Why do we eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Is there anything more synonymous with Thanksgiving than a good old-fashioned pumpkin pie?
Millions of Americans gather around the dining table to enjoy this traditional holiday dessert every fall. But why is it so popular? What’s the story behind the dish?
Let’s explore the history of pumpkin pie and some interesting facts about the beloved treat. We’ll also go over when and where it originated, so you can better understand the history and cultural significance of this classic Thanksgiving favorite.
So, whether you’re a pumpkin pie enthusiast or just curious about its origins, let’s get started!
The History of Pumpkin Pie: When Was Pumpkin Pie Invented?
The history of pumpkin pie dates back centuries and is steeped in Native American and European traditions. It’s believed to have originated in the United States during colonial times, but its true origin remains a mystery.
The first mention of a pumpkin-based dish appeared in an anonymous publication in 1796. Still, it wasn’t until 1815 that a recipe resembling what we know today as pumpkin pie was published in an American cookbook.
Where Did Pumpkin Pie Originate?
The original recipe called for the filling to be boiled, with eggs and milk added later to thicken it. The origin of pumpkin pie is believed to stem from a combination of English custard pies combined with Native American squash recipes.
The first colonists used pumpkins as a significant ingredient in their pies. They were plentiful, and the crust was much easier to make than traditional pastries. Since then, many variations on the classic pumpkin pie recipe have emerged.
Today, pumpkin pie is one of the most popular desserts served on Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition that has existed for centuries!
The Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Pie on Thanksgiving
Eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving has some pretty interesting benefits. Eating pumpkin pie isn’t just about filling your belly; it has become a way to honor the traditional foods the Pilgrims ate.
So why is this particular dessert so popular?
Pumpkin Pie Is Nutritious
The main ingredients in pumpkin pie are pumpkins, eggs, sugar, spices, and often cream or milk. These components provide a lot of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can give your body a healthy boost.
For example, pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which helps support vision health. Eggs provide protein, and milk contains both protein and calcium. And finally, those delicious spices, like nutmeg and cinnamon, offer their own antioxidants too!
Pumpkin Pie Is Part of a Holiday Tradition
The tradition of eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving dates back centuries ago to the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. During that time, pumpkins were used in many dishes, such as dried pumpkin pies.
Since then pumpkin has become a staple fall treat with its rich flavor and unique texture – perfect for holiday feasts!
Pumpkin Pie Is Delicious
Of course, the best part about eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving is the flavor! With its creamy texture and sweet spice combination, it’s no wonder why this dessert is so popular during the holiday season. Pumpkin pies can be enjoyed hot or cold by adding whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, making your treat extra special!
Different Variations and Recipes for Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie supports a wide range of recipes, from the traditional pumpkin spice flavor to the more modern twist of adding extra flavors and spices. Some recipes also require evaporated milk or cream cheese for a richer custard-style filling. Even vegan and gluten-free versions are available if you’re looking for healthier alternatives.
With so many variations of the classic dessert, we can enjoy pumpkin pie with either sweet or savory toppings. These toppings can be whipped cream, crushed nuts, ice cream, caramel sauce, or crumbled bacon!
So why do we eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie has been a Thanksgiving tradition since the holiday’s inception. Celebrated by Pilgrims and Native Americans, this holiday staple has made its way onto tables for centuries.
Though the story behind the pie’s creation is vague, what is certain is that it’s an integral part of the holiday.
Pumpkin pie may have evolved, but its nostalgia will always remain a part of the Thanksgiving story.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.