Clarkson's loving ode to pie is a rich, savory history of one of the world's oldest and most iconic dishes. Pie plates being, quite literally, the first baking container, virtually all baked goods that weren't bread were known as pie. While winnowing down the definition, Clarkson finds that the first pies-as-we-know-them offered an ingeniously efficient mode for preserving fillings like meat and vegetables. Portability was a bonus feature-workers and travelers have been carrying pies with them at least since Chaucer's time-making them stalwarts for cooks of all skill levels. The book's slim page count belies a wealth of information, including the science of flaky crust, recipes from yesteryear, the real-life inspirations for famous pie lovers like Georgie Porgie and Little Jack Horner, and a brief dissertation on why pie is so delicious (""biology makes us do it""). 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. 40 color plates.