While shopping this past weekend my eyes were drawn to this book called “Pie”. Ready for the xmo buying season, the publishers have spent their publicity cash getting it in those prime places in the bookshop, and the book strikingly LOOKS LIKE a pie – but isn’t (curses). However this book is a sham in other more important ways, so DO NOT BUY IT. Let me explain…

A crucial ingredient of the food science ethos is the idea that making food is alchemical and exploratory. We no longer buy books of recipes based on simple authority (sorry Delia), but because the authors have been to scary and exciting places we haven’t got the guts (hello St Johns and Hugh Fearnley doo da) or time for. So the idea of a (quite thick) book on JUST PIES would suggest that the authors have gone to great efforts to explore the outer limits, the furthest possibilities of pies, pie making, and pie theory.

So, still on a long-egg tip, we flick to the gala pie recipe only to see a large picture of a rectangular pie tin containing four boiled eggs in an end-to-end row. To make it quite clear, they use words to the effect that “how they make them so that every slice has a bit of yellow is a trade secret and nobody knows how its done”.

THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. In the same way it would not do for a thick, richly illustrated gift book called “Stage Magic” to have a picture of someone sawing a lady in half with the caption “Nobody knows how this amazing trick is done”.

I didn’t read any further. I bet they didn’t even have pie pie in there either. swizz.