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Five Facts About Pie That Might Surprise You, And A Survey

As American as apple pie, a pie in the hand is worth two on the sill, and how about a cream pie in the face?

These are phrases firmly woven into the fabric of American culture, but how did we become a nation of pie lovers? It may have all started with some flapping, noisy black and white birds known as magpies way back in the Middle Ages. Stay tuned to The Salt and Morning Edition for some insights — and photos from our audience and our in-house pie contest — as we work our way up to Pie Week, July 2-6. Keep taking pictures and sending us your ideas for how pies tell stories, and don't forget to tag them #pieweek on Twitter.

Meanwhile, here's some fast pie facts and a survey so you can share more thoughts about pie with us:

--The first pies were filled with meat and called "coffins" which means "basket" or "box." (Linda Stradley, author of "What's Cooking, America?")

-- Pie is finally beginning to challenge cupcakes for the trendiest dessert. (Restaurant News Southwestern Bureau Chief Ron Ruggles)

--26 percent of households bought a fresh pie at a grocery store in 2011. (Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts Shopper Insights)

-- Mini, sliced and half pies made up 24 percent of those pies bought, moving up 2 percentage points from 2010. (FreshFacts)

-- The most popular flavors of purchased pie: Apple, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry, and Dutch apple. (FreshFacts)

So what are your favorites, either to bake or buy? Let us know.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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