Did You Know You've Been Wrong About Apple Pie?

How do you eat your apple pie? Warm or cold? It’s an important question and one I’d never thought would cause the following altercation.

I am visiting Abbot Kinney Blvd with a friend. We meet at a bakery she’d just discovered, raving at how delicious the goods were. From the spread in the glass window, I can tell this is one of those places that puts mint leaves in their water. 

The apple pie looks amazing, so I ask the lady at the counter, “Can you warm up a slice of apple pie?” 

“No, we can only warm up the bread pudding,” she responds. 

This strikes me as strange. So I ask, “Why?” 

“Because bread pudding is supposed to be warm.” 

Also strange. “And apple pie is not supposed to be warm?” 

“That’s right.” 

I glance at my friend, hoping for a sign from her that I am being punked, this being my first time at this swanky bakery. She, too, appears to be processing that this is really happening. 

“So,” I continue. “What if I request for the apple pie to be warmed up, then can you do it?” 

“No, I’m sorry.” 

I try again. “So you can warm up the bread pudding but you can’t warm up the apple pie?” 

“Yes.” 

“But if you have the ability to warm up the bread pudding then why can’t you warm up the apple pie?” 

“We just can’t.” 

At this point my eyes are glazing over. As I pause to contemplate my next move, my friend orders the bread pudding. 

I order a coffee. 

The woman says, “We have a really good brownie. Would you like that?”

“Can you warm it up?” 

“No, but it’s one of our most popular bakery items. Would you like one?” 

As I decline her suggestion, I wonder about the connection to between apple pie and a brownie. How are they anything alike? 

I pay for my coffee, then the woman says, in reference to the apple pie, “I know how you feel. I also like my apple pie warm with ice cream melted on it.” Her empathy merely annoys me. 

In a daze, I walk away. I realize I’m in a world where the authenticity of the food supersedes making the customer happy. Yet, when it comes to apple pie, isn’t it supposed to be warm? Have I been duped all these years by southern cooking? Is apple pie truly meant to be cold? 

The warm bread pudding and my coffee.

The warm bread pudding and my coffee.

My friend and I eat the bread pudding. Not knocking the quality of food, it is delicious. But I might have accepted a cold bread pudding over a cold slice of apple pie. 

After we leave this bakery, we walk several blocks and shop for a few hours. Growing hungry again, we stop in another café. 

Low and behold, they are vending apple pie. 

I have to ask (because I needed justification or because I’m a jerk, I’m not entirely sure), “Excuse me, if I ordered the apple pie, would you be able to warm it up?”

The man at the counter shrugs casually. “Sure, we could do that for you.” 

Folks, it’s one thing to serve it cold. It’s another to refuse to warm it up because it’s not supposed to be warm. 

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To further my quest for vindication. I took an Instagram pull. 95% of voters said they ate their pie warm. And these are folks from all over the country—including California. Universally, people prefer their pie warm. 

While I’m still miffed at the audacity of this bakery, the food was tasty enough that I’d go again. 

And just for kicks, I’ll order the apple pie and ask if they could warm it up…