While eating locally and cooking slowly have come into vogue recently, Suzanne Cope's new book, Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Foods, looks to connect the new foodies with their heritage.
Cope's grandmother is from Clarion, where she lived on a dairy farm, and her relatives own Cope's Corn, a Lancaster-based producer of dried sweet corn. But it wasn't until college that she began cooking, and only after she moved to Boston that she got involved in food-gardening. The writer, now a Brooklyn-dwelling Manhattan College writing professor, began studying food culture in earnest while working on her MFA and Ph.D.
"I thought about these four industries and I found that they all had a similar narrative," Cope notes. "They had this very clearly defined [homemade] or small-batch past, then they were all mass-produced for similar reasons around the same time, the early-to-mid-1900s. ... But people have been coming back to the original, or more original, more authentic version of these in the past decade or so."
Cope reads from her book on Thu., Oct. 23, at Wigle Whiskey's Barrelhouse; the Acquired Taste Reading Series event also features writers John Wells, Alicia Selvadeo and Jessica Vozel, and music from Cope's husband, Steve Mayone, and local band Southside American. Read more from our interview with Cope on our Blogh, at www.pghcitypaper.com.