Unjust desserts

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mince_suit.jpg
San Jose Evening News, June 3, 1904. The unanticipated honor of making it to the finals for a Beard Award has awakened me to the fact that I've been neglecting the fundamentals of my craft as a student of the American past, to wit: mince pie.

This here lawsuit was reported in papers from coast to coast. It may look like a jape, but the principals seem to have been in deadly earnest, judging from the fact that they spent hundreds of dollars pursuing the matter (which in 1904 was some serious coin). I will fill you in on the resolution of the case at a later date. Try not to lose sleep in the meanwhile.

As near as I have been able to determine, nobody ever initiated a comparable suit over any other kind of pie. Not pumpkin, custard, apple, nor gooseberry. Mince and mince alone had the power the inspire this sort of vengeful passion. A 100 years earlier, or 30 years earlier in the south, I daresay these guys might have fought a duel over the matter.

But lord, let no such discord come between me and my fellow finalist, Mike Sula, whose shortlisted piece on the midwestern Charcuterie Underground surely deserves to bring home the bacon. Congratulations and good luck, Mike.

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