Apple pie: To cheese or not to cheese
WICHITA, Kan. — Everything is better with cheddar, right?
You know, like burgers, grilled cheeses and nachos.
But how is cheddar with a good ol’ slice of American apple pie?
Apparently, that’s how some Midwesteners enjoy their pie — because why top it with vanilla ice cream when you can have cheese?
Last week, Wichita country radio station host JJ Hayes asked a question on Facebook: “How do you like your apple pie? Cheese or Vanilla Ice Cream?”
The question wasn’t unwarranted, though. He said his radio host partner, Tiny, thinks cheese on pie “is JUST PLAIN WRONG.” But because Hayes is married to “a Midwest girl,” he says he knows the food pairing is a thing.
The comments were overwhelmingly in support of ice cream.
“I love cheese but there is a line,” one person said.
“I’m from the Midwest and cheese on pie is unheard off,” said another. “Gross!”
But there were still some loyal “apple pie with a slice of cheese on top” fans.
“Sharp cheddar is awesome w Apple pie,” a comment reads.
One person said “you’re missing something” if you’ve never tried cheese with your pie — especially if you want something sweet and salty. “It’s heavenly,” she said.
Another person said ice cream on pie is good, but “melted cheese on a warm pie ain’t bad either.”
And another said she prefers blue cheese on her pie.
Tradition: Cheese on pie is nothing new.
Southern Living says that for some, “An apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.” The magazine said the pairing is a little more common in upper Midwest dairy country and dates back to medieval times.
In 1998, the Los Angeles Times reported that one of America’s “most beloved traditions” is a warm apple pie with a wedge of sharp cheddar cheese.
The newspaper reported that the history for the “dessert” is a little obscure — but it’s rarely mentioned in cookbooks until about 1950.
“ … memoirs of life in the upper Midwest indicate that cheese was already a regular accompaniment to warm apple pie there before the turn of the century,” the 1998 article states. “The upper Midwest is major dairy country, of course, and it’s still where the custom is liveliest.”
Other debates: The cheese and pie debate isn’t the first “food fight” to hit the Midwest.
Earlier this year, hamburger casserole was named the grossest food to ever come from Kansas. Many Kansans disagreed.
In October, a Kansas State University student found out “cinnamon rolls and chili” are not just a Kansas thing.
Also in 2017, the people of Iowa “disowned” Chris Jorgensen after he posted a Pop-Tarts and cheese sandwich. “You ain’t from Iowa if you never had one of these,” he said. Iowa disagreed.
That’s when people from other Midwest states and beyond started their own Pop-Tarts abominations, including Oklahoma’s Pop-Tarts with ranch and Alaska’s fresh salmon with toaster pastries.