Cheese With Pie Is English
In “Granny Smith and the Wedge” (Forklore, July 22), you ask, “How did we start doing this [eating cheese with apple pie]?” as if it were an American prerogative.
In 1800-something, my parents lived in Durham, a cathedral city in the north of England, where the practice of fusing dessert and cheese courses was an accepted habit with the middle classes, although in those days the pie would be called a tart: apples in a pie dish with only a single crust.
My guess is that the delicious tradition came from some county in England, because of our wonderful, better-than-Granny Smith apples and superb cheeses.
My mother, as she brought out the pie and wedges of Cheddar, used to quote her mother saying at home on the farm:
“Apple pie without the cheese
Is like a kiss without a squeeze.”
Mother turned 100 last January.
Reading Charles Perry’s Forklore column about cheese and apple pie left me feeling like I live in the twilight zone. The only person I’ve ever seen eat an apple with cheese was my English father. Much to our dismay as children, he pronounced this combination “dessert.” I have so far never encountered American friends or acquaintances who even want to try this, so I wonder where all this good ol’ American-apple-pie-with-Cheddar-cheese-eating is going on. Sounds good!