Apple pie was invented in America.
Don’t Believe That!
There’s nothing more American than apple pie… but, while we may have claimed it as our national food, the dessert existed for centuries before the United States was formed.
The earliest apple pie can be traced to a 1381 English recipe calling for apples, spices, figs, raisins and pears in a pastry casing. Published recipes for Dutch apple pie go back as far as 1514. There were French and Swedish variations, as well.
Apple pie was introduced to the early U.S. colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries. Apple trees did not even exist in the Americas and had to be transplanted from Europe! It was not very popular at first as most pies at that time were made with a meat filling, but it soon became commonplace in American homes and restaurants.
Folk hero “Johnny Appleseed,” was said to have walked over 10,000 miles planting apple trees throughout the American frontier in the early 19th century. This may have started the public association of the fruit with the United States. The origin of the phrase “as American as apple pie” is a little murky, but it was used as early as the 1920s. During World War II it became quite prevalent as a patriotic sentiment, and only grew in use throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s, TV commercials declared that Chevrolet was as American as “baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.”