Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.
Every day is pie day at Portman Farms Market in Bridgeville and Randall’s Restaurant in Perryopolis.
Pie in just about any form or flavor makes a person happy, no matter how you slice it.
While National Pie Day is being celebrated this weekend, pies are celebrated each day at these two pie-making machines.
National Pie Day is celebrated annually Jan. 23. It features one of the country’s favorite desserts. The American Pie Council created National Pie Day in 1986 to commemorate Crisco’s 75th anniversary of “serving foods to families everywhere.”
“People come here (to Randall’s) for the pies,” said co-owner Beth Berkebile of the popular Fayette County restaurant.
“It started with my grandmother. She was the first pie maker. We’ve always had a huge selection. We had an eight-custard pie that people would always come back for.”
Berkebile co-owns Randall’s with her brother Tom Havadich.
At Portman’s, Washington Pike, Bridgeville, pies are a big item. But the business operated from a green barn offers a full deli and lunch specials.
It’s a busy place and the pies are a huge reason.
“Yes, everyday is a good pie day at Portman’s,” said Debbie Proie, manager. “We are selling a lot of pies – apple and Dutch apple are favorites. This is a little family-owned business. Every day we offer the same pies and then some special orders.”
At both Randall’s and Portman, the highest volume of pies are sold for Thanksgiving.
Berkebile said Randall’s, located on Route 51, made 300-plus pies for Thanksgiving and the piemakers there peeled 10 boxes of apples by hand.
The restaurant baked 150 pies for Christmas.
Proie said Portman’s, owned by Elizabeth Wernert, sold between 800 and 1,000 pies for Thanksgiving.
Randall’s mouthwatering pie menu includes, coconut cream, banana cream, lemon meringue, egg custard, coconut egg custard, apple, Dutch apple, double crusted lemon, chocolate, cherry, raisin, peach, pumpkin, blueberry and blackberry.
In addition to apple and Dutch apple, Portman’s features blackberry, blueberry, Boston crème, cherry, coconut meringue, lemon meringue, peach, pecan and pumpkin.
Sonya McGavitt has served as chief pie maker at Randall’s and said there’s some strategy involved.
“The challenge is how many to make a day,” she said. “Sometimes we are busy, sometimes we are slow. Some of the pies are ordered ahead of time. Other factors are the weather, the time of year, what moved the week before.
“We always sell the apple and Dutch apple. Cherry is moving right now.”
McGavitt also credits other pie makers at Randall’s – Ay Girasia and Libby Roberts – for helping keep the pie-eating customers happy.
Because she makes so any pies McGavitt doesn’t get caught up in the holiday craze.
“We don’t eat pie for Thanksgiving,” she laughed.
To celebrate National Pie Day, people are also encouraged to bake their favorite pie.
According to history, the first pies appeared around 9500 BC in the Egyptian Neolithic period or New Stone Age. That means humans have been eating pies for a long time.
With so many flavors to choose from, no one should have any problem finding one they like. Pies are actually celebrated twice a year, as National Pi Day is celebrated March 14.
Pi (3.14159) is a mathematical constant. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Another day to celebrate pie is in the offing March 14.
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