Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014 6:13 PM
Subject: Fried peach/Apple pie
I have JUST discovered you !!!!
I am almost 70 years old............and I sorta cut my teeth on The Varsity
food in downtown
Atlanta. You probably won't remember this, but let's say........... 50
years ago.......(.to be SURE) The Varsity used to make REAL fried pies. At
some point they started BAKING the darn things and forever changed The
Varsity Fried Pies !
Now, THEIR recipe from WAY BACK, I would love to have.
BUT.................unless my mind is slipping, I remember that the filling
of the PEACHES ( apples )
were COMPLETELY different, TOO. TODAY'S peaches are just..............."
Canned peach pie filling" that can be bought at ANY grocery store. The
peaches from " 50 years or so ago " were different. I WANT to say they used
" dried stewed peaches ", but I may be wrong. But, it was NOT the " canned
peach/apple pie filling ".
Have I given you an IMPOSSIBLE recipe to track down ?
Also.............when you ANSWER, will you answer ME at my email address, or
must I return to
your site over and over and over to see if you HAVE answered ?
Thank you VERY much.
If you need any more information, PLEASE HOLLER !
Here's the thing: I cannot find any evidence at all that The Varsity stopped
frying their peach pies and started baking them. Everything that I can find
calls them "fried peach pies." They are called "fried peach pies" on The
Varsity's menu and even on the wax paper wrappers that they serve the pies
in. See the menu here: The Varsity
and the wax paper wrapper here: Varsity Fried Pies
They say that these pies are made from an old family recipe. They might have
changed something about the recipe at some point, but I don't think they
changed from frying them to baking them. That would be false advertising
since they still call them fried peach pies, wouldn't it? Going back fifty
years ago, they may have fried them in lard at that time, and then later
changed to vegetable oil.
Anyhow, they don't give out that "family recipe", and no one has made a
copycat recipe or a "tastes-like" recipe as far as I can tell. I had no
success at all locating any recipe for either the "old" or the "new" pies.
In the book "Peaches: a Savor the South Cookbook", author Kelly Alexander
says: "The first fried pie that I ever ate was at The Varsity, Atlanta's
prototypical beloved fast-food joint, which opened its doors in 1928. Fried
peach pies still come in individual waxed paper bags at that restaurant to
this day, and they are a singular guilty pleasure. That said, they're not
made with fresh peaches."
In most recipes, this kind of fried pie is made with dried peaches, usually
not fresh peaches or peach pie filling. I have a recipe for fried peach pies
here: Fried Peach Pies
and for fried apple and/or peach pies here: Fried Pies.
You will need to go to those pages to get the recipes. If you have problems,
let me know. If you want to duplicate The Varsity's pies as they were fifty years ago,
your best bet is to use a recipe calling for dried peaches or dried apples, and to fry
your pies in lard.
I almost always answer requests directly, Carol, and post them on the site, too.
I hear folks complaining about the FRIED part of those pies a lot, but no one ever confronts them.
They are definitely baked, now, though. Even my Mother remembers how they were different.
That's okay about the fried pies. THANK you for the link to a " real fried pie ". I appreciate it.
Well, Carol seems convinced that The Varsity's "Fried Peach Pies" are no longer fried. She doesn't give
any evidence, though, except that she and her mother remember them being different. That's not quite
enough for me. Maybe someone who works at or who worked at The Varsity can settle the question.
Subject: The Varsity Fried Pie Debacle
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014 5:56 PM
Hi! They are still fried. I was there earlier this week, and witnessed the frying happening in the back
(I could see from the ordering counter). We go every few months, and I've never noticed a difference in the taste.
Though, maybe they use different oil now? Anywoo, I wish I would have taken a picture :/
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 1:15 PM
Subject: Mike Ditka's pasta recipe
Years ago, I ate at Mike Ditka’s restaurant in Chicago on Chestnut Street.
They had on the menu a very simple pasta dish with lump crab, tomato and basil.
It is no longer on their menu but wondered please if this is something you might be able to find.
Thank you, Midge
I had no success looking for a dish from Ditka’s with lump crab, tomato, and basil.
I looked at several online menus from Ditka’s at 100 East Chestnut Street Chicago, Illinois,
and they all have a dish called either “seafood diavolo” or “linguine diavolo”, which might be
what you mean, but you didn’t say the magic word, which is “shrimp”. These dishes have jumbo shrimp
in addition to the ingredients you give. See: Ditka's Restaurants:
Seafood Diavolo: Thin Pasta Tossed with Jumbo Lump Crab, Jumbo Shrimp, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chiles, Basil and Shrimp Broth
That is the only dish on any of the menus that was anywhere close to your description.
If Ditka’s ever served such a dish with just the lump crab, then I could find no mention of it.
There are seafood diavolo recipes that call for a variety of seafoods – crab, lobster, shrimp, mussels, etc,
but I did not find a recipe that called specifically for lump crab + tomatoes+ basil with no other seafood.
I’ll post this on the site – perhaps a reader can help.
I did find a rather simple “Fra Diovolo Crab Sauce” recipe, but it does not have the basil.
Perhaps you can add basil to it. See: Fra Diavolo Crab Sauce
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014 8:19 PM
When I was a student at Decatur High School in Georgia, we had things that
we sold each year to make money for the school. This was in...........maybe
1956 - 1962 , that I remember our selling taffy. The taffy came in vanilla,
chocolate, and strawberry. Each flavor was wrapped in a whitish wax paper
and was sort of powdery ( maybe xxxxx sugar ) to keep the taffy from
sticking to the paper. Each roll of taffy cost .50 Each roll of taffy was
approximately 6" long and
approximately 2" in diameter. That is one huge piece of taffy ! The taffy
was not sticky in holding it.....perhaps because of the white wax paper with
powder that it was unwrapped from. It was soft............oh, so soft, and
pulled EASILY. I have hunted for this taffy for years. Many people have
suggested different kinds, but none have been like the kind we used to sell.
Soft...........so SOFT ! It would almost MELT in your mouth.
You don't say whether you students made the taffy yourselves or it was
bought from someone outside.
I could not find anything about taffy that mentioned Decatur High School in
When searching for a recipe, some things are not much help, like the size
and shape of the pieces and the price it was sold for. Almost every taffy
recipe that I see calls for dusting with powdered sugar and wrapping in
I'll post this on the site - perhaps a reader can help.
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: TAFFY
Oh, I'm sorry !
It was made by a company.
That makes finding the correct recipe quite unlikely. What was the name of the company?
Companies make things like taffy in huge batches, using machines. Even if it were possible
to get the company recipe, you probably wouldn't be able to use it at home.
BUT..........that taffy..........If you don't mind, please ask if anyone knows a company name
that sold the taffy as fund raisers for schools. I have a feeling that the company is " long gone ",
but I will go to the grave remembering that candy.