Western Massachusetts is a food hub and a pioneer in the sustainable food movement. Building on a history of family farms and soil enriched by the glaciers, “old is now new.” Centennial farms, still utilizing traditional and innovative farming methods, are incorporating sophisticated marketing practices to bring their food to markets and their customers to the farm. Long a cultural mecca, the area is now drawing visitors to farms and new restaurants. Food artisans are making breads, roasting coffees, growing wines, and laying tables end-to-end to create “pop up” restaurants in the midst of fields. The Berkshires & Pioneer Valley Cookbook showcases 60 recipes, organized by season and featuring local foods and special ingredients that will transform dishes from mundane to extraordinary with subtle twists and flavors.
Jane Barton Griffith is passionate about food—its origins; effect of the Slow Food movement in preserving food traditions and building community; and the future environmental challenges of food production. Recently she lived and worked in the Berkshires for Richard Bourdon, master baker and owner and founder of Berkshire Mountain Bakery. A longtime home baker, she turned her baking expertise into an instructional cookbook about making artisanal styles of breads in the book Knead It. Formerly a city girl, Jane owns an 1850 historic Maryland farmhouse with a two front doors, stone smokehouse, root cellar, organic garden and seven chickens and spends summers in her 1939 Hodgson Prefab House on Great Cranberry Island in Maine. When in Maryland, she teaches cooking classes at Hills Kitchen in Washington, DC. Jane received a graduate degree from Stanford University, worked and lived in Europe and SE Asia and traveled to 50 counties where she enjoyed tasting foods, from street food to finer restaurants. Some of the flavor memories will influence recipes in this book