FARGO — It's National Pi Day. The one day a year dedicated to both the tasty treat and the mathematical constant used to measure the value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
However, the thought of pi makes me cringe. (There is a reason I went into writing after ending my math career during my second semester as a Minnesota State University Moorhead student. I was never so happy to receive a low "C" in my life.)
Now, pie? That's the stuff we like. Pecan, pumpkin, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb... The list can go on for days.
But don't come near me with apple. I don't mess with apple pie.
Maybe it's just my un-American side showing, but apple pie is completely overrated. You have squishy, over-cinnamony pieces of fruit between two dry and crumbly hunks of flavorless dough. Blegh. Even after adding ice cream, the wet-to-dry ratio is unbalanced and leaves the consumer with an unpleasant mouthfeel that requires a tall glass of milk to wash down.
Now for a pie that is worthy to call itself pie, you're going to want to turn to your blueberries or your pecans. They're just as American — the U.S. is the top blueberry and pecan-producing country in the world, generating more than 200,000 tons of the purple-blue fruit and about 75 percent of the little nut each year — and they just plain taste better.
Sweet berries form an almost gel-like filling that, when combined with the perfect graham-cracker crust, provides a balanced taste and texture that absolutely cannot be beat. As for pecan pies, using a traditional flaky crust is the only way to go. Combining a flaky, buttery crust with a semi-translucent, sweet, custard-like filling dotted with crunchy, salty pecans ensures that the taste-to-texture balance is always on point.
Today is Pi(e) Day. Whether you celebrate by doing some math (if you're into that kind of thing) or chowing down on your favorite 'za or delicious combination of crust and filling, remember one thing: Apple pie is severely overrated.