American as Apple Pie

Hot dogs, milkshakes, and grilled cheese are all iconic American foods, but none are quite “as American as apple pie.” A pie is a baked dish made up of a pastry dough exterior that is filled with sweet or savory ingredients. However, not all pies are made equal. Pie was initially a practical dish because it required less flour to make than bread, making it the ideal, cheap, and filling dish for hungry immigrants. As colonists (and their pie recipes) spread towards the West, variations developed and came to represent different areas of the United States.

In Northern states, Native Americans taught settlers how to extract sap from maple trees, and pumpkin pies sweetened with maple syrup became very popular in this area. Maine, which boasted a plentiful blueberry harvest each year, claimed blueberry pie as their signature dessert. The Midwest, with its abundance of dairy farms, specialized in cheese and cream pies. Southern states indulged in various kinds of “chess pie” which was filled with rich buttermilk or cream, sugar, egg, and sometimes bourbon.

Today, pies of all kinds are enjoyed throughout the States, especially during American holidays like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July. If you haven’t tasted pie yet, it is a classic (and delicious!) part of American heritage that you need to try at least once while in the States. With Independence Day coming up, you will likely find pies on display in any major American supermarket, but Seattle also has a slew of specialty pie shops if you want a taste of the traditional homemade goods. Here are a few of the most popular:


Pie Bar Ballard


This family-owned business has a weekly-rotating menu of sweet and savory pies as well as craft cocktails and ciders to compliment! Check out their unique selection of treats here.

A la Mode Pies


“Quite simply, exceptional pie – the kind Mom would be proud to serve.” – Chris Porter (Owner)

This hand-baked pie shop has expanded from its original location in West Seattle to open a second in Phinney Ridge across from the Woodland Park Zoo. Their 9-inch pies are made-to-order with the fruit filling sourced from local, organic farms. They also offer pie-making classes on Tuesdays and delivery for orders consisting of of 5 or more pies. Explore their website to browse their flavors, order online, and check out their extended summer hours.




As its name would suggest, this is a one-stop-shop for all of your pie needs. Baked fresh throughout the day, each one (meat pies, vegetarian pies, sweet pies, savory pies, morning pies, late- night pies) is individually sized which ensures freshness and the perfect portion. Their menu changes daily in rotation so you can expect a new treat for your taste buds with each visit!



Pie-history Credit:


Thanksgiving & Black Friday

This year, Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 26!

Thanksgiving is an American Holiday that first took place in 1621. The Pilgrims (early European settlers) shared a feast with the Native Americans to give thanks for the years harvest. Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated as a day to remember all the things in life we have that we are grateful for. It is a time to give thanks.

Thanksgiving is normally celebrated with family and friends and includes a large meal.


The most commonly eaten meal on Thanksgiving is turkey.

Turkeys are major icons of Thanksgiving!

Common side dishes include mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and pumpkin pie!

Mashed potatoes!

Stuffing is usually cooked with Turkey

Rolls with butter are delicious

Pumpkin pie is great with whipped cream

Another traditional Thanksgiving activity is to watch parades. Most major cities around the country have parades in their downtown areas, with New York’s and Chicago’s being well known. You can watch the festivities on television.

Thanksgiving Parades often have huge floats

You can even go see a parade in Seattle! Macy’s, the department store, has its annual Holiday Parade on Friday, November 27, this year in downtown Seattle. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and lasts one hour. You can watch decorated floats, costumed characters and local community groups, followed by Santa Claus.

Here is a map of the parade route through Downtown Seattle

Black Friday occurs after Thanksgiving when many stores have sales with largely discounted items available. Many stores actually open during the evening of Thanksgiving rather than on Friday. People gather in stores looking for great deals on everything.  Here is a website that lists savings from many different stores.

If you are shopping on Black Friday, remember to be careful of crowds!

Cyber Monday is an event on November 30, where the biggest deals on electronic products are available. Usually the sales begin at midnight on Sunday, and then continue until products run out.  You can shop for computers, phones, and more from the comfort of your home!

This Thanksgiving, whether you are shopping, visiting parades, or just simply staying in, have a great 4 day weekend! Relax and enjoy time with others during the break. Lastly, remember to take a moment and think about all the things you are grateful for!