Pie-ing off in Pie Town

There’s a little place in New Mexico called Pie Town. Every year, they have a pie festival.

(Didn’t see that one coming did you?)

All sorts of things went on at the pie festival, but the highlight had to be its pie eating contest. My exposure to pie eating contests is limited only to the barf-o-rama scenes in the movie Stand By Me, so I came to this one (with Brian, and met up with Flemming, Dan and Dan’s wife Amy) sincerely hoping that what people say about not believing everything you see on tv, held true.

Thankfully, the contest was a barrel of laughs, and no barfs.

(edit: I have it on good authority that the lady in the above picture, with the long blonde hair leaning to the left, was this year’s Pie Queen)

What it did have in Hollywood-production scale, was a brilliant crowd. The hooting, hollering, good-natured taunts, cheers, random advice and everything else meant that I and lots of other people were cracking up from the start of the contest, right to the end. This was a crowd that knew what it was there for!

If you’ve never been to/heard of them, the basis of pie eating contests, as you can imagine, is simple: (s)he who eats the most pies, wins.

So what happens when you get a three way tie at the end of the first round?

A pie-off!

Where contestants get passionately stuck into it…

…but only one emerges victorious.

He was from out of state too.

Gotta love it.

Another great New Mexico experience!


  1. Brian Miller says:

    Love it, Charlene. What a great little series you got (while I was hanging with horseshoe champions!! ;). Talking up the firefighters sure helps, eh?!!

    On a fun little side note, that blonde woman in the second image leaning in with her point and shoot for a good shot turned out to be – much to her surprise – this year’s Pie Queen!!

    1. charlene says:

      I can’t believe you guys didn’t wander over for at least some of this pie eating contest. It was a hoot and a half!

      That was awesome, getting the 2012 PIe Queen in a shot without knowing it. Thanks :D

      (PS, Pie Town’s VFD rocks!)

  2. sabrina says:

    If I had any doubt about visiting NM–and when to go–these images swept it away. A pity though that they have to eat the pies so quickly they probably don’t enjoy them as much…

    1. Brian Miller says:

      Sabrina: There is LOTS of pie!! ;)

      1. sabrina says:

        Good to know Brian because in my world, there can never be too much pie!

    2. charlene says:

      Brian’s right, there was plenty of pie for the enjoyment afterwards. You know what though, I didn’t actually eat any pie myself. I was surprised to find that pies in the US are mostly sweet. In Australia (i suppose this is a British thing), pies are savoury – usually some meat and potato/peas/other veg filling.

      The only pie I wanted to have a taste of (classic Pie Town pie – apple and pinion i think, although Brian can correct me here) they had sold out of by the time we got there. And I was utterly terrified of the mega-sized slices of everything else :D

      1. sabrina says:

        I love both kinds of pie–savoury and sweet. As my sister says “we are pie people”. It would be very interesting to see what would happen if they were to introduce Aussie-style pies to the pie eating contest :D

      2. charlene says:

        They’d have to introduce beer too – the saying goes that a balanced meal in Australia = a beer in one hand, and a pie in the other ;)

      3. Brian Miller says:

        Ahem, pie is dessert. Just sayin’…

      4. charlene says:

        They make good mains too, promise!

      5. Brian Miller says:

        You’ll have a hard time convincing me of that. And I think the pie you wanted was apple-green chile?
        And my boys LOVED the chocolate pie you bought for them. (me too!)

      6. I’m with Brian on this. I’ll take the chocolate or coconut cream pie anyday. Those British/Australian things where you bought a pie and then inside it is a kilo of meat makes you think two pages in the cook book stuck together and someone by accident created this mix of dessert and stew that no one should be forced to eat :)

      7. charlene says:

        The really good pies have a nice balance of good lean meat and veg – a good meal in one imho. You’ve clearly had one too many road house pies during your various trips here, heh

      8. charlene says:

        Promise, savoury pies make a nice meal. You’ll have to try it someday.

        And yes it probably had green chile in it – possibly the reason I wanted to have some so badly :D

  3. What a great day this was! Awesome post and story. We were also all wearing Brian’s clothes hehe.

    I had a taste of the coconut cream pie that Arthur gave to Dan – it was unreal, best pie ever. Probably why the women of the historical society burst into full on ecstatic mania mode when we gave slices to them (have some great video).

    I never saw a moment of the pie eating contest, was stalking Dan with the video camera and he was off elsewhere.

    Great jedi skills in getting images of the pie-eating without Amy in the background of every frame hehehehe :)

    Aaahhh NM Magic.

    1. charlene says:

      Amy’s shoulder is in there, Third photo from the top, against the left edge. And in the other 32 frames that I haven’t posted ;) Apparently, my Jedi skills are in need of a little polishing!

      That pie eating contest was way fun. I only laughed harder in TorC :D

      Next time, perhaps?

      1. She’s in a few of my video takes as well, Amy the ever-present hyperactive Canon shooter :)

        TorC was off-the-scales even making the waitress think we were on drugs. It’s the water. Which comes out of the ground.

        I really want to re-visit Pie Town and festival, having not shot one single still image there!

      2. charlene says:

        Hahahahaha yes she did say we were having a bit too mich fun! Impossible not to though, all things considered.

        Pie Town, definitely next time! :))))

  4. peta says:

    I am with you Charlene, chicken pies, vege pies, and meat pies with veges are the best…
    Great set of photos and it looked like a lot of fun, though I don’t think I could down a pie like that.

    1. charlene says:

      Savoury pies for the win! It was a heap of fun. A really great introduction to New Mexico and some great characters too.

      1. Brian Miller says:

        Try having a pie eating contest with savory pies; not nearly the same effect. Period. End of debate. Dessert pies for the win!

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