Sweet Land of Liberty A History of America in 11 Pies

Sweet Land of Liberty

A History of America in 11 Pies

  • ISBN: 9781419754876
  • Publication Date: October 25, 2022


Price: $27.00

A delicious and delightful narrative history of pie in America, from the colonial era through the civil rights movement and beyond.

With corresponding recipes for each chapter and sidebars of quirky facts throughout, this book—winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Award for Best Literary or Historical Food Writing—​is an entertaining, informative, and utterly charming food history for bakers, dessert lovers, and history aficionados alike.

Ultimately, the story of pie is the story of America itself, and it’s time to dig in.

From the pumpkin pie gracing the Thanksgiving table to the apple pie at the Fourth of July picnic, nearly every American shares a certain nostalgia for a simple circle of crust and filling. But America’s history with pie has not always been so sweet.

After all, it was a slice of cherry pie at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on a cool February afternoon that helped to spark the Greensboro sit-ins and ignited a wave of anti-segregation protests across the South during the civil rights movement. Molasses pie, meanwhile, captures the legacies of racial trauma and oppression passed down from America’s history of slavery, and Jell-O pie exemplifies the pressures and contradictions of gender roles in an evolving modern society.

We all know the warm comfort of the so-called “All-American” apple pie . . . but just how did pie become the symbol of a nation?

In Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies, award-winning food writer Rossi Anastopoulo cracks open our relationship to pie with wit and good humor. For centuries, pie has been a malleable icon, co-opted for new social and political purposes. Anastopoulo traces the pies woven into our history, following the evolution of our country across centuries of innovation and change.

Includes Illustrations


“I’m loving this tasty way of looking at history—through pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie, Jell-O pie, and a handful of other iconic American desserts.”
—Garden & Gun

“Rossi Anastopoulo doesn’t aim to tell the entire history of America—just the parts of it that can be revealed through pie. Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a ton of material to mine. Pumpkin pie connects back to the country’s erasure of Indigenous people, while bean pie is a symbol of resistance during the civil rights movement, and mock apple pie is emblematic of the Great Depression. Anastopoulo delivers all of these connections as though she’s relaying an interesting story to a friend, and across the book’s 12 chapters focused on 11 pies (with recipes), she makes the case that pie is a meaningful way through which to consider history.”

“After reading this book, you won’t be able to think about the founding or history of the United States without apple or pumpkin pies as the part of the story.”

“Such a fascinating read.”
—Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s "Good Food"

“Rossi Anastopoulo slices into the history of pie in the good ol’ US of A, from pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving to apple pie on Independence Day, using the iconic American dessert to tell the story of a country.”
—Smithsonian Magazine

“A well-researched exploration into not only what fills the crust, Sweet Land of Liberty takes the reader on a delve deep into the historical, social, and political significance of pie in America.”
—Kate McDermott, James Beard Award-nominated author of Art of the Pie and Pie Camp

“From the utterly fascinating introduction to the thorough historical context for a wide variety of flavors, Rossi Anastopoulo has me hungry, inspired, and ready to bake with Sweet Land of Liberty—I’ll probably start by trying the spice-free Sweet Potato Pie and then move on to the Molasses Pie. A heartwarming reminder of why I started a pie business.”
—Lisa Ludwinski, IACP Award-nominated author of Sister Pie

“Food history is rarely this much fun to read—Rossi Anastopoulo condenses extensive research into a sharp, clever volume that powerfully reframes what it means to call any food ‘American.’”
—Mayukh Sen, author of Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America

“The history of America as it ought to be told—through the lens of sugar, whipped cream, and butter. Equal parts serious and surprising, Anastopoulo’s Sweet Land of Liberty outlines the pivotal role of pie from prehistory to popular culture. If only pie were taught in history class, more of us might have paid attention.”
—Matt Siegel, author of The Secret History of Food: Strange but True Stories About the Origins of Eve

“Far from a cloying homage to some mythical history of American food, Anastopoulo tells our fraught food story by mixing the bitter and sour with the sweet and plenty of her salty humor and, like the very best desserts, Sweet Land of Liberty is all the more delicious for it. An airy but substantial pie to the face for whitewashed food narratives and a triumph of dessertistory.”
—Tom Nealon, author of Food Fights & Culture Wars: A Secret History of Taste

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