Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Vintage Rally and Pie

The north Houston KOA in Montgomery, Texas was this year’s location for the Texas State Vintage Airstream Rally. Hosted by the Texas Highland Lakes Unit of WBCCI, turnout for the event was terrific with 83 Airstreams in attendance including about 26 vintage trailers. I was there in my not so vintage Airstream for the five day event, and had a great time.

Fortunately, the rally’s schedule allowed time to explore, and I was delighted to discover the Pie in the Sky Company. Pie in the Sky is located on Loop 360, just south of SR 105, in Montgomery, Texas, and serves both breakfast and lunch. When I got there it was too early for lunch, and since I had just enjoyed a good breakfast in our Airstream, there was only one alternative; I had to buy a whole coconut crème pie.

No I didn’t eat it all at once, and I even shared it with my wife and friends – OK, not friends as in plural, but I did give one slice to a neighbor.

Pie in the Sky makes and distributes pies, and as reflected by the ingredient list for their coconut crème pie, (incorrect spelling and all): Cocnut, eggs, milk, Vanilla, Sugar, Vegetable Shorening, (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Monoglycerides, Soybean Lecithin, Artificial Butter Flavor), Potassium Sorbate, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil Sodium Caseinate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Polysorbate 60, Carbohydrate gum, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan, Gum, their pies are in no way “homemade”.

For the most part the chemicals listed, with the exception of the partially hydrogenated fats, function as preservatives or emulsifiers intended to extend shelf life, are commonly used in the food industry, and have been qualified safe for us to eat by our USDA. Trans-fats, as you are no doubt aware, should be eliminated from our diet (along with high fructose corn syrup).

In my experience most restaurants that take the time to make their own pies do not use preservatives. Apparently, they don’t have to since the things disappear so quickly. Although, every now and then, when I am served a slice of crème pie that’s custard has just started to separate, I don’t get uptight because the proof that the dessert is mostly preservative free is in plain sight.

However, restaurants that take the time to make their own “preservative free” crème pies, and then cover them with an artificial whipped topping in lieu of whipped cream are oxymoronic. I mean how dumb is that, who do they think they are fooling?

Pie in the Sky Company obviously knows how to make a good crème pie, so I wonder why they can’t make one pie, preservative free, to be served in their restaurant, and another necessarily loaded with chemicals, to be shipped wherever. Until they do I won’t be returning, and that’s sad because their hamburgers look darn good, and that pie was indeed delicious.

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