Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Casey. Casey Wonders, “Who Created Pies” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Casey!

Have you ever heard the saying “Easy as pie?” It means that something is very simple. But that might make you wonder, what is easy about pie? Well, here at Wonderopolis, our team thinks pie is easy to eat!

Pie is a baked food with a crust. Sometimes the crust is on the bottom, but in other pies, it is on top. Some pies even have a crust on the top AND bottom! 

Most often, people make the crust from pastry. Flour, salt, butter, and water are mixed to make pastry dough. Some cooks also add sugar or cream to their dough. They then shape the mixture into a crust.

The crust is filled with either sweet or savory ingredients. Sweet fillings include fruits, nuts, and custards. Cherry, pecan, and coconut cream are all sweet pies. Savory fillings can be meats, eggs, vegetables, or cheese. One type of meat pie is a chicken pot pie, which often includes peas and carrots.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had their own types of pies. They invented the first pies as containers for holding and cooking meats and other fillings. The pie crust served as a dish. These first pie crusts were thick and hard. Often people ate the filling but not the tough crust.

The crust also kept the food fresh. When kept cool, the crust preserved the meat cooked inside. The meat could be eaten later. Pies also made it easier to store the cooked food.

As empires spread, people carried pies to other parts of the world. Cooks came up with new types of pies with different ingredients. In Britain, cooks created Shepherd’s Pie. Rather than pastry, it has a potato crust on top. Settlers in America began making pies with fruits, like apples, that grew in their new home. 

Cooks also started making individual pies from a single piece of dough. They would put the filling on half, fold the dough over, and pinch it closed. The pies are baked or fried. These small pies are also called turnovers or hand pies. 

There are different versions of hand pies all over the world. In England, there are Cornish pasties which are filled with beef, onions, and potatoes. Both Latin America and the Philippines have empanadas, which are made with chicken, pork, or fish. In Central and Southeast Asia, samosas are often triangular and filled with potatoes, lentils, or other vegetables. 

With so many pies, you can probably think of both sweet and savory pies that you have eaten. What kinds of pie would you like to try next? Maybe you can visit a local restaurant or bakery with your family to see what kinds of pie are available!

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.4, CCRA.L.5, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.W.1, D2.GEO.7, SMP.4

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