Pie eating has evolved over time into several distinct directions. Theoreticians of pie eating (pitatrosilogists) distinguish two main subtypes: recreational pie eating and competitive pie eating. Cliff Elberez is a competitive pie eater and has taken eating pie to both an intermediate and professional level.
It is inadvisable for amateurs to try competitive pie eating techniques on their own for safety reasons. A good friend of mine tried this once and woke up the next day, face down on the deck of a ferry to Ireland covered in what he thought was blood (but was actually cherry coulee). He handed himself into the police for a crime he didn’t commit and is now trapped in a web of emotions (and a prison cell).
In this case a coach is needed to teach people properly and a spotter is necessary for safety in case of misfeeds, overfills and retro-projection (vomiting). The use of competitive pie eating methods in polite company is likely to result in surprised stares, general disgust, and potentially even bans from the eating venue.
Recreational pie eating can be done safely using the following guidelines.
You will need:
- A pie.
- A serving utensil. Proper pie server is recommended, but a large knife will do in a pinch.
- An individual plate.
- An eating utensil. This is commonly a fork, but some softer pies have been eaten successfully with spoons.
- A human mouth.
The eating process:
- Divide the pie into wedges (slices).
- Using an appropriate utensil transfer the slice to an individual plate.
- Get a firm grip on the eating utensil with the strong hand (right for righties, left for southpaws). If you are like me and have one strong and one withered hand, be sure to use the strong hand.
- Use the off hand (or withered hand) to fixate the plate to the eating surface (table).
- Using the eating utensil separate a piece of pie from the slice. The size of the separated piece varies with the eater’s mouth sizing and should be determined through trial and error.
- Scoop the separated piece up with the eating utensil and place it in your mouth. Remember to open wide enough for the piece to pass. (Rooky mistake)
- Close mouth
- Withdraw utensil
- Chew pie
- Repeat until pie is gone
If steps 1 and 2 present some difficulty you should consider using the services of a professional, such as a baker or restaurant server.
If you experience difficulty with steps 3-5 you should consider investing in some manual dexterity training. Your doctor should be able to direct you to a qualified physical therapist.
If you experience difficulty with steps 6-10 you should seek remedial training in consumption of solid.
These are wise words, listen to them or you will choke on pie only to be found three weeks later, bent over the sink and as lifeless as a Madame Tussauds waxwork. Morbid? No, morbidly obese.