Bring your ap-PIE-tite to meetings today! It’s March 14 (3/14), which means it’s Pi Day, the annual celebration of the mathematical constant 3.14. People all over the country mark this occasion by digging into pies…or at least that’s their excuse for indulging in this scrumptious treat. Silly holidays such as this have become as American as, well, apple pie, but specialty pies can be found all over the country.
Pie is such a large part of our heritage that the American Pie Council (APC)—yes, there is one—has been hosting the APC National Pie Championships since 1995. Its annual industry convention and competition will be heating up ovens next month at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. Located next to the Orange County Convention Center, the hotel offers more than 150,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 1,254 guest rooms. Although the organization acknowledges Pi Day, it has registered January 23 as National Pie Day.
Here’s a pie-ographical tour of the nation.
Arizona: Prickly Pear Pie
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona, is known for its prickly pear margarita, but the pastry chef would be happy to custom-make the pie version for a catered event. The resort has more than 44,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting space.
Massachusetts: Boston Cream Pie
According to the American Pie Council, Boston Cream Pie is a cake, not a pie. It was the culinary creation of the chef at Omni Parker House in Boston in the mid-1800s. Meeting professionals can order the hotel’s iconic dessert to be delivered anywhere nationwide. Omni Parker House has 23,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 551 guest rooms. In 1996, Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official state dessert of Massachusetts.
California: Boysenberry Pie
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, is the birthplace of the boysenberry. It will hosting the annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival March 16-April 8. The amusement park is available for buyout and can accommodate more than 5,000 guests in its corporate event venues.
Florida: Key Lime Pie
Florida adopted key lime pie as its official pie in 2006, and Key West is known as the place to go to sample the sour-sweet dessert. If you’re in the Southernmost Point for a meeting, drop in at one of the many bakeries or cafes. Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel has 13,123 sq. ft. of meeting space, and homemade key lime pie is on their catering menu.
Idaho: Huckleberry Pie
Idaho is known for its potatoes—think shepherd’s pie—but a fourth-grade class proposed last month that the state legislature declare huckleberry pie as the state’s official pie, according to The Spokesman-Review. Huckleberries are already the state’s official fruit. Hill’s Resort in Priest Lake, Idaho, claims to be famous for its huckleberry pies. The resort has conference facilities and a range of guest room types, including cabins, condos and chalets.
Montana also prides itself in its huckleberry population. The Huckleberry Days Festival is hosted in Whitefish, Montana, each summer. Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish offers 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 144 guest rooms.
Illinois: Pumpkin Pie
Although some may argue that Connecticut is the go-to pumpkin pie destination, this fall classic became the official state pie of Illinois in 2015. The governor of Illinois signed a proclamation in 1978 deeming the city of Morton as the Pumpkin Capital of the World. The annual Morton Pumpkin Festival takes place each September. Less than two miles away, Park Inn by Radisson Morton has more than 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 96 guest rooms.
Maine: Blueberry Pie
The Maine State Legislature named blueberry pie the official state dessert in 2011. Wild blueberries are harvested in Maine from late July to early September. Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland bakes blueberry pies daily and has been featured in magazines and on television.
Michigan: Cherry Pie
A tradition since 1926, the National Cherry Festival takes place each summer in Traverse City, Michigan, where you can learn to make cherry pie or participate in a pie-eating contest. Each year more than 500,000 people attend over an eight-day period. It’s so major, it has attracted former United States presidents and celebrities. The waterfront West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort, Traverse City Hotel offers more than 5,800 sq. ft. of meeting space and 179 guest rooms. It’s close to Hagerty Conference Center.
Minnesota: Banana Cream Pie
Bananas in Minnesota? Well, celebrity chef Guy Fieri thinks so. He stopped in at Duluth Grill in Minnesota on an episode of his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to sample its banana cream pie. The restaurant can cater events of up to 400 people, and the North Shore Scenic Railroad hired the restaurant to bake miniature pies for its dinner train. The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) has 250,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. More than 600 hotel rooms are connected to DECC via skywalks, and a total of 1,300 guest rooms are within walking distance.
New York: Pizza Pie
Ask any New Yorker: Pizza is not simply pizza; the correct term is pizza pie. Step into just about any pizzeria, and you’re in for a thin-crust treat. New York City has approximately 116,000 hotel rooms as of January 2018. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, nicknamed the "Marketplace for the World,” is the busiest convention center in the United States. It currently offers 102 meeting rooms and 760,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. One million sq. ft. of space will be added by 2021.
North Carolina: Sweet Potato Pie
Charlotte, North Carolina-based restaurant franchise Bojangles has a special Pi Day promotion for its sweet potato pie, which is specially priced at $3.14. The 550,000-square-foot Charlotte Convention Center is walking distance from more than 5,000 hotel rooms, including the 700-room The Westin Charlotte across the street.
Tennessee: Mud Pie
Mississippi Mud Pie is obviously named after Mississippi, but pastry chef Andrew Manchester of Omni Nashville Hotel claims to have perfected it. He renamed it Music City Mud Pie at his Kitchen Notes Restaurant. The hotel has 80,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 800 guest rooms.
Texas: Pecan Pie
Cut yourself an extra-large piece of pecan pie in the state where everything is bigger. It’s been the state’s official pie since 2013. To be official, only Texas pecans can be used and no chocolate. The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa’s pastry chef Catherine Rodriguez is behind the hotel’s famous pecan pie. It’s served at two on-site restaurants, Olivette and The Manor House. There’s 32,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and a selection of guest-room types.
Vermont: Apple Pie
Apple pie become the official state pie of Vermont in 1999. The act passed by Vermont’s General Assembly stipulates that a "good faith” effort must be made to serve apple pie with a glass of cold milk, a slice of cheddar cheese weighing at least ½ ounce and/or with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ma Bean’s apple pie was rated the best in the state by Yankee Magazine. They’re available at the family-owned Red Fox Inn in Bondville, Vermont. The lodge sleeps 20 guests and can host events for up to 300 people.