The Pie Judges





They had to compare apples to lemons,
measuring streusel apple against lemon meringue
and a variety of others: berries, creams,
even a green tomato, the filling
bright and stringy as shredded young frogs.
The judges tasted the entries, of course, but this
was only part of the process. They poked pieces of fruit,
smeared custards to inspect for separation,
lifted the top crusts of slices like the hoods
of classic cars, then peered inside
to see how the parts worked together.
They broke off crimped crust edges and tested them
with their teeth and tongues, playing with texture,
the feel of the crumb and the level of salt.
Everything came under their scrutiny: pie complexions
(too brown or too pale), juiciness (too much liquid
on the plate), consistency (hard, gummy, or lumpy),
flavor (a little heavy on the cinnamon, not enough zest).
The prizes they presented were hard won,
from the engraved silver bowl for the blackberry-apple
to the green ribbon for the 12th-place peanut butter.
Spectators eyed the long line of entries
and wondered, wishing to judge for themselves;
but no one knew the taste of any one pie
except respective bakers and their families,
and the judges, now sipping plain water
to refresh their stomachs and overworked palates.

Promtp source: Write a judging poem (Poetic Asides, 2012 April PAD Challenge, Day 22).

Note: The photo above is from my mother’s blog, Lillian’s Cupboard, and shows her contest-winning raspberry-cherry pie. You can get the recipe for this pie and many others on the blog.

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2 Responses to The Pie Judges

  1. I recently judged a cookie contest and water was all I wanted for about 5 days. ‘Shredded young frogs’—oooooooh!

    • NancyB says:

      I didn’t know if I was exaggerating the thirst or not. They always LOOKED like they needed plenty of water.

      Full disclosure: The green tomato pie was mine. It didn’t tasted that bad, but something about that green made even me not want to eat it!

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