Throughout 2012, we will be documenting our progress as we search the United States for the fabled "Pie of Enlightenment." This is not some simple "flash-in-the-pie-pan" lark cooked up by a couple of baby boomers with nothing better to do. Indeed not. This is a serious quest, a peril laden assignment for which we were chosen – against our will I might add – in October, 1972. After a forty-year search spanning the best years of our lives, across the vast expanses of America's highways, punctuated by the highest and lowest of human emotions, the end is in sight. Nadine, the mysterious pie muse that started us on this journey in the first place, promises we will, at last, discover the “Pie of Enlightenment” this year and share it with pie lovers everywhere.
No doubt, you are filled with questions: Who are these Pie Kings anyway? Why have I never heard of Nadine, the pie muse? Exactly what, in heaven’s name, is the “Pie of Enlightenment?” And how does it relate to Nietzsche's concept of "der Uber pie?" Why should I care about any of this? Patience. We'll answer all these questions as the journey progresses. For now, let's start at the beginning. What are the historical origins of pie?
Like so many of mankind's greatest inventions, the discovery of pie was an accident. No one but Nadine knows exactly how it happened, but we know that the first pie makers were prehistoric nomads whose lives were precarious in the extreme. Some of them were probably named Berta. Food was hard to come by and waste was inexcusable. One of the greatest challenges facing these early wanderers was spoilage. At this stage of culinary development, food could not be preserved. This led to a trio of unpleasant choices. Once you get your hands on something to eat, you must eat everything before it has a chance to go bad. Or, eat what you can and leave the rest behind. Or, bring it along, eating as you go and hope it doesn't make you sick. Pie was the answer. Meat, grass, roots, bark, nuts etc. could be cooked in a thick crust and sealed with an airtight top crust which rendered the food preserved and portable.
Early travelers could make nutritious pies and carry them from place to place using stones to break the thick crust when time came to consume the contents. In fact, when the pie’s contents included fowl, the legs were left protruding which provided a convenient carry handle. This innovation offered a survival advantage to those wandering bands who mastered the art of weapons production and pie making.
One of the most obvious but underappreciated explanations for the disappearance of Neanderthals as a species is their failure to grasp the importance of pie making as a means to meet the challenge of a changing environment.
Anthropologists have coined the term "pie blindness" for those societies that failed to appreciate the role pie plays in long-term survival prospects. An important factor emerging in modern research is the prevalence of pie scarcity in every civilization that withered and ultimately vanished.
A number of respected scientists and scholars have noted that the apex of American power and prestige coincides with the Golden age of American pie making and the important role pie played in the fabric of American family life.
Come along as we delve deeper into the mystery and majesty that is pie and the role pie must play in personal self actualization and a strong national defense. This is the year of destiny.
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