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11 Pies You Need to Try

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There’s so much more to the world of pies than apple, blueberry, and pumpkin. Broaden your pie horizons with a history lesson on (and recipes for) these 11 regional favorites from around the U.S.

1. KENTUCKY DERBY PIE

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You might not guess it, but pie culture is fraught with drama and controversy. Such is certainly the case with Kentucky Derby Pie, a dense pecan pie made with bourbon and chocolate chips. According to NPR, the owners of Kern’s Kitchen, a restaurant in Louisville, have trademarked the term “Derby-Pie” and are serious about enforcing it: The Kerns have sued other restaurants for using the term.

Get the recipe here.

2. KEY LIME PIE

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The official pie of the state of Florida has been around for a long, long time. Pie historians believe key lime pie may have originated after the Civil War, when canned condensed milk became widely available. It may also have been a creation of Key West sponge fishermen, who commonly kept limes, eggs, and condensed milk onboard during their voyages. Wherever it came from, this tart, fluffy concoction is here to stay.

Get the recipe here.

3. AND 4. CHESS PIE AND VINEGAR PIE

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Vinegar pie’s roots can be easily traced back to the pioneers of the 1800s. Chess pie is similar but uses a cornmeal crust. There are many stories about how this Southern classic got its name: Some people say it came from “cheese,” a reference to the pie’s custardy texture. Others say the pies were kept in a pie chest (it was a "chest pie"). Still others say it was so plain that bakers would shrug it off: “It’s ‘jes pie.”

Get the recipe for chess pie here, and the recipe for vinegar pie here.

5. MISSISSIPPI MUD PIE

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The origins of this pie's name are clear as—well, you know. The gloppy, super-sweet pie is more or less chocolate on top of chocolate on top of chocolate (sometimes with ice cream!), and bears some resemblance to the roiling, opaque waters of the Mississippi River. There’s no official recipe; any pile of chocolate on a chocolate cookie crust is generally fair game.

Get a recipe here.

6. WHOOPIE PIE

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The whoopie pie war is one for the ages. Nobody’s arguing that the cushiony little cookie-cake sandwiches are actually pies. No, this debate is about ownership. New Englanders and Pennsylvanians both lay claim to the dessert, and Maine has gone so far as to make the whoopie pie its official state treat (not to be confused with the official state dessert, which is, of course, blueberry pie).

Get the recipe here.

7. SWEET POTATO PIE

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Edible pumpkins are hard to grow in the South, and so, historians believe, early American cooks in the lower part of the U.S. turned to sweet potatoes. The slaves who later prepared the pies on plantations passed the recipes down through their own families. Their descendants would disperse across the United States, bringing their recipes with them and making sweet potato pie a staple of African-American cuisine.

Get the recipe here.

8. SHOO-FLY PIE

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This cakey molasses pie was born and bred in Pennsylvania Amish country, where it remains a must-eat for tourists. The name derives from the pie’s intense sweetness—so sweet that bakers had to shoo away the flies. 

Get the recipe here.

9. ATLANTIC BEACH PIE

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Made famous in a restaurant on the North Carolina coast, Atlantic Beach Pie is similar to key lime pie with two major differences: a saltine cracker crust and a topping of whipped cream instead of meringue. It may sound a little strange, but those who try it say the risk is worth it. “I think the only reaction I had was, 'Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,’” cookbook author Katie Workman told NPR

Get the recipe here.

10. STRAWBERRY PRETZEL PIE

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The Technicolor dessert known as strawberry pretzel salad is a relic of the “salad” days of the 1950s and '60s, when cookbooks would label literally anything a “salad” if it had Jell-O in it. Strawberry pretzel salad may be a common sight at potlucks throughout the Southern United States, but it seems to be falling out of favor; one blogger called it a “culinary crime against humanity.” Strawberry pretzel pie, on the other hand, is having its day. The fresh, sweet, slightly salty pie is a toned-down, classier version of its predecessor.

Get the recipe here.

11. BOSTON CREAM PIE

Image Credit: Edward Kimber via Flickr Creative Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

New Englanders must enjoy calling everything a “pie.” The official state dessert of Massachusetts is most definitely a cake—a rich sponge cake oozing with custard filling and topped with chocolate glaze. If you’ve only had a Boston cream donut, you’ve got to give the pie a try.

Get the recipe here.

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6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
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Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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