As far back as 1300 b.c. Egyptian bakers were making pie dough, but the Greeks were the first to use pie dough wrapped around meat. Romans made pie with oysters and the first pie recipe was a Roman goat cheese and honey combination. The Romans spread the concept of pies through Europe. However dessert pies didn't start until the 1500's and were filled with pears, quines, and apples. An English myth claims Queen Elizabeth made the first cherry pie. A Mayflower meat dish was called "pie at sea" and when the Pilgrims arrived they used berries, cranberries, eggs, dried fruit, and molasses. By the time of the Revolutionary war pie included butter, sugar, and spices,
Western pioneers used whatever was available like huckleberries and pecans. When Butch Cassidy was a kid he was arrested for stealing a pair of pants and a slice of pie. Prairie pies included rhubarb, mulberries, and peaches. In the south they were using sweet potatoes. By the turn of the century pie had become the symbol of American plenty. Pie has come to symbolize ingenuity, resilience, mothers love, and America.
A 1902 New York Times editorial read: "Pie is the American synonym of prosperity, and its varying contents [is] the calendar of the changing seasons. Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished. It is a significant historical fact that England's glory was greatest in the days when her gallant sons ate pie."
(From November 13, 2011 Parade Magazine.)