Only a comma separates local from seasonal, at least in most applications, which tend to involve this time of year the signage on soggy farm stands and above sparse market bins and the fine print on the back of menus, suffixed with the legalistic disclaimer "when possible."
It is an enterprise in need of eternal update, the business of drawing the line after which - in the case of good eating - the Good Old Days ended, ushering in an era of the anti-natural, the weirdly industrial, the ruined Red Delicious, the frozen cheesesteak, or insert your own horror (you know you have one!) here.
It was a recent tour of Pennsylvania Dutch (which is to say, German) household objects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, chiefly a wall of 200-year-old fired-clay pie plates, that put me in mind of sharp-tongued Verna Dietrich.
In a red stucco building along the rail siding at the edge of Kennett Square recently, Bob Bada was hand-packing his latest batch of Gelati di Capri, slamming each half-filled pint on the stainless steel table to burp out the air, creating a racket - like goats doing flamenco.
Rick Nichols is a Philadelphia native (a product of rowhouse Mayfair) who moved as a child to Lower Bucks County and later to New England. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and worked on the newspaper in Raleigh. After a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, he joined The Inquirer in 1978. He was for many years a member of the Editorial Board, and has several journalism awards.