Pie That Dare Not Speak Its Name

World Famous Kentucky Horse Race Whose Name Rhymes with “Herbie” Pie dates back to 1950. That was the year it was invented by the owners of the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky: the Kerns. It was shortly named and, in 1968, trademarked. Ever since then World Famous Kentucky Horse Race Whose Name Rhymes with “Herbie” Pie has been synonymous with two things: the Kentucky Derby and lawsuits. Indeed the company which now goes by the name “Kern’s Kitchen” has sued at least 25 times to protect its rights under the law.

Kern’s has won against various cookbook publishers and most notably Bon Appetit magazine, which initially won the right to publish the recipe in court, only to have the decision overturned by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1987. Nowadays people publish the recipe pseudonymously as “Kentucky Pie”, “Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie”, “Run for the Roses Pie”, “Not Derby Pie”, etc. I think my name wins the title for the longest, but it certainly won’t be the last.

9 thoughts on “Pie That Dare Not Speak Its Name”

  1. Hmm – does this name change mean you got a “cease and desist” warning from someone? And is that sort of a compliment – that you’ve made it big enough that someone notices?

    Also – are you actually going to use margarine in your pie? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

    1. Let’s say I’ve been advised to tread lightly…but not by them.

      But you’ll notice the rewritten recipe contains butter!

      – Joe

    1. Ah yes, the hat that turns any man into a genius. I’m wearing that now!

      – J

  2. Given all the sites that Googling “Derby pie” turns up, the Kerns had better get busy.

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