Nov 24, 2021 - Things to Do

We asked, you answered: Pumpkin vs. pecan throwdown

Illustration of a pumpkin pie with a happy face.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

We thought we were treading noncontroversial ground when we mused out loud in Tuesday's newsletter about pecan vs. pumpkin pie.

  • Boy, were we wrong. Dozens of you wrote in with strongly felt instincts, including full-throated tear-downs. It's dangerous out there in pie-land.

On Team Pumpkin Pie:

  • Cathia G. said obviously pumpkin pie ("but medium on the spices!"): "Pecan pie is sickeningly sweet and the filling has the texture of grainy jelly—ugh!"
  • John Y.: "A major advantage of pumpkin pie is how well it goes with a dollop of liqueur-spiked whipped cream."
  • "For me, my true Thanksgiving moment happens when I have a small slice of pumpkin pie with my coffee on Friday morning," Deborah W. wrote. "I sit in a quiet, clean kitchen with a refrigerator filled with leftovers and am deeply grateful."

On Team Pecan: This animated gem from reader Matt R.:

"Pumpkin pie is a plate of soft, sweet goo, requiring the crust to bear more work than it can handle for texture and crunch. Pumpkin pie should be reserved for grandparents lacking their original teeth.
Pecan pie, on the other hand, provides crunchy texture, sweetness and a nuttiness that complements the graham cracker crust and alleviates its workload by providing more texture. Pecans simply do more than pumpkin — they provide crunch and flavor. They give you something to sink your teeth into with ridges that hold onto the sweet filling. It's the pasta of pies.
Pecan has earned its right as Texas' state tree and, as such, should be the premier pie of any Texan Thanksgiving spread.
If you want to make a pie out of a misshapen, bulbous gourd — head up North. If you want a pie whose wafting, earthy, caramelized aroma will wake up any sleeping uncle during halftime of the Cowboys game — go pecan."

Some of our far-flung Axios colleagues claimed all of us were wrong.

  • "The answer is sweet potato," Paige Hopkins of Axios D.C. observed.
  • Chimed in Axios data-visualization guru Dani Alberti: "Sweet potato is all the good things about pumpkin, but without tasting like squash."
  • "No love for bean pie?" asked Axios Philly reporter Taylor Allen.

Axios Austin reader Shane T., trying to stay above the fray, passed along this roundup for how to spruce up your Thanksgiving pie, whatever its ingredients might be.


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