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jjimm
05-24-2002, 07:58 AM
When I lived in Texas in the '70s, I remember a commercial that went IIRC:These all go together
In the good ol' USA
Hot dogs, baseball
Apple pie and Chevrolet.Hot dogs, baseball and Chevrolet I'll give you - can't get much more American than those wonderful inventions.

But apple pie? England has it too under the same name; the Irish have their apple tart; the Austrians and Germans have Apfelstrudel; the French their tarte aux pommes; no doubt most countries have some dish of a similar nature. I'll warrant the practice of encasing apples in pastry goes back way before the pilgrims set sail. So why is it claimed as particularly American?

occ
05-24-2002, 08:40 AM
Figure of speech, is all I can offer. While the dish isn't specifically American, we have a sort of nostalgia/Americana thing going with apple pie. It conjures up images of picnics, family, celebrating Independance Day, grandma, checked tablecloths...that sort of thing.

Eve
05-24-2002, 08:42 AM
Well, I'd always heard it as "American as Mom and apple pie."

What's so American about Mom, for that matter? I've heard rumors that they have moms in England and Ireland and Austria and Germany and France, too.

miamouse
05-24-2002, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Eve
Well, I'd always heard it as "American as Mom and apple pie."

What's so American about Mom, for that matter? I've heard rumors that they have moms in England and Ireland and Austria and Germany and France, too.

Maybe because it's "Mum" in England and "Mutti" in Germany?

sirjamesp
05-24-2002, 09:07 AM
No no no, we have "Mums" over in England. They are like "Moms", but quainter.

Gary Kumquat
05-24-2002, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by jjimm
When I lived in Texas in the '70s, I remember a commercial that went IIRC:Hot dogs, baseball and Chevrolet I'll give you - can't get much more American than those wonderful inventions.
I wouldn't even give you those three - surely Germany gets credit for hotdogs (frankfurters)?

jjimm
05-24-2002, 09:14 AM
Mums make scones, knit, and do flower arranging at the W.I.

Whereas Moms make you Kraft Dinner, take you to the ballpark and have tupperware parties.

There's a lot to be said for both.

puddleglum
05-24-2002, 09:50 AM
When I was at colonial Williamsburg one time they were doing a cooking demonstration and the guy said that vegetable and fruit pies were used in Europe as side dishes and that it was an american idea to use fruits and vegetable dishes as desserts.
Another possibility is that because of Johnny Appleseed apple trees were the most common fruit trees in America at the time the expression was coined so apple pie was stereotypically American even if it not uniquely American.

Knighted Vorpal Sword
05-24-2002, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by jjimm
When I lived in Texas in the '70s, I remember a commercial that went IIRC:Hot dogs, baseball and Chevrolet I'll give you - can't get much more American than those wonderful inventions.


Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie . . .


I certainly watched enough TV back then to know.

slipster
05-24-2002, 07:14 PM
Years ago I read a book of "fun facts"/trivia edited by Isaac Asimov. It stated that apple pie has traditionally been regarded as a kind of institution in the U.S., so much so that a cafeteria at Yale offered it as a dessert every day for over 100 years.

BobT
05-24-2002, 07:32 PM
Without doing actual research, wouldn't it seem likely that apple pie got its start from either German or English immigrants? I just picture those countries as pastry-oriented countries.

Just doesn't seem like a French dessert.

Morbo
05-24-2002, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by Gary Kumquat
I wouldn't even give you those three - surely Germany gets credit for hotdogs (frankfurters)?

I thought the "Hot Dog" was an American invention - first presented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis? Something about being named after an Indian tribe that ate dogs, or something?

Tamerlane
05-24-2002, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by puddleglum

Another possibility is that because of Johnny Appleseed apple trees were the most common fruit trees in America at the time the expression was coined so apple pie was stereotypically American even if it not uniquely American.

Yes, except that virtually all of those apples were inedible. Only something like 1 in 800 ( I forget the exact numbers, but it is something ridiculous like that ) naturally seed-grown apple trees produce edible apples. When a sweet tree emerged in an orchard, it was hoarded as prize possesion by the owners. All varieties of sweet apples eaten today are the cloned results of genetic mutants.

The apples Johnny Appleseed was spreading weren't primarily for eating - They were for making 'Hard Cider'. Ole' Johnny Appleseed ( John Chapman ) was bringing the gift of booze to the frontier :D. Something to remember next time you see that Disney cartoon about him ;).

- Tamerlane

Tamerlane
05-24-2002, 08:08 PM
Well a quick search turns up the fact that apple pie ( or a close equivalent ) was a favored dessert at least as early as the reign of Elizabeth I in England. So I guess we can rule out American origins.

Oh and the cloning of edible apples in the early days was by grafting. Didn't mean to imply early American settlers had modern genetic labs :).

- Tamerlane

samclem
05-24-2002, 08:26 PM
I wouldn't even give you those three - surely Germany gets credit for hotdogs (frankfurters)?
Nope. The term originated in US.

Another possibility is that because of Johnny Appleseed apple trees were the most common fruit trees in America at the time the expression was coined...
When, exactly, was the expression coined? Cite?

woolly
05-24-2002, 11:48 PM
[QUOTE]These all go together
In the good ol' USA
Hot dogs, baseball
Apple pie and Chevrolet. QUOTE]

GM had a similarly themed ad in Australia
"Football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars"

SpoilerVirgin
05-25-2002, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by samclem
When, exactly, was the expression coined? Cite?

Ed Zotti on the origin of hot dog (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhotdog.html).

evilhanz
05-26-2002, 11:35 AM
Another theory about the origin of the phrase "as american as apple pie" involves the Apple Marketing Board of Cortland, NY. In order to compensate for a sharp drop in sales early last century, they began a product positioning campaign that included such memorable phrases as "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" and "as American as apple pie". There's little if any evidence to support those claims, though. Isn't there an existing thread on this somewhere?

Chronos
05-26-2002, 01:27 PM
Only something like 1 in 800 ( I forget the exact numbers, but it is something ridiculous like that ) naturally seed-grown apple trees produce edible apples.Nah, only a small fraction of seed-grown trees produce pretty fruit. Most seed apples are ugly as all heck (covered with discolorations and lumps), but perfectly edible, and often sweeter than the grafted varieties.

Tamerlane
05-26-2002, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Chronos
Nah, only a small fraction of seed-grown trees produce pretty fruit. Most seed apples are ugly as all heck (covered with discolorations and lumps), but perfectly edible, and often sweeter than the grafted varieties.

I beg to differ :). Though perhaps there is a real difference in the situation now vs. back then :

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/conversation/jan-june01/botany_06-29.html

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~insrisg/nature/nw01/1015Appleseed.htm

- Tamerlane