Monday, November 3, 2008

The Valley's delicious traditions ...

Peter Rose, a nationally-recognized expert in colonial Dutch cooking and food customs, will visit Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz at 1 p.m. on Sunday (November 9) to talk about the "Dutch Influence on the American Kitchen and Life." She is the author of several books, including Matters of Taste: Food and Drink of Seventeenth Century Dutch Art and Life. She has lectured on Dutch-American culinary history at the Smithsonian Institute, the National Gallery of Art, the Culinary Institute of America, New York University and the New-York Historical Society.

I've had the pleasure of working with Peter (we both once were frequent contributors to the same food magazine) and also of cooking with Peter (years ago she did a daylong open-hearth cooking and baking workshop for a culinary historians group I belonged to at the historic Elmendorph Inn in Red Hook.) She's a fantastic source of information about our region's food culture.

The talk, which is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Humanities, is offered free of charge.

Here is more information about the program:

The region's earliest settlers, the Dutch, left a lasting mark on the Hudson Valley and on America's kitchen. Rose will explore the foods and culinary customs brought to America by the Dutch more than three centuries ago. She will also talk about the ways in which foods and cooking were adapted to the circumstances settlers found in New Netherland. Finally, she will also talk about how these Dutch customs influenced our American cuisine and the last impact this influence has on us today.

"Food is integral to the American culture, something which, despite the many differences in our multicultural society, we all share," says Eric Roth, the executive director of Historic Huguenot Street, "What is less known, however, is how many of the foods we love and share today have their roots in the colonial Dutch period of the 1600s."

The talk begins at 1 p.m. in Deyo Hall on the Historic Huguenot Street site in downtown New Paltz. Deyo Hall is located on Broadhead Avenue between Huguenot and North Chestnut Streets.

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