The indisputable truth: Patti LaBelle can sang. "Lady Marmalade," anyone?
And as it happens, she can also cook. Witness her many cookbooks and her successful cooking show. So Wal*Mart started carrying her Sweet Potato pie, and pre-Thanksgiving sales were, um, brisk. As in, nationwide sales hit the rate of one pie per second. Now that is a lot of pies, but it is only the beginning of the story.
As it happens, Chicago-based video-blogger and Patti LaBelle impersonator James Wright heard the buzz and decided to post a review of the pie. According to Mr. Wright, the pie is so good it will turn you into Patti LaBelle. His NSFW (language) review tore up the Internet.
Go ahead and watch it if you haven't already seen it like 100 times already....
Even before this video went viral, pie demand exceeded pie supply, putting upward pressure on pie price. However, under the influence of Mr. Wright's huh-larry-us interpretations, demand soared even further. Wal*Mart was obliged to answer the phone thusly: "Hello, thank you for calling Wal*Mart, we are out of Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie, how may I help you?"
When the blackmarket price of the pie hit 1000 times the $3.46 original retail, it was time for someone to release the recipe. And one such someone was the Washington Post's intrepid food reporter, Joe Yonan.
The whole "Do It Yourself" annotated instruction manual is available here: How to make Patti LaBelle's impossible to find sweet potato pie at home. The recipe is also found in “LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About,” by Patti LaBelle (Clarkson Potter, 1999).
|My version of Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie|