Acquired Taste began as a series of public readings, each featuring 3-4 local or touring authors reading their work around a food-related theme. I decided to curate this series because I wanted to showcase the outstanding literary talent in Pittsburgh, and to be part of expanding the literary world’s understanding of food writing to something beyond restaurant reviews and cookbooks.
Now, we’re expanding Acquired Taste into an anthology of creative nonfiction that elevates food writing to its rightful place as a meaningful, purposeful literary genre. In curating the reading series, I discovered so many writers making vivid use of food for thematic, stylistic, and metaphorical purposes, writing food to escalate tension and further plot, and exploring innovative food-inspired forms; the anthology will be a new way to showcase this excellent work beyond Pittsburgh. (For more about who we are, read a conversation between the editors.)
Both the reading series and the book want food writing that is surprising and playful. We welcome humor, smut, irreverence. Food writing that is tasteful or tasteless. Whether we salivate or cringe, we want to expand our ideas of what “food writing” looks like.