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Pumpkin Pie Could Be Official State Pie

United States Department of Agriculture

There are many ways to add pumpkin to recipes, but one lawmaker wants to make it a permanent ingredient on the list of state symbols.

You can find pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream, and even pumpkin chili at the pumpkin festival in Morton. Representative Keith Sommer, a Republican who's from Morton, wants to bring even more attention to the state's star squash.

Sommer is a sponsor of legislation to make pumpkin pie the official state pie of Illinois. He says it is a way to recognize something good from Illinois.

"Who doesn't smile about contemplating fall and autumn leaves and pumpkin pie, and it's part of our way of life," Sommer said.

According to the University of Illinois, 90 percent of pumpkins grown in the United States are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria.

Morton is home to a Nestle factory that cans more than 80 percent of the world's pumpkins into Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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