With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the age-old Pumpkin Pie vs Sweet Potato Pie topic arises.  Which do you prefer? (TAKE THE POLL BELOW).  Let's be honest here.  SweetPotato Pie has a stigma attached to it such that it's primarily an African-American staple, while Pumpkin Pie is always more-so associated with the Caucasian Race.  However, is it a true assessment of either?

According to Wikipedia, here's an explanation of the origins of both: 

The pumpkin is native to the continent of North America. The pumpkin was an early export to France; from there it was introduced to Tudor England, and the flesh of the "pompion" was quickly accepted as pie filler. During the seventeenth century, pumpkin pie recipes could be found in English cookbooks, such as Hannah Woolley's The Gentlewoman's Companion (1675). Pumpkin "pies" made by early American colonists were more likely to be a savory soup made and served in a pumpkin than a sweet custard in a crust.

It was not until the early nineteenth century that the recipes appeared in American cookbooks for pumpkin pie became a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner.  The Pilgrims brought the pumpkin pie back to New England,  while the English method of cooking the pumpkin took a different course. In the 19th century, the English pumpkin pie was prepared by stuffing the pumpkin with apples, spices, and sugar and then baking it whole.  In the United States after the Civil War, the pumpkin pie was resisted in southern states as a symbol of Yankee culture imposed on the south, where there was no tradition of eating pumpkin pie.  Many southern cooks instead made sweet potato pie, or added bourbon and pecans to give a southern touch.

Today, throughout much of the United States, it is traditional to serve pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner. Additionally, many modern companies produce seasonal pumpkin pie-flavored products such as candycheesecakecoffeeice creamfrench toastwaffles and pancakes, and many breweries produce a seasonal pumpkin ale or beer; these are generally not flavored with pumpkins, but rather pumpkin pie spices. Commercially made pumpkin pie mix is made from Cucurbita pepoCucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata.


Though creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe, sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days.

Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was likely developed by African-American slaves from traditional African cuisine, making it a staple of soul food today.  Recipes for sweet potato pie first appeared in printed cookbooks in the 18th century, where it was included with savory vegetable dishes. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was more commonly classified as a dessert.


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