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Pie: A Global History

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Apple pie. Pumpkin pie. Shepherds 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 dishuntil 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. There
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Reaktion Books
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
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.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-2, other, exposes, food
Regardless of ones 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. Beginning with
Desiree Koh
Oct 31, 2010 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 ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
its history is quite meaty.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Apr 04, 2011 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 the
Margaret Sankey
Jan 12, 2013 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
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 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Pie can hardly be called a "global history" in good conscience. Heavily focused on the English pie and some French influences, Pie covers the various aspects that are involved in pie's role in societies, mainly from the middle ages onward.

Although such a small book can hardly contain all variations of pie, I don't think Ms Clarkson was right in dismissing the rest of the world. The countries she discusses are mainly the UK, France, the United States, Canada, and Australia. This inexplicable
aho's homemade food
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is there anything in the world of food more perfectly planned and wholesome than a pie? A whole meal, enclosed in a delicious crust. Savoury, sweet, or both (like the famous Bedfordshire clanger), they deliver everything one needs in a moment of hungriness: nourishment, great taste and comfort. What is the pie? How and when was did it come to existence? What makes a great pie? All these questions, and many more, are answered in Janet Clarksons volume in The Edible Series, 'Pie. A Global ...more
Anne Van
Dec 26, 2011 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

Feb 07, 2015 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!
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
An interesting look at pies. Covered a bit of everything, science, history and cultural.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Purpotedly a "global history," but very definitely slanted to England and the commonwealth. Still, some interesting and amusing factoids.
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Now this is how culinary history ought to be done!
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