Everyone loves a good food rivalry. Coke vs. Pepsi. Tacos vs. burritos. White Castle vs. Krystal. But there is perhaps no edible enmity greater than pumpkin pie vs. sweet potato pie.
Every year, we fight the same fight. “Pumpkin pie is what they ate at the first Thanksgiving!” cry the Northerners. (That’s false, by the way.) “Sweet potato pie is more important than turkey!” cry the Southerners. (That’s subjective.) “They’re exactly the same!” cry people who have no palate and probably think that Jim Beam is indiscernible from E.H. Taylor. (That’s sacrilege.)
Obviously all families have their own recipes and they vary wildly. And it’s true that you can swap the squash with the root veggie in the same recipe and ultimately it won’t make a huge difference. However, when we examine classic, iconic recipes for pumpkin and sweet potato pies, it becomes clear that they’re actually quite different: one dense and spicy, the other airy and sweet. One less caloric, but one more nutritious. One delicious, but one more so.
VERDICT: Maybe it's our Missouri roots talking, but SWEET POTATO PIE is the clear victor here. While pumpkin pie may be preferable if you're on a diet, we're not on a diet... it's Thanksgiving, dammit! And with the seasonal permeation of all things "pumpkin flavored," we're practically pumpkin-spiced out. Give us our moussey texture, give us our cheerful vanilla — give us our sweet potato pie!
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