Pie Takes the Cake

Drew McCarroll | Staff Photographer

Drew McCarroll | Staff Photographer
In the battle between pie and cake, the crispy texture of the crust and sweet, inside filling of pie dominates the excessively-frosted birthday cake.

The age-old question that perplexes sweet tooth connoisseurs is the infamous taste-test battle between two competing teams: pie and cake.
For ages, cake has been the essential staple dessert for special occasions ranging from birthdays to weddings, and much more. Cakes are composed of a few simple ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs and sometimes, frosting. It often has a soft, dry texture with layers and coatings of sugar and artful decorations in the form of fake flower petals, Disney characters, even digitized pictures of people, or just about anything else you can imagine.
Nowadays, with the ailing economy, consumers have the option of buying packets of fairly inexpensive cake mix or frosting mix and eggs to whip up their own savory dessert — whether through the help of Pillsbury or Betty Crocker. Comparatively, ready-made cakes such as those made by Carvel and Baskin Robins cost about $35 to $40, which is quite expensive.
A wedding ceremony is not quite complete without the main dessert on the menu: cake. Likewise, the sound of party poppers, confetti, soft fizzy drinks, kids high on sugar, clowns (or maybe not), seems nothing without the rendition of “Happy Birthday” and the actual candles on a sugar-coated cake. After all, who celebrates a birthday without a cake?
Imagine the big dark brown eyes of a child; concave, dilated and filled with immense sorrow after finding out that he was not able to blow a candle on his birthday cake imprinted with the design of his favorite Pokemon character. It seems quite odd to replace the quintessential American icon with its arch-enemy, the notorious pie. What does pie have to say to that?
While birthdays may be reserved for cakes, pie is also eaten on special occasions and is arguably more famous. For example, pie aficionados across the world gather around their dinner tables on March 14 to celebrate the famous mathematical formula, “Pi.”
Pi Day takes place on March 14, which is the equivalent of the third month of the year divided by 14 at exactly 1:59 pm, to acknowledge the rest of the famous numbers of the Pi formula. Pi Day isn’t just for nerds — it’s a way of bringing people together who enjoy eating pie.
Pies generally have a soft light brown crust-like texture aside from its spectacular right-out-of-the-oven warm filling. No matter what occasion, pie seems to do the trick.
Cake, on the other hand, is just a mere collection of layers and layers of sugar with frosting and a crust-less texture, despite its occasional attempt of elegantly carved artwork on frosting. Although pie may seem banal compared to its opponent, pies taste fresh and warm and don’t need the “unnecessary accessories” to bargain with its true fans.
Pie is fairly inexpensive on the McDonalds menu – another favorable attribute of this savory dessert. When you’re in a rush, you can always get two apple pies to go for an affordable 99 cents.
The good thing about pie is that it lacks the frosting-covered-double-layered cream yet comes in a selection of endless flavors. There’s absolutely no “fake” taste to it. Pies are crusted with a scrumptious variety of “real” fillings ranging from pumpkin, apple, banana cream, pecan pie, or for you carnivorous lovers, diced steak and kidney pie enveloped in a thick savory soup-like substance.
Pie, though the underdog when it comes to special occasions aside from Thanksgiving, is still a unique dessert in which people are able to slowly savor the taste, as opposed to biting into something that is cakey and full of sugar all in one go.
Vincent Rossemier, a pie extremist and blogger on Salon.com, is quite happy with the replacement of cake on his wedding day for reasons that remain quite justifiable.
He notes the cultural aspect and reasons for choosing pie over cake, as well as the fact that pie isn’t a sloppy assortment of layers of fluffy cloud-like substances. Pies are delicately kneaded and designed with a crunchy top layering, including a surprise filling which is quite “yummy for the tummy.”
Despite the controversy and difficulty of choosing a dessert that is both fulfilling and delicious-looking, pie wins my vote for its eloquence, crusted texture and warm inside filling.
Sorry cake, your frosting just doesn’t fool me.