To acquire wisdom, one must observe

The Hoot’s Thanksgiving pie battle

Last Thanksgiving, we all wrote about our favorite Thanksgiving foods. This year we thought about writing on the worst Thanksgiving food but realized that we would have a huge article about turkey. Instead, we bring you the battle of the Thanksgiving pies. You can vote on the best pie on our Instagram story on Thanksgiving day (Thursday, Nov. 26)! 

Pie is gross

Victoria Morrongiello

I ain’t ever seen two pretty pies. Both of them have to be terrible. You may be confused because this is an article dedicated to our favorite pies, but there are no favorite pies because they’re all awful. Here is why. 

The first rule of thumb of desserts is that there should be no fruit or vegetables in them; thus apple pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie, sweet potato pie and all other pies that fall in that category are off the table (pun intended) for being in the running for best pie.  

Moving forward, custard pie sounds gross from its name because it sounds like mustard, and mustard also has no place in desserts. Now in full disclosure, I’ve never had custard pie, so I can’t judge how it tastes; I just assume it tastes bad from the word custard and therefore never intend to eat it.

Sugar and cream do belong in desserts, but for that to be your sole ingredient just doesn’t sit right with me. I genuinely have no idea what sugar pie and cream pie even are, but once again they don’t make themselves out to be all that appetizing. Why waste time on pie when you can have so many other superior desserts including, but not limited to, cupcakes, brownies, cookies and ice cream. 

Now who knows, I could be wrong. Maybe I’m not the person whose opinion you should be reading since I’ve literally never had a piece of pie in my life; to be honest, I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I’m sticking to my guns (desserts). So, checkmate, pie people; I’ll be eating brownies until I die. 

Mixed berry pie 

Sasha Skarboviychuk

Pie is great. What could be better than loads of fruits and a little bit of dough? Well, all desserts are great, so I won’t even pit them against each other. However, pie is something that even the opinions editor cannot make up her mind on—all pies are good (though I do have a few questions for the ricotta pie). But there is one category of pies that trumps them all: berry pies. 

Although the classic berry pie you think of would be blueberry, I’d argue that mixed berry pie is so much better. Just think about it: a pie full of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and any other berries you can think of. Doesn’t that make your mouth water? A combination I tried not too long ago was an apple berry pie, which was almost as good as plain berry pie. Moral of the story? Berries in pie make the best pie: Just put it on a plate, heat it up and enjoy the warm, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. But don’t get me started on the monsters who put ice cream on their pies: Those people deserve a special place in pie hell (but a level above those who do not like pie).  

Blueberry pie 

Emma Lichtenstein

Though not a traditional Thanksgiving dish, blueberry pie is easily the best dessert to put on your table. Pumpkin pie has a weird consistency, pecan pie can be overly sweet, apple pie… don’t even get me started. But blueberry pie is the perfect combination of sour and sweet, crumbly and gooey. Blueberries alone are overlooked—as they should be—but as a filling they are perfect. They have a long record of success in muffins, scones, pancakes and ice cream. Pie is easily the best of the bunch. Most pies need some sort of topping, like whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or need to be heated up to be truly good. Blueberry pie is perfect on its own, already having the perfect amount of sugar, the perfect texture and perfect temperature. Do yourself a favor this holiday season and buy a blueberry pie. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Pumpkin pie

John Fornagiel

I’ll be frank: When I was a young boy, I was not a big fan of pumpkin pie. It was something about pumpkins being associated with Halloween and not something that belongs in my stomach. In my childish mind, there was no way pumpkins could be good, right? Now, I don’t know about other families, but when I sat down at the Thanksgiving table for dessert, one of the trademark desserts on the table was pumpkin pie, so I always had the opportunity to take a slice every year. One fateful year, I bit the bullet and decided to try a piece, and, let me tell you, it was love at first taste. The creamy texture of the filling contrasted with the crunch of the crust, and with some vanilla ice cream on the side, it was clear there was nothing that could beat it. Especially not the overrated apple pie (let’s all be honest, baked apples in general just have a straight-up WEIRD texture).

With this anecdote, while reflecting, there is one clear conclusion that I can come up with. When I was young, I did not like pumpkin pie. However, when I was older, I enjoyed pumpkin pie. Therefore, people that do not enjoy pumpkin pie and do not consider it the best pie on Thanksgiving are very obviously immature, and who would knowingly respect and listen to someone who is so blatantly childish and immature?

Anything with fruit preserves

Aaron LaFauci

I love to peruse the baked goods section of Market Basket around holiday season and grab a box or two of those cheap, generic brand pies. From strawberry rhubarb to pineapple, I’ve tried them all. If the pie is stuffed with fruit slices that have been fermenting in a jar of sugar, I’ll eat it. Peach, cherry, blueberry, I don’t care. I’m in this pie business for the texture. The flavors, while usually still delicious, are secondary to the pure ecstasy of stuffing your face with that holy merger of sugar, crust and jelly. It is a palate delight. I suspect detractors of pie are put off for this very reason. Most cakes are a uniform confectionary experience for the most part. A slice of cake is all fluff and frosting, but a slice of pie is a layered experience that strikes the mouth more forcefully.

Is Market Basket pie gross? Of course. Chunks of old fruit suspended in jelly for less than ten dollars is a demented concept. Unfortunately, I just can’t stop eating it.

Mango pie 

Celia Young

I know what you’re thinking: “Mango pie? Really? How dare she actually suggest putting an off-season, tropical fruit in a fall dish!” While I’m always one for breaking convention, I, too, had your same fears. It was with trepid hands that I cut my first slice of a mango pie, a dish my aunt brought to our last Thanksgiving gathering. My immediate family eyed it with uncertainty, but what was I going to do, say no? Many on this campus know me as an often-too-aggressive mango advocate, but upon seeing this apparent monstrosity I was struck with a chill down to my core. How could one defame a mango so? Putting a mango in a pie, corrupting its natural flavors, poisoning this fruit—in my eyes, it was an offense of biblical proportions. Then I took my first bite.

It was, in a word: extreme. 

The flavors of mango trapped in a gelatin casing were superb, outshining the graham cracker crust that so elegantly danced a samba with the fruity flavor. This pie forced me to consider the existence of a supreme being, of a divine plan with the sole goal of creating this one delicacy. It would not shock me if my life, yours and every other was just an elaborate alien experiment dedicated to seeking out this one recipe. Worlds upon worlds must have been sacrificed to find this one, triumphant achievement. In tasting that pie, I explored each multiverse that had collapsed, I saw each failed attempt at this recipe. I bore witness to the death of a thousand suns in a single bite. I found the pinnacle of mango pie, the platonic ideal of this unorthodox dish. I felt a feeling of satisfaction one can only realize after the sweet release of death. I found peace in a piece of pie.

Sadly, all good things must end. I swore to attempt the recipe in 2020 but lost the instructions my aunt had so graciously provided. With cases of the coronavirus rising in my hometown, I have little hope I’ll see her this Thanksgiving. Perhaps Nov. 28, 2019, at 6:22 p.m. was the last time I felt truly happy. But thanks to this article, I may have discovered a different version of that lost recipe during my research. Yes, it’s a little different, and probably won’t taste quite as good, but so has been the year. I’ve got to try, and I hope you will, too. 

Chocolate pie

Jonathan Ayash

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the number one thing on people’s mind, often above the bitter cold weather and the awkward family reunions (maybe not this year), is the food. I always look forward to Thanksgiving dinner, as it’s filled with a wonderful assortment of food, ranging from turkey with cranberry sauce to stuffing to mashed potatoes. One of the largest, most consistent staples is pie. While everyone usually thinks of either apple pie or pumpkin pie, I myself have a different favorite that I believe is criminally underrepresented in the top pie selections: chocolate pie. Maybe it’s the sweet tooth in me, but I always thought that if pie was going to be my dessert, it was going to have to be a dessert. I love chocolate and I love pie, so what could go wrong if you put the two together? Spoiler alert: The answer is nothing. It is very similar to cake, just with a slightly different texture, a uniqueness that I enjoyed with my sweet dessert. That being said, I don’t dislike fruit pies. I actually quite like them. But would you rather have a cake for dessert or fruit? I think, at least for me, the answer is clear.

Ricotta pie 

Thomas Pickering

Ricotta pie is a testament to the greatness that is pie—the greatest dessert ever. Now, I am not just here to talk about this pie because, really, the world is not divided between those who align themselves behind their favorite pie. The real divide, the real rift between people, is really between those who like pies and those unfortunate sinners who have not been baptized by the holy greatness that is: PIE. Pie is not your average conservative desert like cake. Cake will always have frosting and the fluffy inside or maybe ice cream, but it never deviates from that simple makeup and is unlikely to change. But pie, ahhh, pie is as progressive as it can be. They do not care what you put inside, just that you leave smiling and satisfied after every slice. 

It can be blueberry, strawberry, apple, pumpkin, lemon meringue, key-lime, ricotta or anything else because the pie does not care about itself, it cares about you—and for you, it’ll be whatever you want it to be. My personal favorite is ricotta pie because what is better than a cannoli? Well if you said nothing, like I did three years ago, meet the ricotta pie—basically a big cannoli, so get your Italian flag and wolf this beautiful sucker down. 

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