What Is Shoofly Pie And What Does It Taste Like?

slice of shoofly pie
slice of shoofly pie - MShev/Shutterstock

America is home to seemingly countless unique foodstuffs. Here, you can find tons of savory dishes, from cheesesteaks to burgers to fried chicken and waffles to jambalaya. But where America shines more than perhaps any other cuisine is in the field of baked goods. The French certainly have an argument as the best in the world, but even they don't have so many esoteric pies and cakes that most of their own citizens can't keep track of them all. America, on the other hand, is another story.

Among these somewhat niche or forgotten desserts sits the unrelentingly sweet shoofly pie, a classic of middle America. You might think with a name that sounds so folksy it might as well be wearing a straw hat and playing a banjo, that shoofly pie comes from the South -- but you'd be wrong. Instead, shoofly pie comes from North of the Mason-Dixon line -- specifically from Eastern Pennsylvania.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Shoofly Pie Comes From Pennsylvania Dutch Country

slice of shoofly pie with fork
slice of shoofly pie with fork - Gsheldon/Getty Images

Of course, regions other than the American South are capable of coming up with interesting and unique dishes, and shoofly pie is a great example. But while we know where shoofly pie comes from -- it's a staple of Pennsylvania Dutch country, specifically Lancaster County, and has been since the late 19th century -- we're not fully certain where the name comes from.

There are two competing origin theories. The first is that it comes from the fact that the pie's enormous sugar content has a tendency to attract flies. While that's certainly likely to be true, it's a bit too pat an explanation for such a goofy name. The second origin story, on the other hand, seems more likely: that it was originally inspired by a now-lost brand called Shoofly Molasses. It's not hard to see how the nomenclature would develop from there.

But how does it taste? Sweet, sweet, and more sweet.

Shoofly Pie Punches You In The Face With Sweetness

entire shoofly pie
entire shoofly pie - CEW/Shutterstock

Dark molasses is the key ingredient in shoofly pie. That would bring plenty of sweetness on its own, but it's not where the sugar rush stops: Recipes for this pie typically also include both brown sugar and dark corn syrup. Add to that a sugary crumb topping and you're really cooking with glucose. A good shoofly pie will likely also add in spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cloves, all of which at least bring a bit of balance to the dish. The end result is something with a similarly gooey consistency to the South's sugar-laden chess pie but with a much darker, richer flavor.

So if your goal this holiday season is to try a new baked good, and you have a high tolerance for sugar explosions, look no further than the shoofly pie. Just be forewarned that you might not want to eat any other desserts for a while afterwards.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.