March 31, 2013

Apple Pie: An American Story by John Edge

This is the second book in Edge's series about food. The first was about Fried Chicken. And I do think this second book was written better. And I'm not even a pie fan, but I found the information contained within to be interesting.

Apple Pie is definitely considered all American. There are so many variations from crumb toppings, to mock apple pie, to a flaky crust that everybody believes they do it the right way. In this book, Edge goes around the country trying out different versions of the pie and meeting the people that make them. Sadly, most of the pies he tries are not up to par, but there are a rare few that stand out and make his trips worthwhile. He also explores some of the history behind the pies and even presidents that had a fondness for the apple variety.

He meets some interesting people in his journeys. Especially the ladies that make the fried pies, they have some unique, albeit sad, stories about how they first started making pies. And then there's the guy who adds chilies to his pies. I thought he was interesting and had a fantastic idea. One I'd like to try out myself if I could only make a decent crust. And Edge himself is a charming narrator. He has a lot of belief and love of food and keeps trying even if he does run in to some not so tasty renditions of pie.

This book flowed a little better than the first book did. The chapters were slightly longer and allowed for a more in-depth look at the places he was exploring and the type of pie that was being produced. It also allowed more time for interviewing the people and relating a bit of history as well. I still would have liked to see more about the food itself. He covered the history very well, and even included a few recipes, but this was a very fast read and I think a lot more could have been added.

This book hasn't quite made me a pie convert, but I do want to try the green chili apple pie now and will have to hold on to the recipe from this book. I think anyone who appreciates the history of food would probably enjoy reading this book, or really any from the series.

Apple Pie: An American Story
Copyright 2004
162 pages

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