Mama’s Snack Shack launching for a healthy new year

Mama’s Snack Shack

Farmer Street Pantry and Mama’s Snack Shack – two creative women-owned ventures who are working with the LaunchPad – have launched delicious food lines just in time for the holidays.  They make perfect holiday gifts, and are also a great way to start a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy, support local farms, and shop local.

Farmer Street Pantry Mincemeat and Mince Pie Granola

mince-jars           granola-9-ox-and-4-oz

Homemade all fruit mincemeat and Mince Pie Granola – both made with NYS orchard fruit – are part of a new food line by Farmer Street Pantry founder Lynne Pascale.  You can find both, December 24 and 31 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the “warm and cozy” F shed at the CNY Regional Market. You can also order directly from Farmer Street Pantry.

Mincemeat is deeply rooted in Syracuse, notes Pascale, a SU alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a graduate degree from the Maxwell School.  Previously director of development at the Onondaga Historical Association and a former high school history teacher, she did extensive research before creating her product line that features New York State apples, cider and maple syrup.

“One thing many people have asked me is in this process is ‘Why do you call it ‘mincemeat’ when there is no meat in your recipe?” notes Pascale. “Simply, the history geek in me wants to keep the meat with the mince.”

Pascale offers some pie history to set the stage. “According to the American Pie Council’s website, the ancient Romans introduced pies to Europe and most of those early pies contained a meat filling,” she explains. “The word ‘pye’ became a common English word during the Middle Ages. The English brought their pie baking skills to America.”

About that meat part?  “The Old English definition of meat (mete) was ‘food’,” she adds. “It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that “meat” began to specifically referred to animals.”  People who used chopped mutton, beef, and beef suet for pies created ‘mynce’ [from the Latin, minutia] and more prosperous Medieval cooks stirred spices into the minced meat for preservative properties and tastiness.  This became more fashionable as spices gained esteem in Europe, brought from the Middle East by the Crusaders.

“The Middle Eastern tradition of meat and spice caught on in Europe in pie filling, and as fruit grafting know-how improved globally, fruit became more readily available and also found its way into minced meat pies and tarts, in some cases crowding out the meat altogether,” according to Pascale. “When the sugar industry exploded in the West Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries, British mince pies went from savory to sweet, found themselves on the dessert table, and eventually migrated to North America.”

They soon became a staple of good taste, and in 1884, the Merrell-Soule company of Syracuse began to manufacture a mincemeat pie filling called None Such, quickly becoming one of America’s favorites, with popular recipes appearing in pie books through the early 1900s. “By the 20th century, Merrell-Soule  made enough mincemeat to fill twelve million pies a year and in 1904 built a factory to accommodate the growth.” The building, in Franklin Square, still stands, although Borden purchased the company in 1928 and moved production to Ohio.


Pascale doing taste-testing at the first ‘Cuse Market, earlier this fall in Bird Library

“When you bite into a mince pie or mincemeat tart, you are participating in a hallowed culinary tradition that started in ancient times and crossed millennia and oceans,” says Pascale, who did customer taste-testing before launching her product at the first ‘Cuse Market, co-sponsored by the LaunchPad and the Falcone Center at Bird Library.  She blind-tasted her original recipe against a number of other mince products.  Hers handily won as the most delicious.

To find the best mincemeat in the world, now you only have to visit the F Shed at the CNY Regional Market, or “like,” follow, and connect on Facebook and Twitter: farmerstreetpantry or order by e-mail,

Mama’s Snack Shack Granola

mamas-breakfast           teapot-shot

For a crunchy, delicious, savory treat, that’s tasty from breakfast to bedtime, or for lunch snacks and on-the-go, try Mama’s Snack Shack granola.  Available in two flavors, Apple Pie and Ginger Snap, the granola is healthy and yummy, vegan, gluten-free.  Made with love by Cathy Mulford, an SU staff member who is part of the Bird Library team, the granolas were recently featured at SSIC’s Holiday Market.  They also feature fruits from local orchards in the Apple Pie granola.

As Mulford points out, “Oats provide complex carbohydrates, so the snack stays with you longer,” meaning you feel satisfied longer, suppressing hunger that often drives people to keep eating unhealthy snacks.  As she describes it, “All the warm fuzzy feelings inside a bag of yummy goodness without all the sugar, fat and preservatives.”

There is nothing to better warm up a cold winter’s day than spiced gingersnap granola studded with amazing bits of crystallized ginger.  It will take you right back to your grandmother’s kitchen (presuming your grandmother was an awesome cook who knew how to make magic with ginger, cinnamon and other tasty spices that taste like they came right out of the homemade cookie jar).  It will cozy you up this winter, and it’s a great way to start off your New Year’s resolution to get healthy!

Check out Mama’s Snack Shack on Facebook: mamassnackshack and order yours at

Both are awesome product launches, just in time for the holidays.  Congratulations to these two dynamic entreprepreneurs, Lynne Pascale and Cathy Mulford.