Radio Nibbles Blog: Why Is There No National Museum of Pie?

– By John Lehndorfff (originally posted on his blog)

Pumpkin Pie Days in Longmont, Colorado
Pumpkin Pie Days in Longmont, Colorado

(January 17, 2015) – There is no National Museum of Pie.

There is a Baked Bean Museum in Port Talbot, Wales.

There’s a potato museum in Bruges. You can visit a currywurst museum in Berlin, a ham museum in Madrid, and a museum devoted to mustard in Doesburg and a chocolate museum in Köln. Le Musée de Foie Gras is not in California.

There is no National Pie Museum, no place in the U.S. dedicated to celebrating the dessert that defines how American something is.

This, I believe, is an American travesty considering the long and rich part pastry has played since the dawn of this nation. That is why I am seeking to open the National Pie Museum in Boulder County, Colorado.

Why Boulder? Boulder is the place where National Pie Day, Jan. 23, was founded by Charlie Papazian. Boulder was the site of several of the seminal Great American Pie Festival and National Pie Championships. Boulder County is where Jack Kerouac ate apple pie when he was “On the Road.”
I am the ideal candidate to be the curator in chief for the National Pie Museum. I was the founding executive director of the American Pie Council, chief judge at the National Pie Championships, editor of Pie Times newsletter, spokesperson for National Pie Day and creator of the Colorado Pie Trail Calendar 2014.

Plus, I make pie. As a going away treat for my son, I baked an tart apple and Montmorency cherry pie in an all-butter crust glazed with maple syrup and pinon nuts.

The National Pie Museum would include interactive exhibits, a pie fight area, kids pie-making workshops and pie and wine pairing in the All-Pie Cafe which would only serves pies, tarts, pasties, empanadas, galettes, quiche, etc. Each room would be scented with a different variety of pie. Film clips of famous pie scenes in film and TV would play. An archive would offer access to all the pie books every written.

People will come.

The art of pie is alive in Colorado (Photo by Kim Long)
The art of pie is alive in Colorado (Photo by Kim Long)

People will certainly come from all over if only because admission includes a free piece of pie – a la mode is extra. Right now, the National Museum of Pie is only a dream and a tasty one at that. Stay tuned to find out if my American dream comes true and that you can make pastry part of your family’s future visit to Colorado. Whatever you do, please celebrate National Pie Day by baking a pie from scratch and sharing it – with devices turned off – with those you love.

Pie Crust Advice

Charlie Papazian, founder of National Pie Day and the Great American Beer Festival, offers this advice at

“What’s the secret to the best pie in the world? Relax, don’t worry and have a homebrew! The difficulty of pie-making is overrated. Crust is simple to make. 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups flour and a bit of salt. Mix well. Don’t worry. Then add 4 tablepoons cold water, stir in with pie cutter or simple fork. When evenly mixed roll out on pie cloth dusted with flour. Easy. Have another beer.”

Pie Readings

To learn more about Colorado’s colorful pie history:
The Colorado Pie Trail Calendar 2014:
National Pie Day:


John Lehndorff is a veteran Colorado journalist, host of Radio Nibbles, author of “Denver Dines,” and former food editor of the Boulder Daily Camera, dining critic of the Rocky Mountain News, and chief judge at the National Pie Championships.
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