A warm, crisp piece of pie is food for the soul, but one injured American sailor during World War I thought a slice of home could actually help heal his wounds. Tended to by a Red Cross committee in the hospital he was staying in in Scotland, the near-dying sailor had one request for getting better: he needed pie.
The story is recounted in, The passing legions: How the American Red Cross met the American army in Great Britain, the gateway to France, a book that details volunteer efforts during the war. And, today being Pi Day, is a good as moment as any to revisit his tale.
And to the injured soldier, there was no sweeter reminder of home than good, warm mince pie.
He was begging for mince pie, a classic comfort dish in the early 20th century, made of a mix of chopped meat, fruits, and spices. And what a comfort the pie was, even just the sight of it — the soldier, too sick to actually eat the pie, found it to be "just the home touch" he needed.
And while mince pie is no longer tops the list of American comfort food — we made the popular switch to "as American as apple pie" decades ago — for this soldier, it was the best reminder of home.