Geraldine Bell is ready for them. She reaches back to the table set up behind her and gathers some disposable spoons and two pies that are set aside specifically for the curious, the skeptical, and the southern cuisine challenged. The boys eagerly accept tastes of both her chocolate and original flavors. Even Mom seems won over as she thoughtfully rolls a bite of Bell's sweet pastry over her tongue.
To those who have never tasted chess pie, sampling Geraldine's version is a revelation. It should be. Unlike the mass produced approximation of good home food that is the gateway to new avenues to culinary experience that many of us experience first, Geraldine's pies are the real thing.
"These are the best chess pies in the state of Tennessee."
A good chess pie is one of those underappreciated treasures of southern foodways. The recipe has its roots in the older English version, sometimes called an egg or cheese pie. Variations may contain corn meal, vinegar, or cheese curds. The last ingredient has fueled speculation about the origins of the American name of this dish. Is "chess" a regionalized version of cheese or the product of a dropped consonant describing the pie chests where they would have been stored by homemakers in previous generations? While some online sources may claim to have the last word, there is no conclusive evidence to confirm any of them as the one true source of pie wisdom.
"I put God first in all things. I do nothing without the Lord and seek Him first. You have to have faith and believe."
For more information about Geraldine's Greatest Chess Pies you can find a full menu and ordering information here: Geraldine's Greatest Chess Pies