Na­tive an­nounces scrap­ple book

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - RELIGION - By Re­becca Blan­chard rblan­chard@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @boy­er­town­times on Twit­ter

“For a long time, any­time I had the op­por­tu­nity to write about Penn­syl­va­nia Dutch cul­ture and the food of my cul­ture — I would,” said Amy Strauss, food and drink writer.

Her first book, “Penn­syl­va­nia Scrap­ple: A De­lec­ta­ble His­tory” hit book­shelves on Oct. 9.

Strauss, a Barto na­tive and 2003 grad­u­ate of Boy­er­town Area Se­nior High School, has been heav­ily cov­er­ing the Philadel­phia food scene for the past 10 years since col­lege and re­cently drew the at­ten­tion of a lo­cal pub­lisher through the power of so­cial me­dia.

“It just so hap­pens that the ac­qui­si­tions ed­i­tor of my pub­lish­ing com­pany, Ar­ca­dia Pub­lish­ing, hap­pened to find me, re­searched me and all of the Penn­syl­va­nia Dutch ar­ti­cles I wrote about. She ap­proached me about writ­ing a book about scrap­ple.”

Strauss ex­plained how Ar­ca­dia Pub­lish­ing, es­pe­cially the his­tory press divi­sion of the pub­lish­ing com­pany, likes to fo­cus on re­gional, spe­cific dishes.

“They rec­og­nize that scrap­ple is such a phe­nom­e­non for the Philadel­phia re­gion, and you know, the East Coast mostly Mid-At­lantic Re­gion, they re­ally thought it would be a great piece for them to rep­re­sent that in their Amer­i­can Pal­ette Food Se­ries. I felt hon­ored to write about it.”

A pro­ject which hits close to home, she said when she called her dad to tell him about the pro­ject she felt as though he was never more ex­cited.

The book ad­dresses the his­tory of scrap­ple, how it’s pre­pared, and opin­ions on how it should and shouldn’t be served.

“I kind of did a nat­u­ral arc of scrap­ple. I did a huge ex­plo­ration of the his­tory of it – how it came to Amer­ica and how it be­came what it is today. Then I travel to cur­rent day, so I talk about how dif­fer­ent chefs re­ally have clung onto it to keep it as a trendy break­fast sta­ple and the dif­fer­ent unique things chefs have done with it to keep it in the pub­lic eye.”

She un­cov­ered some likely un­known facts about the pop­u­lar, re­gional break­fast meat – such as the ef­fort to mass pro­duce it and how in the late 1800s, a man wrote to the “New York Times” about it. Strauss said the let­ter prompted quite the dis­cus­sion; the news­pa­per pub­lished let­ters about scrap­ple for weeks and even­tu­ally even pub­lished a recipe for it.

The book also in­cludes a per­sonal story about mak­ing 300 pounds of scrap­ple on a friend’s fam­ily farm.

“What I tried to re­ally do with the book -- you can’t take scrap­ple too se­ri­ously. I tried to have fun with it, and I’m try­ing to do that with the sign­ings and book events.”

“Penn­syl­va­nia Scrap­ple: A De­lec­ta­ble His­tory” is avail­able via lo­cal book­stores, Ama­zon, and at http://www.amys­trauss. com.

Com­ing up next month, Strauss will be host­ing a book sign­ing at Fire­fly Book­store in Kutz­town on Satur­day, Nov. 18, from 3-5 p.m. A Sign­ing & Scrap­ple Pop-up at Shorty’s Sun­flower Café is also set to be held in Novem­ber. The ex­act date is yet to be an­nounced. Check out Strauss’’s web­site for full list of events.

“Penn­syl­va­nia Scrap­ple: A De­lec­ta­ble His­tory” by Amy Strauss was re­leased on Oct. 9.

Amy Strauss

COUR­TESY OF AMY STRAUSS

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