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The History of Apple Pie in American Popular Culture

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 4:00pm

america and apple pie

Apple Pie is an American Culture phenomenon. Since the early 1900s, it has been associated with the “American Dream.”  But why? Why is something as simple as apple pie as prominent as baseball? As home-ownership?

There have been many questions as to why this is so – and just as many answers. Some say that soldiers during World War II coined the phrase “For mom and apple pie,” while others claim apple orchards marketed “as American as apple pie” during prohibition when cider production was outlawed.

Either way, apple pie has been an important American cultural icon, and it will continue to be so for many years. Let’s start when the first pies were integrated into pop culture:

  1. Famous artist James Montgomery Flagg is widely known for designing the legendary Uncle Sam “I want you” poster. Well he also painted women baking pies.
  2. In the 1950s and 60s advertisements heavily focused on housewives, baking all kinds of dishes- especially pies. Pies became a symbol of a good housewife and a happy family.
  3. In 1972, Don McLean wrote the classic “American Pie.” This song reached number 1 for four weeks straight, and has remained McLean’s signature song.
  4. In 1975, Chevrolet came up with the song “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.” They recently reintroduced this jingle in 2012
  5. In 1976, a young Steve Jobs loved the name Apple as it was “fun, spirited, and not intimidating.” With a market cap of 544.50 Billion dollars as of July 2012, Apple, Inc. is the largest company in the world.
  6. In 1999, the movie American Pie made its debut, and instantly became a national favorite. It has spawned three additional sequels since then, and gone down in history with everything that is pie.
  7. apple pie - an american traditionIn 2009, pop icon herself, Britney Spears included the American dream - freshly baked apple pie - in her music video.  

In the past few decades we have had a sitcom “Apple Pie”, a band “Apple Pie”, music albums named “Apple Pie”, and a national holiday (January 23rd). Gweneth Paltrow, Hollywood actress and model, named her first born “Apple.”

America loves apple pie and no wonder why. The thought of warm pie brings back warm memories of time spent with family and friends. This is why pie has become such a staple in American pop culture, and why we continue to love it. Why not celebrate Independence Day with an American classic? Grab a jar of apple pie filling and try this apple pie recipe!