Yoders-Pie-Contest

I Traveled to Sarasota, Florida to Make Pie

Yes, you totally read that right – Just a few days ago I hopped on an airplane and flew all the way to Sarasota, Florida to make pie. Well, not ONLY to make pie – but this was a big part of why I went. Why? Because I was a contestant in a pie making competition. Ok, stop laughing and just read about my trip already. 

Disclosure: This stay/event was provided by Visit Sarasota.

It all started with a phone call – Hey Mary, wanna go to Florida and make pie? Without hesitation -You bet I do! Who cares about what the details were – my two favorite things were just named off and I was ready to hit the road. Little did I know that on this trip I would be trying to recreate Yoders most famous pie in front of a group of loyal and devoted Yoders Pie connoisseurs. No pressure, right?

When I arrived to Yoders Amish Village in Sarasota Florida, I could easily see why so many people adored this place. It was not just a restaurant. It was just not a pie place. It was literally like a small village! But don’t get me wrong, this small lot packed a big punch with a gift shop, restaurant, pie production house, and small grocery all in one!

Plus, I could tell that Yoders had pride in their selection because the produce was vibrant and fresh and almost all of the baked goods were made in house – this place was a gold mine.

Parts of it sort of reminded me of the old penny candy shops with fun candy options and retro glass bottle pops. You know I love to seek out the retro in every location – its in my nature.

After touring the grounds, we headed into the pie making facility for a quick crash course in pie making:

So – here’s what you need to know – you do this, this, this than this – voila! Ok – time to head out in front of everyone waiting to see you and compete for the best looking pie. Oh, and did we forget to tell you that you had to do it in under 3 minutes? Ok, have fun!!

Eek! So this is what my pie was supposed to look like – this was effortlessly put together by one of the adorable Yoder’s pie makers in less than 3 minutes . . so obviously I should be able to do the same, right? Ok – stop laughing, really, it’s getting old. 🙂

So here we are – the four of us set up at a table in front of a crowd of people. Each of us was given a box filled with pie making ingredients, and some ingredients we didn’t need to throw us off course. When the sound was given, we each threw open our boxes and tried to recreate Yoders famous pie as quickly as we could. It needed to be put together in the same steps and look like the perfectly made pie above. 

I really tried my best, really I did – but my pie came out falling a bit short. And what I mean by that was that it was flat – not like the plump and perfect pie Yoders serves. I tried to amplify it’s stature before the buzzer ended, but it didn’t work.

My pie was not pretty. I did come out with third place though (but only because I had the blue ballot and the kids in the audience liked the color – but that’s besides the point)! I have found that telling people you came in third doesn’t sound so bad until you let it leak that there were only four contestants in the competition. lol. Either way – I was happy to have participated.

After the pie contest we were treated to lunch at Yoders Amish Restaurant and boy was it amazing! Since this place is known for their fried chicken meals – that is exactly what I wanted to try. One bite and I had no longer had to wonder why there was a constant line to the door or why they were recently honored on the popular television show Man vs. Food. This place is worth going to!

Of course, after we had some lunch we needed to try our pie! Let’s just say that I hope to recreate this flavor at home because I am certainly going to miss it – and unfortunately a pudding based pie can’t be shipped. Oh well, just another reason to head back to Sarasota, Florida again soon, right?

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Have you ever been to Yoders Amish Village in Sarasota, Florida? Tell us about your discoveries while you were there! What did you like best?