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A quest for the best…pumpkin pie

Sophie Weinstein

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By Sophie Weinstein ’13, LifeStyle Editor.

With the bevy of fall treats advertised throughout autumn the options can be overwhelming. One of the most popular and ubiquitous desserts every fall is pumpkin pie! In order to determine the most “mouth-watering” from the other potential pies, I got together with food expert Holly Dayton ‘13, Baking Club leaders Julia Murphy ‘13 and Isabelle McAlevey ’13, as well as some additional eager food enthusiasts for a serious taste test.

Creating a smorgasbord of five pies, each removed from their original packaging so their baker could remain anonymous until after the tasting, we sat down, armed with forks and ready to taste! Before we dove in we had to determine a taste scale: 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. And so we started eating.

The first pie was instantly acknowledged as winner of “the cutest award” by Dayton. After admiring its adorable demeanor Murphy took the first bite and declared “you can taste the spice” which earned multiple approving head nods as everyone went for a second forkful. Pie number one was bought from Graeter’s and received a four because of its “perfectly flaky crust” according to McAlevey.

The second pie was presented adorned with a dollop of whip cream on top. Dayton took the first bite, “a little spicier, a thicker texture” she said. She was followed by McAlevey who added “you can really taste the nutmeg” and declared pie number two “more fall” than the first option. Murphy agreed that the second pie had a strong pumpkin taste embodying traditional fall flavors but that “it’s topping was unnecessary”. Pie number two was bought from Frisch’s and was voted to be a four on the taste scale. Avery Maier ’13, who has a family association with Frisch’s (Dayton does as well), was asked for her comment on a pie she grew up eating. “It’s the perfect pie for Thanksgiving dinner,” Maier said. “Traditional.”

The third pie didn’t garner nearly the same praise as its predecessors did and merited the worst award of the bunch. Before even taking a bite Dayton declared the crust as “instantly unappealing”. Brave enough to take the first bite McAlevey’s mouth turned down with disgust as she chewed managing to mumble “That is wrong,” and “Icky.” Then it was Murphy’s turn to be the victim and she was hesitant to try the pie but decided to give it a shot. Even after a minuscule bite she declared it to have a “dust flavor” and “congealed texture.” Dayton said it best for everyone when she said “This pie tastes vaguely of gelatin and the dentist’s office.” Pie number three was from Kroger and received a 1 on the taste scale. Not all pies are created equal.

Pie number four had a few redeeming qualities such as its focus on pumpkin but was voted only as a two on our taste scale because its poor crust and overuse of nutmeg. Pie number four which was from the Echo in Hyde Park “tasted very synthetic” said McAlevey, and was voted the most forgettable by the tasters.

At this point our little taste test had attracted quite of a crowd, mostly hungry high school students eager for even a bite of pie. However, one of them worked his way onto the board of tasters to give his opinion on the next pie.

Pie number five was received with hungry stares by all the onlookers but a lucky few actually got to eat it. As pieces were sliced and bites taken, approving heads nodded and comments ensued. “Amazing” exclaimed our newest judges, Michael Barton ’13, as he continued to eat the pie. “Definitely high quality ingredients,” said McAlevey. “I appreciate its homemade look.” “It is aesthetically and palate pleasing.” said Dayton. “This pie definitely deserves a five,” agreed Murphy. Pie number five was bought at Frieda’s Bakery in Madeira, “one of my top favorite bakeries” shared Barton. As everyone gushed over the delicious pie Barton mused that he’s “not so much about eating pies as just savoring the flavor,” a claim with little credibility as he and everyone else helped themselves to seconds of the winning pie.

Photo from Google Images

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A quest for the best…pumpkin pie