Moonshine and Edible Authenticity

What Women Really Think
July 21 2010 3:27 PM

Moonshine and Edible Authenticity

Another day, another article about the revival of authentic foodstuffs to go along with our well-documented (if still relatively fringe) love affairs with canning and pickling , charcuterie, " butcher parties " and artisan drink mixers . This time, according to the BBC, the latest trend is moonshine .

The reporter quotes an anonymous woman who makes moonshine in her kitchen-in Brooklyn , of course. Apparently moonshine has come a long way since days of yore. These days you can make corn liquor taste "as good as any apple martini you’ll find in New York. " (This makes the moonshine revival seem ripe for a Sex and the City angle; I await the story line when movie No. 3 inevitably emerges.) Women are apparently big into artisanal cheese-making , as well as making their own cake pops and kimchi empanadas, if this Times article on the Greenpoint Food Market is any gauge. More broadly, they're a major force driving changes in how we think about food -not just the big names but ordinary " Farmer Janes " as well.

Advertisement

Despite the potential appeal to Manhattan cocktailers, the real draw of moonshine at this moment in time may be its links to "the elemental rural libertarianism that shaped American politics." (Tea Party moonshine, anyone?) The big story in moonshine last year was the suicide of Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, the 62-year-old wild-bearded Appalachian bootlegger and author of Me and My Likker . Sutton had been sentenced to 18 months after the feds busted him with more than 850 gallons of moonshine, and days before he was due to report to prison he asphyxiated himself with car exhaust . He had, his daughter has said, a " death-before-dishonor " mindset.

I find myself wondering what's next for this renaissance of edible authenticity. We human beings are notoriously bad at seeing around corners, but I would really like to see pruno given its due . If you can make liquor crafted from ketchup actually taste good, you are truly an artisan.

Libby Copeland is a writer in New York and a regular Slate contributor. She was previously a Washington Post reporter and editor for 11 years. She can be reached at libbycopeland@gmail.com.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Why Time Is on Our Side in the Fight Against Ebola

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 1 2014 4:55 PM Blood Before Bud? Must a gentleman’s brother always be the best man at his wedding?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?