Heinz History Center celebrates all things ‘Hometown-Homegrown’
Foodie fun at this year’s Hometown-Homegrown celebration Oct. 19 should include plenty of Heinz ketchup and Heinz pickles on the side.
The Senator John Heinz History Center is mashing its annual food festival with its current “Heinztoberfest” celebration that marks the 150th anniversary of the H.J. Heinz Co., which grew from its own “hometown homegrown” roots in Pittsburgh in 1869.
“Throughout the day, we’ll have Heinz giveaways like the new limited-edition gold pickle pins and Heinz tomato seeds, along with a Heinz Test Kitchen where kids can don their own chef hats and invent their own culinary creations,” said Brady Smith, director of marketing and communications for the Heinz History Center in the city’s Strip District.
Among the speakers will be History Center Curator Emily Ruby discussing her new book, “57 Servings from the Heinz Table,” and Rachel Russell, Kraft Heinz’s senior food scientist, talking about her company’s new products and recipes.
Smith said the event, in its eighth year, has grown to be a day-long experience for visitors — especially for families — with activities on every floor of the museum.
New this year
Several new exhibitors will be among more than 40 vendors at the History Center event held in partnership with GoodTaste! Pittsburgh.
“It’ll be fantastic to have one of our new Strip District neighbors — Cinderlands (craft brewery and scratch kitchen) — join us this year,” Smith said. “We’re also extremely excited to welcome Chef Kate Romaine from Black Radish — truly one of Pittsburgh’s top culinary experts — for a special cooking demonstration.”
Mike Smalis, president of Mezes Foods and owner of the former Greek Gourmet in Squirrel Hill, also will be introducing his chick pea (hummus-based) ice cream, a frozen confection in four flavors — chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate, orange chocolate and mint chocolate chip — that he creates for wholesale distribution at Republic Foods Enterprise Center, based in Fayette County.
“It’s a pretty resilient product containing no dairy, no egg, soy or nut that is a low-calorie snack, less than 400 calories,” Smalis said.
Amber Atkins, owner of The Cakery in Ross, will have samples of her chocolate and white almond cakes, lady locks, apple crisp and banana bread.
Sol Pepper Co.
Eric Corbin of Sol Pepper Co. rents kitchen space at La Dorita Kitchen in Sharpsburg, where he creates his naturally fermented, Caribbean-based hot sauce. He’ll have samples at the show and says his sauce “is pretty spicy, but it’s good.” Mezclado Pepper Sauce is produced and bottled at the La Dorita Kitchen located in Sharpsburg.
Cathy Burnheimer, owner of Popped Envy in Sarver, will have an assortment of her gourmet popcorn — a snack that is gluten-, peanut-, tree nut- and egg-free. Popped Envy offers 55 popcorn flavors, including vegan and kosher options, and is launching a line of fudge that is free of the same allergens.
“Some of the flavors you can expect to enjoy are Dill Pickle, Salted Chocolate Caramel and our favorite, Chicago Style, which is our famous caramel wrapped in a layer of cheddar,” she said.
Cherry Valley Organics
Based in Burgettstown, Washington County, Cherry Valley Organics sells certified organic vegetables and herbs. Spokeswoman Jodi Danyo said Hometown Homegrown visitors will find examples of their USDA certified organic herbal teas, in addition to organic herbal bath and body product line that includes herbal lip balms, salves, soaps and fragrances.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.