On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Tasting upper Midwest pies with the Heavy Table

Share story

Pies
Writers from the Heavy Table blog ate 14 pies from as far away as the North Shore and Osseo, Wis., in order to figure who's slinging a decent home-style pie in our part of the world.
Heavy Table photo/Becca Dilley

If you take to the road in the next few weeks, someone's bound to say "make sure you stop for pie." 

We've all been given a recommendation, and seen those landmark places who advertise their pies on roadside signs for miles.  

Jim Norton and friends at the Heavy Table blog actually took on the task of tasting some 14 pies this weekend from pie bakeries from around the region, and he joined All Things Considered to talk about the results.

Listen to the audio to hear Norton talk about the results and read an excerpt below from the Heavy Table blog of the pie adventure:

We ate 14 pies from as far away as the North Shore and Osseo, WI, in order to figure who's slinging a decent home-style pie in our part of the world.

The results: A few real gems, some fixer-uppers, and a healthy handful of horrifying pie wrecks. (Read on to see whose pie is "positively criminal," and whose is "fantastic -- I would eat it for breakfast after eating it for dessert.")

WHAT WE DID

We anonymously purchased pies from 14 local bakeries (including spots on the North Shore, in Stillwater, and in two towns in Wisconsin).

Because styles and availability of pies vary wildly, a 14-way apples-to-apples (or raspberry-to-raspberry) comparison was hard to do. But we looked for pies that wrestled with the balance of sweet and tart, and generally found berry and / or rhubarb pies that fit the bill.

HOW WE DID IT

We all tasted blind; only the organizer (who did not judge) knew which pie was which.

Our eight judges rated each pie on crust (0-15), filling (0-15), and overall balance / tastiness (0-20). Total scores varied from 0-50 per pie.

We threw out the lowest and highest score for each pie, building an average from the middle six scores.

Read about the results at the Heavy Table blog >>>