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American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads
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American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  581 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Crossing class and color lines, and spanning the nation (Montana has its huckleberry, Pennsylvania its shoofly, and Mississippi its sweet potato), pie -- real, homemade pie -- has meaning for all of us. But in today's treadmill, take-out world -- our fast-food nation -- does pie still have a place?

As she traveled across the United States in an old Volvo named Betty, Pascal
...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  581 ratings  ·  111 reviews


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Brina
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, food, travelogue
Happy "Pie Day" tomorrow, everyone! I’ll be offline so I thought I’d post today. This was one of my earlier goodreads reviews and I still think fondly of this book. In light of the current situation, at least I have this happy thought to think back on and to remind me of what is great about the country I live in.

I initially found this book on the recommendation shelf at the library. Although I am not a general reader of light memoirs, I decided to pick this up none the less. Pascale Le Draoulec
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Bethany
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, non-fiction
A trip through the small side roads of the US in search of pie, pie makers, pie stories, pie recipes and pie bowls.

Not for everyone, this book rambles and doubles back on itself, but it is a lovely experience for a pie lover.

Now I need to get my hands in the dough!

Two people have asked to borrow the book from me and I am feeling reluctant to part with the book. I wrote my name in the cover. These two things have made me change my rating from 4 stars to 5 stars.
Jane
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery-book
The proud owner of this book thanks to Brina

This pie recipe book makes for great reading , it is a travelogue plus recipe book and each state pie has a story attached to it

I have made several of the pies and all a delicacy , love it !
Carrie
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I would usually rather have a big slice of moist chocolate cake than a slice of pie, whatever the variety. But this book makes you crave pie, makes you (foolishly?) think that even you could make a crust from scratch yourself, and provides dozens of recipes for regionally famous pies (raspberry pear, turtle pie, butterscotch pie, rhubarb custard, etc. etc.) along with a pretty good travel narrative.

I don't, however, recommend reading it during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It made me so quea
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Mary
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pie love...
If you have pie love, you'll absolutely devour this book...figuratively, of course!

I was thrilled to find not only authentic American portraits of pie bakers and eaters, but also RECIPES! And wonderful quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Travel with Pasquale and her friend (friends, later in the book) through the States, sampling pies and visiting with those who baked them and those who love them.

I checked it out of the library, but I really must own this book...
Yummy!
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Perri
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable, low-key book ,we take a road trip with Pascale as she explores American back roads in search of quintessential American pies. What made this fun was her lackadaisical approach to finding pies. She relied on local informants and her "guts" to find unique and random finds-it made her trip seem more authentic. I loved reading about the regional differences in cooking and the book comes with recipes as well as pics of the the folks they met along the way. WhooPIE! ...more
Debra Hale-Shelton
Oct 06, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pie fanatics
This was a great idea for a book -- going on the road in search of pie -- but it could have been handled and written in a much better way than it was. Still, it's a fun read.
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Lindsey
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
By the end, I was ready to be finished, but this book was definitely about more than just pie. Interesting stories and good food writing.
Michelle Cristiani
This is a story of pie along American backroads, by a food writer who was moving from West to East coast and wanted to make her road trip more interesting. It tells stories of small towns, their pies, and the bakers who make them (usually elderly women). She wonders if the art of pie-making is dying out because of our inability to slow down, and our unwillingness to learn from the past (i.e., our grandmothers).

Because Le Draoulec is already a food critic and author, she has no problem panning s
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Beth Pitman
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was predisposed to like this book. I love pie. I love small town Americana and regional specialties. I love road trips and I love memoirs. So I’m not actually sure if I loved the book itself, or just the idea of taking a pie-themed road trip. I do know that I wanted to be a passenger in Betty Blue and go on this adventure along with her...and I kind of feel like I did. So that’s worth five stars for me! Great insight too, that baking a pie is counterintuitive (like many good things) to our fas ...more
Rogue Reader
Apr 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-writing
The quintessential road trip across America, this one dedicated to PIE - berry, icebox, custard and cream. Kind of like Thelma and Louise but not as crazy. Kind of like Miles and Jake, but not as disaffected. Nice insights into vanishing America, the art and craft of pie disappearing with the death of the diner, the loss of the last generation but hope in odd places like Pie Town New Mexico, Georgia and Michigan. The aimless trip through upstate New York and New England, when Pascale and boyfrie ...more
Alycia
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-about-food
Great book with great recipes. The apple blueberry pie is a good one and easy to try.
I love that she meets Paula Deen before she was PAULA DEEN. I also like that she has no problem calling out pie people who are not kind and/or not good with pie. I got this from the library and definitely need my own copy.
Jennifer
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds me of my mother in law. She makes great berry pie. Pie that her son doesn't appreciate fully. Pie that I eat for breakfast when I visit. I need to learn to make pie. I need to also figure out a way to get paid for traveling around with friends (and family) eating food. ...more
Toni
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful idea, to insert a theme into a road trip, in this case the search for homemade pie across America. This slightly quirky and delightful book has me looking for an excuse to make a pie - soon!
Tori
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
While I didn't think the author did a great job of finding pie (especially since she couldn't seem to find pie in Ohio--as a native Ohioan I can say she simply didn't take the time to look), the book was an enjoyable read. Can't wait to try out some of the recipes! ...more
Bleu Caldwell
I found the writing a little awkward at times, but I really enjoyed the overall theme of the book. I felt like it gave a good peek into the corners of rural America, as well as lots of history of, anecdotes about and recipes for pie.
Jessica
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this travelogue of LeDraoulec's journey across the US. While she travels from San Francisco to NYC, she samples home made pies along the back roads. Lucky for us she shares the recipes that she collects along the way as well as the stories of the people that she meets. ...more
Lori Connor
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful romp through the back roads of America in search of pies and their stories. I will be purchasing this book for myself because I need these recipes. I'm so glad I picked up this book. I loved every minute of reading it. ...more
Kirsten
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book of stories about a road trip looking for pie, but I think you have to be in the mood for it. I loved the lessons she learned on the way. And now all I want to do is master the art of pie crust so I can bake every pie recipe from the book.
Jessica Haider
May 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
A book about a woman on a quest across America to find the perfect slice of pie. She finds some hits and some misses. Book includes some recipes for her better pie discoveries.
Lara
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
The premise seemed so promising, but it didn't quite deliver. A redeeming feature was that we read it at my book club and everyone brought a pie. Yum! ...more
Becky
Dec 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book is great! It makes me want to road trip and bake pie. At the same time.
Noelle
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
great recipes. love country backroads and what we can learn from people along the way. the first road trip would have been enough.
John
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Food and travel - two of my favorite subjects in one!
Toni
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, favorites
A pie journey..love this book! I am a pie fan and I do travel via diner.
Glynn
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
mmmmm.....pie!

absolutely marvelous road trip book about pie-seeking (i brake for pie)
audrey
Oy vey gevalt. So, a mixed bag. I enjoyed the first road trip somewhat, and then lost interest when the book turned into the author trying to tie that road trip to an examination of her romantic life. That... was not advertised anywhere in the blurb? Did not want?

But then the second road trip kind of made up for it, except throughout the entire book, while the author is being taken in, fed, and given recipes by numerous people across the country, she then turns around as is offhandedly cruel ab
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Denise Spicer
A food writer's memoir style travel guide. She is searching for regional and specialty pies in small town America. Zigzagging across the back roads of our country, her French background and elitist viewpoint influences her observations. Even with her somewhat snidely demeaning descriptions of ordinary folk we become acquainted with many small towns and roadside cafes. The author includes some recipes and a few black and white photos. This book will mainly appeal to "foodies". As with many works ...more
Colleen Coyne
Sep 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sweet-toothed patriots
Shelves: nonfiction
Back when I wasn't vegan, this book set off fantasies of following in her footsteps, either pie-by-pie or via my own personal route of mom-n-pop doughnut shops. Alas, my aversion to all things dairy means I no longer salivate while reading this book, but I still recommend it as a worthwhile food writing-travelogue combo. ...more
Catherine
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it
A girls' road trip with the search for good pie thrown in. I enjoyed the first portion of the book but as the trip continued it became a bit boring. The author's rudeness was a bit annoying, i.e., inviting herself into peoples' homes and asking pie makers and shopkeepers to open for her after they were closed. The book includes lots of recipes. ...more
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