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203 × 130 × 15 mm
136 pages
56 illustrations, 32 in colour
01 Apr 2009

Pie A Global History Janet Clarkson

The pie, to quote one Victorian writer, is ‘a great human discovery which has universal estimation among all civilized eaters’. Pie explores the development of this most esteemed article of food, from the ancient pie, its crust inedible and used for preserving the contents, to its elevation as the highest expression of culinary art. The pie symbolizes family, celebration and ritual, and appears in literature from Chaucer to Jane Austen and in art from Monet to Hogarth. It is the most adaptable of foods, portable, nutritious and tasty, and its contents vary throughout the world, from fish to meat, from sweet to savoury, to the mysterious and sinister ‘Old Maid’ or ‘Scrap’ pie. A pie can be ‘an economical investment for all miscellaneous savings’, as Dickens called it, or a momentous and expensive work of art; it can even contain nothing but live birds, frogs or dancing girls.

A celebration of the pie as well as a hugely informative history, with a selection of recipes from throughout the life of the pie, Pie will satisfy the appetite of anyone interested in the history of food and cookery.

‘This homage to the pie is stylishly presented. Clarksons prose is clear and informative and there are dozens of fine illustrations photos, drawings, etchings, diagrams and reproductions of paintings many in striking colour. All depict a pie of some sort.’ — The Australian

‘relate[s] many wonderful stories about pies in a book that almost gives off the savoury, buttery aroma of flaky pastry and tasty fillings . . . Pie is the latest in a series of small, engaging and beautifully illustrated books . . . Clarkson weaves these tales, with arch wit, into a splendid story.’ — Sydney Morning Herald

‘Complete with historical recipes and a good dose of humour, this book is crammed full of delicious, mouth-watering facts that will appeal to history buffs and foodies alike.’ — The Chronicle, Queensland

‘Clarkson's loving ode to pie is a rich, savory history of one of the worlds oldest and most iconic dishes . . . With enthusiasm and detailed research, Clarksons entertaining history is a nutrient-rich meal for the mind, sure to be devoured as happily as its subject’ — Publishers Weekly

‘an all-encompassing look at the world of pies in all their glorious pastry history. With lesser-known facts, period photos and recipes, this book is far from just a history lesson on the origin of pies.’ — British Baker magazine

‘I expected this book to be a good read and it does not disappoint. It would be a great gift for any lover of food, food history or history in general. Pie: A Global History is an attractive volume and a worthwhile addition to any serious book collection.’ — MostlyFood.co.uk

‘Janet Clarksons food history blog The Old Foodie is updated daily with new topics, recipes and menus read it here’ — Quote

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Janet Clarkson writes regularly on culinary history and is also the author of Pie: A Global History (Reaktion, 2008), Soup: A Global History (Reaktion, 2010). She lives in Queensland, Australia.

Prologue: Preliminary Observations on Pie
1. A Brief History of Pie
2. The Universal Appeal of Pie
3. Pies by Design
4. Filling Stuff
5. Special Occasion Pies
6. Around the World with Pie
7. Imaginary Pies
Epilogue: The Future of Pie
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations