“There’s the mountain pie, the pudgy pie, the jaffle, the toastie. All kinds of ’em. I’ve always been a pudgy pie guy. I think this area is pudgy pie land,” declares Jon Riemann, aka the ‘Pudgy Pie Guy.’
Riemann is passionate about pudgy pies, and he got his start young during camping trips at Hartman Creek State Park.
Years later, Riemann and his wife Natascha were enjoying a campfire with friends at Kohler-Andre State Park in Sheboygan when a park ranger stopped to check on the large group. He saw that everyone was making pudgy pies. To Riemann’s surprise, the ranger suggested he present at the campground to teach people how to make pudgy pies.
Soon after, he created a Facebook group called ‘Pudgy Pie Guy’ to spark interest in pudgy pies.
Then, he noticed the lack of information online on how to properly season a pie iron. This led Riemann to create a how-to video at Kohler-Andre State Park in 2010.
Thirteen years and 57,000-plus views later, the ‘Pudgy Pie Guy’s’ video is still helping people season their pie irons.
Employees of Kohler-Andre State Park saw the video and again asked Riemann if we would be interested in teaching classes to campers.
“I’ve done over 25 classes. I’ve been the headlining act for Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. It’s just been a lot of fun,” said Riemann.
Riemann is also an avid collector of pudgy pie irons and has over a hundred. His collection includes Tonka Toaster, Hobo, In-a-Minute, Kmart, Love Pie, Nut Brown Toaster, Rome, Sister Molly’s Kwiki-Pi, Snack-Toaster, Speed E Treet, Speed-Grill, Toastette / Toasty Pie, and Toas-Tite Tidbit pie irons.
“I collect pudgy pie makers because I didn’t see anyone else doing it,” says Riemann.
The evolution of the pie iron can be observed in different eras. The 50s witnessed the emergence of many models, followed by another wave in the 70s. Modern versions, refined over time, emerged in the 80s.
There are square and round versions of the pie iron. The round ones seal the bread, preventing juices or pie fillings from dripping out, almost like crimping ravioli.
Riemann, aka the ‘Pudgy Pie Guy,’ sums up his passion for pudgy pies: “It’s been ten years of just a constant evolution of this. I never thought that I would collect them. I never thought I’d be giving a presentation about them. I never thought I would have this many of them. And so, it’s really just been a great opportunity to bring it all together.”