What I love about living here in Cleveland is that we get to enjoy all four seasons (along with a few wildly unseasonal moments throughout the year). But if forced to choose, autumn would be my favorite. There is something comforting about the cooler temperatures and rhythm of routine. The season begins in the throes of late-summer harvest, with corn, tomatoes, and even a few peaches and blueberries in those early weeks if you’re lucky. By the time the first school bus rattles down the street, apples and squash have begun to appear. Layers return to our clothing and our food, and our meals grow heartier.
It was in considering how we might tackle Thanks giving this year that we came up with our theme—”Stuffed.” The turkey might feel like the main event, but we thought that, much like the harvest season, what makes the turkey remarkable is everything that surrounds and stuff s it. It was in this spirit that Melissa McClelland set out to explore the high end of dressing and stuffing.
“Stuffed” also describes one of our city’s most beloved foods—that little dumpling found in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland, where it has as many names as cultures that claim it. You may know the pyrohy by its more common name, pierogi, but no matter the name, it is the devotion to tradition with which it is made that gives the dumpling its exceptional flavor. In the wee hours of the morning, writer Lisa Sands and photographer Shane Wynn visited the church of Saint Josaphat, where year-round the community comes together to hand-pinch thousands of these pillows stuffed full of deliciousness.
As so often happens, food leads us back to explore traditions. From homeland figs to ancient einkorn, and from southern leather breeches to coal miners’ gobs, our writers found stories of traditions, both handed down and rediscovered, that make our culinary culture here so vibrant and tasty.
Finally, in this season of gratitude, I want to take a moment to encourage you to thank an Edible advertiser. The folks you see here in this magazine truly support our local food community, and your support of them helps make this magazine possible. As you flip through the pages, notice who you find, then pay them a visit to buy something this season and let them know that you appreciate their presence in this magazine. Without them, we couldn’t continue to deliver these stories to you.
Enjoy the season!