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Pie: A Global History (The Edible Series)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Apple pie. Pumpkin pie. Shepherd’s pie. Chicken potpie. Sweet or savory, pies are beloved; everyone has a favorite. Yet despite its widespread appeal there has never been a book devoted to this humble dish—until now.

Janet Clarkson in Pie illustrates how what was once a purely pragmatic dish of thick layers of dough has grown into an esteemed creation of culinary art. Ther
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Reaktion Books
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Community Reviews

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Ian Not His Real Name
Damn Fine Pie

I know author Janet Clarkson,
She sure does make a damn fine pie,
As well as any other food
She turns her hand (and mitten) to.

The Life of Pie

I'll try pies from all round
Until my health forbids.
Varieties abound,
But if they're well prepared,
I like both ones with lids
And with their contents bared.

While my verdict's open,
If they could be compared
And you must know my ken
About which better fared,
Then I prefer it when
The types of pie are squared.
Dec 18, 2013 Orsolya rated it liked it
Shelves: exposes, other, library-2, food
Regardless of one’s affinity towards sweets (or lack thereof); the phrase, “As American as apple pie” is a common one. A warm, crusty, slice of pie is as much an ornamental figure of culture as it is actually in bellies. Janet Clarkson shares a cultural and social history exploration of pie in Reaktion Books’ “The Edible Series” with “Pie: A Global History”.

“Pie” is a small, glossy book filled with full-color photos and illustrations breaking the history of pie into a rational chronology. Begin
Desiree Koh
Nov 07, 2010 Desiree Koh rated it really liked it
Shelves: chow
Anyone who will asks rhetorical questions about the philosophy of pie is on the right track. Pie is simple goodness, but it is also complex ecstasy. So much more than filling plus crust, and just as the equation of Pi is a never-ending search for answers, the enjoyment of pie is an ongoing adventure of over-the-top elation and sadly, something that I can only enjoy, and not create. But, as long as there are enough creators of pie, I will gladly savor their products, and not even rest on the Sabb ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Apr 07, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarybooks
‘There is a mystery inherent in a pie by virtue of the contents being hidden beneath its crust.’

The pie, to quote one Victorian writer, ‘is a great human discovery which has universal estimation among all civilized eaters’. Of course, there are a number of different views about how to define a pie and Ms Clarkson resorted to the following quote by Raymond A. Sokolov: ‘I may not be able to define a pie, but I know one when I see it.’

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the pie, or about th
Tyrannosaurus regina
Who wouldn't want to read a book about pie? My only regret is that I didn't have an actual pie to eat whilst reading about pie. This book was light and fun and had a pleasant conversational tone, which seems just right for pie.

(Though how one can have a chapter on fictional pies and not include Pushing Daisies is beyond me. I can only hope that the book was drafted before it started airing, even if it was published long after.)
Feb 07, 2015 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
Americans, who think of pie as exclusively a fruit-based phenomenon, may be disappointed that their pie gets short shrift, but the writing is strong, and the history is good. And gotta love the quote that starts chapter 4 from Jane Austen! Looking forward to trying some of the recipes!
Margaret Sankey
Jan 12, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
From the Reaktion food series, this is a meditation on pie, quickly established by two rules: it must be in pastry, and it must be baked (although there are howling exceptions to both rules, we must press on). Clarkson examines the early days of pie, encased in a hard shell to bake with the shell discarded to the low-ranking or the pigs, the revolution of short crust pastry with lard and enough firewood to fuel ovens (sorry, southern Europe), peasants and hand pies like Cornish pasties, the fear ...more
Megan Rossman
Jan 09, 2016 Megan Rossman rated it really liked it
Very informative
Anne Van
Dec 26, 2011 Anne Van rated it liked it
Nice back story on pie.....that once everything baked in an oven, except bread, was pie. Great descriptions of early pies and a good quote: "The fine arts are five in number, namely: painting, scuplture, poetry, music and architecture, the principal branch of the latter being pastry:, Antonin

Nov 30, 2009 Terry rated it it was ok
Purpotedly a "global history," but very definitely slanted to England and the commonwealth. Still, some interesting and amusing factoids.
Megan C
Nov 17, 2009 Megan C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Now this is how culinary history ought to be done!
Jan 24, 2014 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Short fun look at pies.
Jan 31, 2013 Tori rated it really liked it
fun read
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Other Books in the Series

The Edible Series (1 - 10 of 56 books)
  • Apple: A Global History
  • Barbecue: A Global History (Edible)
  • Beef: A Global History
  • Beer: A Global History
  • Brandy: A Global History (Edible)
  • Bread: A Global History
  • Cake:  A Global History
  • Caviar: A Global History
  • Champagne: A Global History
  • Cheese: A Global History

Share This Book

“Pies mean Thanksgiving and Christmas and picnics.” 19 likes
“America has developed a pie tradition unequivocally and unapologetically at the sweet end of the scale, and at no time is this better demonstrated than at Thanksgiving.” 13 likes
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