This Sunday, the Riverview Farmers Market will host its (now fifth) annual Perfect Peach Pie Contest at the Riverview-Fisk Park in the Heights neighborhood of Jersey City. Any reader of this blog will recognize that I’m a proponent of localism, and it doesn’t get more local than a neighborhood baking contest. Unsurprisingly, I’m also a supporter and booster of farmers markets. Lastly, I live in the Heights.
Pie contests and all cooking contests are simple, wholesome social gatherings and entertainments. They evoke images of small town America and traditional, tight communities with strong family, civic, religious, and social ties. In cities, such events occur at the neighborhood or even at the block level and may include a more diverse cast of characters. Whether set in a village green or an urban park, a pie contest allows participants and onlookers to feel that they indeed belong to a pleasant, inviting, and vibrant community, if only for an afternoon.