North Carolina

The best pie in North Carolina ... has tomatoes in it?

The best pie in North Carolina can be found in Raleigh, and yes, it has tomatoes in it, according to a new magazine ranking.

You can find it at Poole’s Diner, a downtown Raleigh restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen, according to People magazine, which named the best pie in each state.

Christensen’s heirloom tomato pie “gets its kick from buttermilk cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and thyme,” the magazine said.

The dish also calls for mayonnaise and other ingredients layered with tomatoes atop a pie crust, according to an online excerpt from Christensen’s cookbook “Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner.”

“I imagine it came to be because, when a fruit is plentiful, people always find a way to bake it into a pie,” she said of the Homegrown Tomato Pie on celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern’s website.

Friendly reminder: Tomatoes are indeed a fruit, because they have seeds.

Christensen, who owns several restaurants in Raleigh, is widely credited with making the city a foodie lover’s dream. Last spring, she became the first in North Carolina to win the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in the country, and Raleigh was “the smallest city represented in the national award,” The News & Observer reported at the time.

So, want to try a slice of that tomato pie?

Though Poole’s Diner says it has chalkboard menus that change seasonally, its Facebook page in the past has announced when the dish is being served.

Overall, the top pie in North Carolina stands out from several of the other winners on the list from People magazine, which got selection help from the website Eater. Many on the list are cream-topped or dusted with sugar.

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