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American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads Paperback – April 1, 2003

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American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads + Humble Pie: Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust + The Lost Art of Pie Making Made Easy
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Like a good slice of apple, sweet without being cloying and tart without being bitter.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[American Pie] will move pie enthusiasts to dust off their rolling pins and get busy.” (Chicago Tribune)

“As satisfying as a slice of homemade pie...an armchair traveler’s heaven.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“American Pie is to be savored, slice by slice, chapter by chapter.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“A rich, satisfying account of one woman’s cross-country search for the age-old dessert.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Le Draoulec has an instinct for where the most interesting story might lie...as this book charmingly demonstrates.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Le Draoulec explores America’s relationship with pie with a journalist’s instinct and curiosity.” (Associated Press)

About the Author

Pascale Le Draoulec is the restaurant critic for the New York Daily News. Her stories ran over the Gannett wire service and in USA Today among other magazines and newspapers. She lives in New York City. This is her first book.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957322
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alice on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fun read about looking for great pies across the country. You meet all kinds of interesting people and places along the byroads of the land. Complete with photos of some of the folks and lots of pie recipes. Definitely a keeper.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By julietsbookshelf on September 12, 2009
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This is my kind of book! It made me want to share food ideas and travel memories with the author, and it definitely made me get out my rolling pin. The night after I finished the book, we invited friends over for garden-ripe tomato sandwiches on homemade whole grain bread with homemade mayo and freshly-picked basil. That is all we needed to go with my georgia peach-blackberry lattice pie! We did add my neighbor's pickled yard beans on the side. My guests came to the kitchen and made their own sandwiches.
I am a cookbook writer and retired cooking school teacher and chef. My daughter and I had a restaurant where we featured a different homemade dessert every day. People came from miles around for these old-fashioned treats. Worn out knees forced me to throw in the towel. Also, I had quit having people over because I just can't do all the work that a real dinner entails.
This was such a simple solution. Just spend time on a couple of things that are showstoppers (the bread and the pie), put out some good wine, and you have it made. I thank the author for the inspiration.
The only thing I take issue with is that the author really had no personal criteria on which to judge pie. I am still trying to make the perfect pie crust, but I have made hundreds of attempts and had lots of near misses. In the South, Pie really is alive and well. We still go berry picking by the railroad tracks and have fruit trees in our yards. Pascale really needed me to ride along with her.
It is restaurants that are failing to deliver, and we let them get away with it. Most people, I agree, are too busy to protest mediocrity, much less make a pie.
Juliet DeMarko
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jen on July 24, 2010
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As someone who loves food and travel, I thought this road-trip memoir and recipe book for pie would be right up my alley. But the author doesn't even LIKE pie, and she likes people even less. She makes uninformed, naive and stereotyping judgments and observations about everyone she encounters -- young and old, black and white, urban and country.

She has never baked a pie herself. She does no research before her trip to ensure that she finds the most well-known pie joints during her drive cross-country. She knows next to nothing about baking and pies and doesn't bother to do any research before embarking on her trip. Her lack of interest and knowledge is evident in her interactions with interviewees -- no one opens up too much. There is no fact-checking -- she inserts a (sic) in Plimoth Plantation when this is in fact the correct spelling of the historical site. The final straw for me is when she basically stalks her way into an unsuspecting group's intimate Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn't spend any more time with this author after that, and tossed this book in the recycling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sharon B. Amabile on November 20, 2006
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Pascale Le Draoulec a West Coast food editor who has never tasted American pie has taken a job on the East Coast. She decides drive from California to the new job in Connecticut and use the trip to experience American pies. Le Draoulec tells of adventures and scenery and people she meets along the way. And she also describes regional pie favorites. Several recipes are included.

This is a must read for someone craving light reading and a good slice of pie!
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By Earl Bushey on May 18, 2015
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This is the enviable journey of a food writer and her friend in search of a disappearing cultural oddity, the Homemade American Pie. A culinary "Travels with Charlie" and a humorous and poignant revelation of another piece of America that is not gone...yet.
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By Oz on February 23, 2015
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Very good read, loved the discussion of how food, in this case pie, reflects the way we feel about our place in the world and how we find our place in it.
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By Sue on May 3, 2013
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If you would like a homespun trip across America that includes recipes and history of the eating kind of pie--you will enjoy this book!
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By Harve on February 28, 2014
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really wanted to share this book with friends, but could not find it. ordered several copies here and am very happy
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