Book Review: The Great Pie Revolt – A Gastronomic Guide to the Premier League and EFL by Jack Peat
This is a true story from a few years back. A Premier League club (who shall remain nameless) marketed at one of their food and drink outlets in the ground a ‘Meal Deal’, which consisted of a pint, a Mars bar and a packet of crisps for a fiver. Now you don’t have to be Gordon Ramsey, to understand that this combination does not constitute a meal for the average human being, yet somehow football fans are fair game. The fact is that clubs know that once a spectator is through the turnstile the concession stands are the only option for those wanting any food or drink and invariably it is a pricey bland selection from a big brand. The answer to this malaise? Get yourself fed and watered before and after the game away from the stadium. But where to go I hear you cry? Well, The Great Pie Revolt provides a readymade (excuse the pun) solution.
In the Introduction, author Jack Peat outlines that the book, “is as such, my quest to make away days more palatable, to marry football and food to create a more rounded, wholesome day out.” As the title suggests the guide looks at the clubs in the top four divisions of the English game with 86 clubs featured.
Each club entry has a Fact box (which details, team nickname, colours, ground name, capacity and year it was built) and an Introduction which looks at a locations food and drink heritage and provides readers with some interesting facts. Following this are the main focus of the book, with sections on, What to eat and where to eat it and What to drink and where to drink it and covers a range of venues, which include cafes, market stalls, takeaways, microbreweries, pubs and bars. Within each of the food and drink sections, are three suggested venues which look to provide food and drinks options before and after matches where local produce and delicacies are served and celebrated. In doing so, readers will be introduced to a range of delights whether that be the parmo from Middlesbrough, Bank’s Dark Mild in Wolverhampton or rag pudding in Oldham.
It is indeed a more than useful guide for fans on away days looking for something different to the standard offering of chain venues and should be an essential read when making matchday plans. The first thing I did with the book was check out my own club’s listing and Peat’s suggestions and then look at all the various grounds I’ve visited down the years, to see if I’d been in any of the venues listed – a food and drink Groundhopping if you like!
If there is something missing, it would be the venues address or its social media details (i.e. website, Facebook or Twitter etc.) so that they could be looked at in further detail before making a trip. However, that is not to detract from what could become an indispensable matchday companion and point of reference to make away days memorable, win, lose or draw.
PS. Hey, Jack what about Scottish, Irish and Welsh editions? A non-league version? Let’s get this football food and drink revolution on the move!
(Pitch Publishing Ltd. August 2021. Paperback: 304 pages)