Food - Drink
Was Boston Cream Pie Actually Invented In Boston?
By LISA CURRAN MATTE
Established in 1855, Boston's Omni Parker House, the oldest operating hotel in America, was the first in the country to adopt the “European plan,” meaning guests paid for dining and lodging separately. This unique distinction led Parker House to become a dining destination, most famous for its Boston cream pie.
French chef M. Sanzian, who was brought on board by Parker House founder Harvey D. Parker, created the Boston cream pie, a two-layer French butter sponge cake filled with pastry cream and crowned with chocolate ganache. However, reports vary as to when Sanzian first served the dessert, or if the recipe was an original idea of his.
Omni Hotels, the current owner of Parker House, says that Sanzian created the dessert for the hotel's opening in 1855, but many sources name 1856 instead. The originality of Sanzian's recipe is called into question because his Boston cream pie is undeniably similar to another famous, pre-existing dessert, Washington Pie.
While suspected precursors to Boston cream pie feature similar cake layers and fillings, none contain chocolate ganache. The ganache and French custard are likely Sanzian's personal touch, and the chocolate is representative of Boston, the site of the first chocolate mill in the U.S. at a time when chocolate was hard to find in other states.