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A Slice of Trivia

Which of the following statements is false?

1. Pies were at one point illegal in Britain.

2. Pumpkin pie was eaten at the first Thanksgiving.

3. Canned pumpkin does not come from pumpkin.

If you said No. 2, you are correct. As articles on History.com, Bustle and Yahoo point out, the colonists had not yet cultivated all the ingredients for a crust when they first sat down with the Wampanoag in 1621. Even if they had, food historians suggest that pie would have looked very different, more like a savory shepherd's pie than the sweet staple that closes out our holiday meals these days.

Today's variation dates back only about 100 years, owing largely to Libby's manufacturing of canned pumpkin puree — which is actually Dickinson squash, more closely related to butternut squash than the field pumpkins that serve as a symbol of the season.

With that in mind, why not mix things up a bit this holiday by giving your "traditional" pumpkin pie a refresh, courtesy of our first story below?

And just in case you're wondering, the BBC reports that mince pies and other festive treats were banned in England by Oliver Cromwell to "tackle gluttony" (or, more likely, Christmas celebrations, of which they are a tradition). One more reason to be thankful these days.

— Jennifer Bardoner, editor

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