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10 Pies to Enjoy on Pi Day

March 14th, or 3/14, is Pi Day! That means today is a day to celebrate everyone’s favorite irrational number. What better way to pay homage than with pie? Here are some mathematically delicious options to try this year.  

1. CHOCOLATE OREO MOUSE PI PIE

YouTube star Rosanna Pansino runs a channel dedicated to nerdy baked goods, so it’s no surprise that she would have a great Pi Day recipe up her sleeve. Check out her Chocolate Oreo Mouse Pi Pie. She uses a stencil to make sure her Pi symbol is as clean as possible.

2. APPLE PI PIE

YouTuber Heart of Tarts also tried her hand with a Pi-symbol-emblazoned pie, but used a well-cut apple. The baker also included some apple mathematical signs around it for added flair.

3. MINIATURE PIES

Instagram user muppetwedding created not one pie, but a whole slew of miniature pies. There were 36 pies in all (pecan is pictured above).

4. APPLE NUMBER PIE

 

Instructables user aperiodictable took a different approach for her clever pi pie. She filled the crust with numbers that she created by pressing cheap cookie cutters into apples. The crust is also covered in little numbers arranged in the order of pi.

5. SUSHI PI PIE

Instructables user lmnopeas reinvented what a pie could be by incorporating sushi. She used a mold to create wasabi pi symbols to sit on top of each slice. 

6. PI PIE MOLD

This kitschy pie is actually shaped like the pi symbol. Instructables user made the mold using aluminum foil.

7. BOOK OF PI PIE

This delicious tome was made by Flickr user Jhayne. The book shaped pie has the first 24 digits carved into the cover, showing the apple filling inside.

8. PIZZA PI

Virginia’s Pomodoro Pizza Pasta celebrated a past Pi Day with a special pizza pie. The pepperonis are arranged to create the shape of the pi symbol.

9. FROSTED PI PIE

This 35 digit pie shows pi’s numbers with colorful frosting. Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker says the pie was actually made on March 15, but it’s never too late to celebrate Pi Day by eating a delicious pie.

10. TRIPLE BERRY PI DAY PIE

Even Pillsbury wants a slice of the action. Their pie has the symbol cut out of the middle, showing off its mixed berry inside. There’s also a line of digits circling the outer crust.

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Big Questions
What is Duck Sauce?
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A plate of Chinese takeout with egg rolls and duck sauce
iStock

We know that our favorite Chinese takeout is not really authentically Chinese, but more of an Americanized series of menu options very loosely derived from overseas inspiration. (Chinese citizens probably wouldn’t recognize chop suey or orange-glazed chicken, and fortune cookies are of Japanese origin.) It would also be unusual for "real" Chinese meals to be accompanied by a generous amount of sauce packets.

Here in the U.S., these condiments are a staple of Chinese takeout. But one in particular—“duck sauce”—doesn’t really offer a lot of information about itself. What exactly is it that we’re pouring over our egg rolls?

Smithsonian.com conducted a sauce-related investigation and made an interesting discovery, particularly if you’re not prone to sampling Chinese takeout when traveling cross-country. On the East Coast, duck sauce is similar to sweet-and-sour sauce, only fruitier; in New England, it’s brown, chunky, and served on tables; and on the West Coast, it’s almost unheard of.

While the name can describe different sauces, associating it with duck probably stems from the fact that the popular Chinese dish Peking duck is typically served with a soybean-based sauce. When dishes began to be imported to the States, the Americanization of the food involved creating a sweeter alternative using apricots that was dubbed duck sauce. (In New England, using applesauce and molasses was more common.)

But why isn’t it easily found on the West Coast? Many sauce companies are based in New York and were in operation after Chinese food had already gained a foothold in California. Attempts to expand didn’t go well, and so Chinese food aficionados will experience slightly different tastes depending on their geography. But regardless of where they are, or whether they're using the condiment as a dipping sauce for their egg rolls or a dressing for their duck, diners can rest assured that no ducks were harmed in the making of their duck sauce.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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