Pumpkin pie vs. sweet potato pie, by the numbers

In this blog’s many arguments for pumpkin pie over sweet potato pie, never have I asked the preference of America — possibly because the evidence would’ve been too overwhelming for Randy to counter. After all, the holiday were here. But the New York Times published a slice of the country’s opinion this week, and true to the surveillance journalism Randy and I helped pioneer, I can’t ignore the numbers. As the Times analyzed the top 50 search terms on AllRecipes.com the day before Thanksgiving, the results were clear. America wanted a certain pie.



Sweet potato casserole came first, but I’ve never had beef with sweet potato casserole. After pumpkin pie, did sweet potato pie come next? Only if sweet potato pie was sometimes called green bean casserole. Following on the list: pecan pie, apple pie, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pie crust (just the crust), deviled eggs, cheesecake, mashed potatoes, pumpkin cheesecake, turkey, and then finally…



It finished just ahead of mac and cheese, which I love but, let’s face it, is a cute dish pajama-wearing children make all the time in minutes. If sweet potato pie wants to be taken seriously… better luck next year?

8 thoughts on “Pumpkin pie vs. sweet potato pie, by the numbers”

  1. What I want to know is where the pecan pie people are. Do they not stick up for their pie of choice? Or are they just eating pecan because they’ve run out of apple?

  2. The pecan pie people don’t have to search online for the recipe because they’ve either committed it to memory or keep it on a yellowing index card that has been passed down a few generations. Let’s not even get into the related issue of how good the pie tastes when the pecans are collected from trees out back.

  3. Fair enough. Riddle me this: As someone who has seen pecans growing on trees, does it strike you as more weird or less than pecans grow on trees?

  4. All pies made from the stuff on the trees out back taste better. I ate many a pie made of cherries and apples from the trees out back when I was a kid. They were fabulous.

  5. If you notice the chart for sweet potato pie, the states in dark purple that signify the majority preferring said dessert are all in the South. Sweet potato pie is a holiday (especially Thanksgiving and Christmas) dessert tradition in the South. Hence, the vast majority of African-Americans literally preferring sweet potato pie to pumpkin pie. (Perhaps at least a few other reasons for black Americans’ preference of sweet potato pie are collectively the elephant in the room, but the roots of most American blacks being in the South (directly from Africa) play a major part in their preference of sweet potato pie.

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