Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Life of Pie on American Food Roots

The Life of Pie on American Food Roots by Emily Hilliard

Have you visited American Food Roots yet? If not you should (and the Washington Post thinks so too). It’s a superb new food site by a team of four talented and seasoned food journalists Carol Guensburg, Michele Kayal, Domenica Marchetti, and the editor of NPR’s Kitchen Window Bonny Wolf. As a folklorist and home baker, it’s a dream come true, as it explores what we eat, why we eat it, and what that says about our identity, our place, and American society at large. There you'll find profiles on the likes of farmers and producers like Lee Calhoun, a North Carolina heirloom apple orchardist and author of Old Southern Apples, articles such as the one on the University of Michigan Culinary Archive and its curator Jan Longone, and recipes old and new, for delights like milk punch, a Ben Franklin favorite drink currently enjoying a comeback.  I’m excited to see this project continue to grow, and I hope to be a little part of it as it does.

For last month's launch I was honored to contribute a piece, The Life of Pie, on the ritual of pie making. It is that ritual--the process and connection to others that it entails, that is the main reason I like baking pie, and making and thinking and writing about food in general. These themes combine my personal and academic interests, and help me to envision myself as part of a community of bakers and home cooks and writers, past and present, instead of just a lone gal in the kitchen or at my computer screen.  The piece also features a recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie and a fun illustration by Elizabeth Graeber from our Pie Amanac of a Nothing-in-the-House Blueberry Icebox Pie.

Congratulations to the women of American Food Roots, for their launch, recent press, and promising future. Check out their site, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and enjoy the food and the stories behind them.

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