing in the new colonies. As a result, apple pie became the de facto “American” pie.

The creation of National Pie Day is credited to a Boulder, Colorado school teacher in the mid-1970s. According to the Denver Post, Charles Papazian told his students that he would make his birthday, January 23, National Pie Day as well. Somehow the day caught on with others and eventually was included in Chase’s Calendar of Events, a publication that is a reference source for calendar dates, and for information about various observances throughout the year.

So how do you celebrate this delicious day? By baking and eating pie, of course! For those who work in retail bakeries, it is an excellent chance to promote your products and bring customers in with special offers. Pie season is still in full force, even post-holidays. For everyone else, enjoy the day with friends, family, and co-workers, and eat up!

Take a look at our Formulations page to see some great pie recipes.

For pie enthusiasts, you can look forward to May, when the 2017 APC National Pie Championships will take place in Orlando, Florida. Amateur, professional, and commercial pie makers from around the country will meet in a competition for pie-making pride.