The internet was abuzz when photos of a tiny, clear slice of pie, claiming to be pumpkin, appeared on Instagram in late October. The pie in question turned out to be part of the seasonal tasting menu at Alinea — the famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, where a meal for two can end up costing upwards of $1,000. The hefty price tag for the tasting menu at Alinea means that most of us probably won’t be sampling a slice of the clear pie any time soon.
Fortunately, Link Neal and Rhett McLaughlin, an American comedy due who host a Youtube show called Good Mythical Morning, decided to take matters into their own hands and sample some clear pie.
Introducing a segment called “Stuff We Try That You Can’t Buy,” Neal boasts: “Listen, we’re not going to let some snooty Chicago restaurant be the sole purveyors of this food invention, we gonna get right there with them.”
The duo first samples a homemade version of the Alinea clear pumpkin pie made with gelatin, sugar, colorless flavoring, and a store-bought pie crust.
“It kinda tastes like a Yankee candle,” McLaughlin muses.
“It’s not that I can’t keep eating it,” Neal opines. “It’s just that it’s basically pumpkin flavored Jell-O in a pie crust.”
Things quickly escalate as the duo try several other clear pies in different ‘mystery’ flavors — which include bubble gum (“a bad trip to the dentist”), cream cheese (“one of the better ones”) , tomato (“that one was nasty”), and liquid smoke (“you rubbed bacon on this, and it didn’t help it”).
Their conclusion? “I think what we learned is that it’s got to be at the tail end of a really expensive tasting menu for this type of stuff to work,” Neal explains. “Otherwise… stay away.”
Luckily for us, great pie is not limited to high-end Chicago eateries and can actually be found easily (and with a significantly smaller price tag) in the 12 best pie shops in America.