Vinegar Chess

    Joelle, a former Evanston Front of the House Manager loves Vinegar Chess Pie. She loves it and thinks our customers would love it too if they could just get past the vinegar in its name and try it. I couldn't agree more.
    If you've never heard of chess pie, you probably don't live in the South. This simple recipe has been a staple on Southern tables for nearly 200 years. It combines just butter, sugar, eggs,cornmeal and various flavorings into a pie with a crackly crust and rich, sweet, slightly gooey center. No one knows for certain why it is called Chess but over the years, many, many theories have been put forth.In honor of fellow Hoosier David Letterman, we compiled a top 5 list of our favorites.
   For Vinegar Chess we add apple cider vinegar and lots of vanilla. The resulting tang provides a nice balance for the wonderfully sugary pie. It is a classic example of a "Desperation Pie." Desperation pies are a whole catagory of suprisingly delicious pies made first by enterprising farm wives and later by depression era cooks with whatever inexpensive ingredients they had on hand. They were often made in the wintertime when there was little in the larder and fresh fruit was gone until spring.
   As my former assistant Sam once put it, "How desperate would you have to be to find a bottle of vinegar in an empty pantry and say,'Yeah, I can make pie out of that.'"




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