HAPPY PI-E DAY! Where did pie originate?

I was snowed in today and didn’t have a chance to get to work, despite really wanting to start my experiment. So I ended up doing a lot of reading today.

Followed by cleaning the kitchen and baking mini apple pies for dinner. It was my first time doing a basic pie crust and it turned out pretty good, except I couldn’t get it thin enough and didn’t add enough sugar. It’s okay though, I’ll get it next time!

I didn’t even realize it was March 14th… or 03/14 or… 3.14 day, aka PI DAY.

So today I wanted to talk to you about the very early origins of pies. Because of pi day! Which sounds like Pie Day, close enough. I mean, I could talk to you all about pi and where that came from (I did actually read up on that too), but I figured I’d keep this more food related. To be completely honest if I had to pick between cake and pies, I’d choose cake hands down so it was pretty cool looking into pies.

Origins of pie

In the early days, meat were cooked on top of a fire on a spit. Which is fine and all, but that also meant the edges got charred and burnt and the delicious juices simply fell back into the pit, leaving dry, tough pieces of meat. To fix this, some bright person thought,

“Hey, let’s wrap this in something so prevent the juices from leaking out!” And so, meat pies were born when people decided to wrap bread around it. Interestingly, they called these crusts coffins, which meant a basket or box back then. Also, this crust wasn’t really eaten, it was mostly just a vehicle to cook and carry the meat in, so I suppose this wasn’t truly a pie.

From around 1300-1200 B.C., ancient Egyptians made galettes which is just nuts, honey, fruits in a bread dough. From there the Greeks took that and wrapped a flour and water paste and wrapped it around meat, making meat pies. Following the Greeks, the Romans, stated baking sweet pies in a pastry case.

After that, pies spread across the world. Many of our pies today actually began in Medieval Europe and then brought to America by the colonists. Since pies were a great way to preserve food, they were made quite often.

And from there most of our modern pies were developed, especially ones meant to showcase different fruits and ingredients, rather than just be a convenient way to carry meals.

Conclusions and tl;dr

Just a short brief primer on where some of the earliest ideas for the pie came from today. The history of the modernized pie that starts right after this story is the part that is very well documented. Perhaps one day I’ll go into the detailed history of the modern pie, but I’ll save that for another time.


Pies date back to Ancient Egypt, in the form of galettes. Most historians attribute meat pies to the Greeks, and sweet pies to the Romans.