Pie Fidelity by Pete Brown
“When it comes to food, we’re better than we think,” said Michael Henderson in The Times. In this “vigorous” book, Yorkshire-raised “grub and grog” writer Pete Brown offers a “defence of British food” through nine typical dishes, among them fish and chips, pies and curry. There are no descriptions of “diced carrots in raspberry coulis” here; instead, the focus is on food that people “truly enjoy eating”. Challenging the assumption that “foreign” means better, Brown argues that British staples, when done properly, rival the best victuals of any country. The result is a “heartfelt book that makes an important point without false pride or sentimentality”.
Rubbish, said Jonathan Meades in The Guardian. Many of the claims in this “artless” exercise in “bloke-prose” are patently absurd. How can Brown, a “professional northerner”, actually know that Britain “does pies better than anyone else in the world”? Brown may lay too much stress on his northern origins, said Tim Hayward in the FT, but in other respects he’s an “engaging” guide. Often “beautifully” written, Pie Fidelity makes a persuasive case for British food without resort to “nostalgia and jingoism”.