It’s pi day, that annual celebration of the irrational number that describes the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. An irrational number, you may recall from algebra, is one whose decimals go on forever. (Mathematicians, hold your fire: I’m a food reporter doing my best.) Pi is how we write the Greek letter “?,” which has been used as a symbol for the ratio since the 18th century.
Anyway, the most common approximation of pi is 3.14 and, in 1988, that inspired Larry Shaw, a physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium, to establish March 14 as pi day.
But I’m supposed to be blogging about food, right? It has come to my attention that Reinwald’s Bakery in Huntington is offering a pi pie today. Owner Richard Reinwald saw a sculpture of the letter pi on a recent trip to Greece and, being a baker, he made the obvious connection. Reinwald’s pie, with a pi-shaped vent, is filled with apple, sells for $7.50 and is 9 inches across. (Thanks to pi I can tell you that means the circumference is 28.27 inches and I'll throw in the area too: 63.63 inches.)
Archimedes of Syracuse is credited with the first rigorous working out of pi in the third century B.C. Back then, the Sicilian city of Syracuse was a Greek colony. Thus you could celebrate today with Sicilian food (try Antonette’s Classico in Rockville Centre, Sergio’s in Massapequa or Casa Rustica in Smithtown) or Greek. I’m tempted to use three pieces of baklava to form the hallowed letter.
Apple-pi pie at Reinwald's in Huntington