March 14th is not just any ‘ole day of the year, it’s Pi Day! No, that isn’t a typo. Fire up those synapses and think back to the year you learned geometry, when the word “pi” brought on thoughts of circles.
Here’s a quick refresher: π (read pi) is the number you need to multiply a circle’s radius-squared by if you want to find the circle’s area, and it’s also the number you need to multiply a circle’s diameter by to get that circle’s circumference. So where does March 14 come in? Pi is a neverending number, but if you round it off, then pi approximately equals 3.14. Yup, today’s date!
Every year when this nerdy day comes around, I celebrate my love of math and food by eating — you guessed it — PIE! As my ode to a day of circles and round goodies, I present this list of favorite pies.
Ani’s Bake Shop
Ani’s is popular for their filled bread rolls, but I have always loved their sweet potato and haupia pie. When you bite in, a tiny bit of familiar starch grit reminds you you’re eating a potato that just happens to be in a pie before the sweet haupia and whipped cream pull you back to the dessert world. The sheer weight of the pie as you pull it off the shelf tells you this pie means business, so don’t be surprised when you get full after just one slice.
99-840 Iwaiwa St. • Aiea • 488-2193
Sweet Revenge specializes in personal-sized pies made with local eggs, cream and as many other local ingredients as they can. Kathy Masunaga and her elves, a.k.a. employees, are always thinking up fun new flavors, like the Skittles pie above. I have also come to really appreciate the savories, from a classic chicken pot pie, to a barbecue pulled pork with baked beans and cornbread pie, to a panang curry pie, to a Guinness shepherd’s pie.
You can normally find the Sweet Revenge tent at local farmers markets, but if you want a pie today, give them a call to see if they’re riding around in their bright pink food truck or if you have to pick up from their kitchen in Kalihi. Check their website to find out what flavors they’ve got. Pies will cost about $8 each.
Sunny Side Bakery
Sunny Side sells plate lunches from their cash-only establishment all day, but their popular pies sell out quick! I’ve lost track of how many Saturdays I’ve set my alarm for the crack of dawn, phoned in my order and gone back to sleep, secure in the promise of pie to come. Chocolate cream, apple and banana are always available, but if you want blueberry cream or peach-pear, my favorites, check their pie schedule.
1017 Kilani Ave. • Wahiawa • 621-7188
Right down the street from Sunny Side is another Wahiawa institution with a pie to try. Kilani Bakery has classic custard and pumpkin pies, but if you want one to write home about, get a lemon meringue for less than $10. They swirl light and fluffy meringue on top of a sweet-tart lemon filling. Opening the cake box at home and finding a still-standing meringue mountain after a bumpy, pothole-ridden car ride is nothing short of amazing.
704 Kilani Ave. • Wahiawa • 621-5662
Well hello Blue Pineapple. Probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get is what this guy is all about. What is a Blue Pineapple exactly? ? Blue Pineapple Pie combines the rich flavor of blueberries with the juiciness of pineapple all topped with our signature Hawaiian Topping. Baked fresh daily, stop by and try Blue Pineapple on your next visit!
Hawaiian Pie Company
Luckily and dangerously not too far from my home, Hawaiian Pie Company is my Kalihi favorite. Like the others, they have classics like apple and peach, but they mix it up with monthly specials and mini pies. There was a time when I stopped by every month to try their new flavor, and when Blue Pineapple came out, I was done.
Blueberry and pineapple in one pie? Who does that, right? It’s sweet and tangy with the slight textural variations of cooked blueberries and pineapple, and it’s topped off with Hawaiian Pie Company’s signature Hawaiian topping of butter and coconut. A fresh Blue Pineapple pie is $25 ($23 for frozen), but you can get a slice for about $5 if you’re not feeling as gluttonous.
508 Waiakamilo Rd. • Kalihi • 988-7828 • HawaiianPieCo.com
P.S. Here’s a secret: Pi can also be written as the fraction 22/7. You know what that means! Come find an updated list right here in July.