Happy Belated B-Day Beatrix | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Happy Belated B-Day Beatrix 

Like most American children (I think), I read lots of Beatrix Potter books when I was young. The most famous, of course, is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, but I was also familiar with Squirrel Nutkin, Jeremy Fisher, Mrs. TIggy-Winkle and the "two bad mice."   

As I was a foodie, even then, I was drawn to Potter's books because the characters were alway gathering scrumptious foods or noshing on something or other. Peter Rabbit, for example, got in trouble for stealing lettuce, French beans and radishes from Mr. McGregor, following in the footsteps of his late father, who was caught and made into a pie by Mrs. McGregor.

Clearly, Potter loved to eat. But yesterday, on her birthday, I learned that she was also a sheep breeder and farmer, as well as a highly skilled amateur mycologist. Not up on your Greek? It's the study of fungi.

In fact, Potter was an early proponent of the theory that lichen is made up of of a symbiotic combo of fungi and algae, but her work on the subject was dismissed, perhaps because of her femaleness.

Anyway, this is all only tangentially food related, but I found it kind of interesting, and thought I'd share!

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a... more


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