It’s customary for states to take pride in designating a flag, flower, and bird that are believed to best represent their state, but a state pie? If State Sen. Allen Paul has his way in this year’s legislature, Indiana will indeed name an official state pie – sugar cream.
Indiana wouldn’t be the first to lay claim to a particular pie. Vermont designated apple pie as its state pie in 1999, and Florida named key lime as its official pie in 2006.
Paul can’t take full credit for his pie-in-the-sky idea, though. The Indiana Foodways Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify, promote, and preserve Indiana’s food culture, worked in conjunction with Ball State University to investigate the history of the sugar cream pie, and traced its recipe back to none other than Indiana. They subsequently lobbied Paul to introduce the idea of declaring it our state pie to the legislature.
The pie is thought to have been brought to Indiana by Quakers in the early 1800s. Its ingredients are simple – cream, butter, sugar, flour, and a little spice – which would have made it perfect for settlers of that period. Today, sugar cream pie is the bestseller of Wick’s Pies, which manufactures the pies less than 30 miles north of Richmond (the home of Sen. Paul, by the way). Wick’s sells about 750,000 of it’s old-fashioned sugar cream pies" every year.
So it would seem the sugar cream pie has some strong ties to Hoosier heritage. But is it a Hoosier favorite? And do we need a state pie? What do you think?