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Cake vs. Pie, the Southern Foodways Symposium Debate

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Here's a video from this year's Southern Foodways Symposium in which Eatocracy's Kat Kinsman and the New York Times' Kim Severson debate the merits of pie versus cake. In the Lincoln-Douglas style debate, Kinsman represents pie arguing, "When you bake a pie, you are in the kitchen in the company of ghosts. If you are crafting a crust, it's most likely because at some point in your life, someone thought well enough of you to stand beside you at a counter and gift the muscle memory from her hands to yours." On team cake, Severson suggests, "The cake, I put to you, is the sweet tangible talisman of the South. It's connection, tradition, mother, and love." Both Severson and Kinsman rely on food history and fascinating anecdotes to prove their cases and (spoiler alert) the debate ends in a tie. Go, watch:

Video: Cake Vs Pie 2013

· Cake vs. Pie Comes to the Small Screen [Southern Foodways Alliance]
· All Southern Foodways Alliance Coverage on Eater [-E-]