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  • Erin Moss

Happy Pi/Pie Day!!!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I am far from a math aficionado! However, I am a great lover of pie! Pizza pie, fruit pie, pumpkin or pecan pie! I celebrate pie! So, today your mathematically challenged friend would like to say,

Happy Pi Day! I had to learn that from the kids at school. I had never heard of it. I didn't grow up with cool math teachers who made math so much fun! I was almost 50 years old before I ever heard of it. We didn't eat pie on Pi Day!

But I was curious about why people call pizza pie in New York and if you know me AT ALL...everything always go back to food. So, I goggled that very question. Here is what I learned.

"Pizza was first called pie when Italian immigrants arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. Pizza had similarities to a pie – with a crust, sliced triangle portions and its circular shape." I got that from a website called Crust Kingdom. We are teaching kids to cite where they got their info and what kind of a teacher would I be if I didn't. This is what else I learned from KINGDOM CRUST. People may think it comes from Dean Martin's 1953 hit “Amore” – “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”. But it didn't. This is where 'they' 'think' it comes from..."Italian-Americans sold and popularized the pizzas, and the exotic dish picked up the English name “tomato pie”. Sometime thereafter the languages met in the middle to give us the term “pizza pie”.

A notable figure at the time was Gennaro Lombardi, aka the father of American pizza. He had a grocery store in Manhattan in 1897 and started selling tomato pies to workers at lunch time." That is where the info from Kingdom Crust ends and I re-enter the conversation. I lived 2-3 blocks from Lombardi's pizza joint on Spring Street in Little Italy aka Soho but to those of us in the neighborhood...Nolita. (aka North Little Italy). Lombardi was famous in 1897 and every bit as famous when I moved there in 2001 and when I left NY in 2007. What a pizza! I highly recommend it, but just know...there are still long lines to get in the place, but it has grown. It seats more people and it is worth the wait! And it sounds really good right now! If only I could walk out my door and two blocks down the street to get a slice!

My three favorite NY pies are: Lombardi's, Grimaldi's (that was "supposedly" Sinatra's favorite joint and it is located under the Brooklyn Bridge) and John's Pizza! Let me see if I can find some pics to wet your appetite! They all are full of Amore!

See...I can always take everything back to food!!! On this day...I say this with my best New York/Italian accent...It's Pi Day or I would like to say PIE Day...go eat some pie whatever is your favorite pie!

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