Author(s): Janet Clarkson
The pie, to quote one Victorian writer, is 'a great human discovery which has universal estimation among all civilized eaters'. It is astonishing, given the widespread appeal of this humble dish, that the pie does not appear to have had a single book devoted to its complex but fascinating story; this book redresses a glaring omission from culinary history. "Pie" explores the development of this most esteemed article of food, from its purely pragmatic (and no doubt somewhat ugly) beginnings in ancient history, to its present elevation as the highest expression of culinary art.Janet Clarkson does not shy away from the seamier side of the story, nor does she neglect the symbolic role of the pie, its commercial applications or its many international variations. The book touches upon the pie's nutritional value and its cultural significance - and it even has some fun with linguistics. This book is intended not just to relate a dry factual history of the pie, but to celebrate its very existence. "Pie" will tap into the increasingly popular vein of books on culinary history, and will satisfy the appetites of those with a particular interest in the history of food, as well as the more general reader interested in all aspects of food and cookery.
'This homage to the pie is stylishly presented. Clarkson's 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 world's oldest and most iconic dishes ... With enthusiasm and detailed research, Clarkson's 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 Clarkson is a GP and lecturer at the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, and has written widely on culinary history.