Weekend Reading: Regional Desserts, The Power of Pie, and More

What we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week.

Jess Fink

Slate's interactive "United Sweets of America" map is a guide to 50 of America's most distinctive regional desserts—one for each state. Some, like Wisconsin's ring-shaped, fruit-filled pastry known as the Kringle, I was familiar with. Others, like St. Louis, Missouri's gooey butter cake, and Rhode Island's frozen lemonades, were new to me. It's a must-read for anyone with a sweet tooth. [Slate] —Karen Shimizu, senior editor, @karemizu

I love this article by Stacy Adimando, which starts off with her wish to recreate the ricotta pie of her ancestral Italy—an attempt to recreate the world of her great grandparents in her own Brooklyn kitchen. The article then goes off in an entirely unexpected direction, discussing the power that pie, whether ricotta or rhubarb, holds over us: How it summons a sense of nostalgia while continuing to teach us new lessons each and every time we make it. [Gastronomica] —Keith Pandolfi, senior editor, @keithpandolfi

As the owner of a Boston Terrier and someone who believes that sharing a meal with others (pets included) is a powerful way to bond, I'm really excited about Disney's forthcoming animated short Feast—a sweet story about a man and his pup (who happens to be a Boston Terrier) and the food that strengthens their relationship. The studio released some images this week; the short is due out this fall. [USA Today] —Michellina Jones, digital producer, @michellinajones

According to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, 16.7% of restaurant workers are living below the poverty line (that's 10% more than employees in other industries). The study's other findings, which examine race, gender, and benefits, are fascinating, and also pretty depressing. Hopefully the study will force employers to change their policies—hospitality workers deserve better than this. [Economic Policy Institute] —Farideh Sadeghin, test kitchen director, @sadeghin

The Onion never fails to crack me up, and this article, written as if by the CEO of Ball Mason Jars about the insane riches of his success, is no exception. [The Onion] —Zoe Schaeffer, assistant digital editor, @zschaef