If not stopped, I will pretty much eat pie continuously in a trance-like state of primal urges being fulfilled. It’s not just because pie is so great. I think it’s also because it can plausibly be considered a health food (you know, with the fruit). Or at least a more responsible dessert than cakes and cookies. And maybe also because, in many ways, pie seems like a calming domestic antidote to our culinary moment so fraught with anxieties about carbs, gluten, sugar, trans fats, GMOs, pesticides, food sources, and farming practices. I fully endorse eating with a conscience, but pie is a nice reminder that pleasure should always be part of the equation, too. So, to that end, we went out and consumed an irresponsible volume of pie and, on p. 42, we share the fruit-filled results of our labor: Seventeen of the best places to get a great slice of pie in the Las Vegas Valley, from greasy spoons to boutique bakeries. Can you get any more American than that?
Actually, you can. In “How to Eat a City” (p. 52), Kim Foster explores global cuisine in four friends’ homes, cooking and eating dishes from Mexico to Mongolia to Lebanon. The recipes may originate elsewhere, but the cooks make a home here in Las Vegas, the ideal postmodern polyglot city for this story to take place. To my mind, what makes Kim’s story so relevant and resonant is embedded in the cooking scenes themselves. As these home chefs navigate between honoring tradition and cheerful improvisation and adaptation, what emerges from the oven is as American as any pie.