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National Boston Cream Pie Day

Boston cream pie made its debut in 1856, being whipped up at the restaurant inside of Boston's Parker House Hotel, by Sanzian, a French chef who was hired to create the restaurant's menu by the hotel's founder, Harvey Parker. The hotel had opened the previous year, and according to the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, the pie was first referenced in print that year as well, in the New York Herald. Although the original building of the hotel no longer exists, the hotel was rebuilt in the same place and is now known as the Omni Parker House. Today we celebrate and enjoy the dessert, which has been a staple in Boston and around the world since the nineteenth century.

Boston cream pie is not actually a pie, but a cake, although it is served in wedges as if it were a pie. It is made of two round layers of sponge cake or white cake, a thick vanilla custard filling, and a chocolate glaze or icing. It is sometimes instead topped with powdered sugar. When it was first created, chocolate icing was unique—mainly being used in pudding or in drinks at the time—and the dessert was known as "Chocolate Cream Pie," in a nod to its icing. Today it is sometimes known as "Parker House Chocolate Pie" when it is iced.

Betty Crocker began making a boxed mix of Boston cream pie in 1958, which was sold into the 1990s. In December 1996, Boston cream pie became the official dessert of Massachusetts, after beating out Indian pudding and Toll House cookies. Over time, the recipe has shifted and bakers have made different variations of it. Boston cream pie is also now a flavor of doughnuts, cheesecake, coffee, yogurt, and ice cream.

How to Observe National Boston Cream Pie Day

Celebrate the day by eating some Boston cream pie! You could try one of many recipes, but whipping up the original one might be the best idea. If you are up for some traveling, there are many places in Boston where you could eat the pie, none more appropriate than the restaurant at the Omni Parker House. The pie from the hotel can also be shipped to your home. The significance of the restaurant goes beyond Boston cream pie: the Parker House roll also originated there, and it is the location where John Kennedy proposed to Jackie Bouvier. Today you could also eat other foods that are based on or flavored like Boston cream pie, such as doughnuts, cheesecake, coffee, yogurt, and ice cream.

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