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.
"Pie just may be the madonna-whore of the dessert world," Le Draoulec writes. She guesses it has something to do with "pie's dual nature; the fact that pie is both sensuous and maternal. Sweet yet sensible." A single career woman in her mid-30s, Le Draoulec has the same conflicted feelings about her ex-boyfriend and ticking biological clock that she does about homemade pie and its meaning in the modern world. As she crisscrosses the country in a Volvo named Betty Blue with IBRK4PIE plates, what seems at first like a carefree road trip in search of the perfect slice becomes much more than just a whimsical travelogue with great recipes. The author journeys along America's roads less traveled and finds that while many traditional bakers are disappearing, the power of homemade pie lives on. "Many people believe that the answers to life's bigger questions lie in the numeral pi," one pie-loving mathematician she meets postulates. "Perhaps it's also true of the kind you bake." Le Draoulec's conclusions about pie and its place in her life are, like a good slice of apple, sweet without being cloying and tart without being bitter. Of course, a book about pies wouldn't be complete without the recipes, and Le Draoulec offers such roadside pies as Libby Bollino's Turtle Pie from Abbeville, La. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Le Draoulec explores America's relationship with pie with a journalist's instinct and curiosity."--Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
As satisfying as a slice of homemade pie, Le Draoulec's cross-country journeys in search of "the real stuff" are an armchair traveler's heaven. Le Draoulec was raised in Southern California by her French parents and American-style pie was not part of her culinary vocabulary. Her first quest began with a job opportunity in New York. In the company of a good friend, she chose to head eastward via the leisurely "pieways" of the United States. Beginning in Pescadero, CA, with a slice of Emma Duarte's Olallieberry Pie, Le Draoulec's first journey ended in Nyack, NY, with Deborah Tyler's Apple Plum Pie. It was several years later when the pie quest resumed in Ohio (bereft of memorable, homemade pie) and ended in Washington, DC after swinging West and South for such treats as Kathy's Apricot Cream Pie from the Pie-o-neer Cafe in Pie Town, NM, Libby Bollino's Turtle Pie in Abbeville, LA, and Lora Hansen's Rustic Huckleberry Peach Pie in Coram, MT. There are recipes for the best pies, photos of pie makers, and a plethora of pie puns in this delightful book. Journalist and restaurant critic for the New York Daily News, Le Draoulec is an enthusiastic tour guide with a quirky sense of humor and a personal life as unpredictable as piecrust. American Pie takes the reader into the heart and soul of a fading icon and inspires us to get out the rolling pin and take to the road. Highly recommended for all public libraries. Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.