While images of America can be as unique as the individuals picturing them, there are certain symbols that we immediately associate the good ol’ USA with–the flag, eagle, the Farmers’ Almanac, the National Anthem, and United States seal.
In 2001, the Farmers’ Almanac questioned what dessert represented America the best. Thanks to the over 30,000 people who voted in our Name A National Dessert Election, we know which dessert our readers feel is most American — Apple Pie!
Going into this unprecedented election, apple pie did have many years of public relations campaigns in its favor. After all, “as American as apple pie,” is about as patriotic a saying as you can get. Yet apples, although grown in every state today, are not native to America. But then again, images of folk hero Johnny Appleseed traveling across the country sowing seeds, may have also swayed some votes.
Surprisingly, other dessert contenders, including strawberry shortcake, (strawberries are native to this country), ice cream, (who doesn’t enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, or after a baseball game?), cheesecake, and chocolate cake did appeal to many voters’ taste buds, but could not win the patriotic vote.
How did they vote:
47% Apple Pie
14% Strawberry Shortcake
13% Ice Cream
11% Chocolate Cake
We asked readers to vote according to the following criteria:
1. PATRIOTIC–did it include ingredients that are native to America? Or did it have ties to a historical event, pastime, or person?
2. MAJORITY RULES–just like our country, we needed to be diplomatic in choosing our National Dessert, so a National Dessert not only had to appeal to your taste buds, but also had to be a popular choice among most Americans.
3. ACCESSIBLE–while cherries jubilee may be the créme de la créme of the party, our National Dessert had to be something readily available for purchase, or easily made.
4. DELICIOUS–of course the National Dessert had to just plain taste great.
The majority of the votes (almost 50%,) went to Apple Pie. Strawberry shortcake’s popularity among the American people appeared to hold steady, especially after some voters brought up the red, white, and blue (you could add blueberries) aspect oft his candidate. But it came in a distant second with only 14% of the vote.
Ice cream, although stiff and icy, gained many votes and support from the younger participants; however, it couldn’t lick apple pie’s lead and wound up coming in third. Then came cheesecake (a popular favorite of New Yorkers); while our fifth runner-up in this dessert-filled race was chocolate cake.
Independent voters and write-in supporters also campaigned for a variety of sweet treats that weren’t on the Farmers’ Almanac’s ballot. Some of those treats included blueberry pie and Almanac Editor Peter Geiger’s chocolate sauerkraut cake.
From the 2002 Farmers’ Almanac