Amish Cooks Across America:
Recipes and Traditions from Maine to Montana
By Kevin Williams & Lovina Eicher
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2013
From reading Amish-focused fiction, one could be forgiven for thinking that there are some very traditional foods which are common to all Amish; this is simply not the case, and this excellent book sets out to show the huge range of foods utilised by Amish communities across America to make meals for their families. No recipes for shoofly pie in this book, according to the index!
Many Amish communities are vividly described and very beautifully photographed; some of their most notable recipes are given, ranging from maple syrup based recipes made in the syrup producing area of Conewango Valley, Cherry Creek, New York, to rhubarb bread and cookies made in Fredonia, Pennsylvania. Amish in Dover, Delaware like to use seafood and the Amish settlement at Flat Rock, Illinois, loves its venison; in Beeville, Texas, the Amish make okra gumbo; in Ethridge, Tennessee, they cook cornbread and pork 'n beans as well as making their own molasses from sorghum.
Montana Amish make their own elk bologna, moose steaks and huckleberry pancakes and in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, burritos and tortillas are often to be found on the menu.
I particularly liked that the Amish reticence about courting publicity is honoured and so is their reference not to pose for photographs; the Amish who are photographed are done so very carefully, with the focus firmly on their clothing, items they are carrying or their homesteads and scenery rather than their faces. This is a lovely book indeed!