Thursday, April 21, 2022

Edible North Carolina: A Journey across a State of Flavor


Edible North Carolina is a panoramic overview over the gastronomic landscape of North Carolina along with a superb cross section of profiles of leading culinary VIPs edited and curated by Dr. Marcie Cohen Ferris. Due out 3rd May 2022 from the University of North Carolina Press, it's 296 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

Deep-diving regional cuisine when traveling has always been a favored hobby in my family. We have always sought out the "townie" restaurants and (as much as possible) eschewed the touristy ones. This book is tailor made for us. There are profiles and essays by 20 North Carolina foodies, families, and culturally relevant people. The essays are as varied as the writers: an indigenous family, local commercial seafood fisherman, pork farmer, families of color, Latinx, first generation NC restaurateur, and more. The recipes are as varied as the subjects with a smattering of standard classics (sweet potato pie, strawberry preserves, and scallop fritters) as well as the refreshingly unexpected (pecan polverones and pork shank posole). 

Recipes contain a background/introduction, ingredients listed bullet-style in a sidebar, followed by step-by-step directions. Ingredients are given in imperial (American) units. There are no metric equivalents. The majority of the ingredients will be available at any well stocked grocery store or farmer's market. Some of the sauces and spice blends will possibly require a regional specialist grocer or mail order. 

Most of the photographs contained in the book are of the contributors, but there are some food pictures. The photography is in color, clear, and well done. Serving suggestions are appetizing and attractively styled. 

Four stars. This would be a good choice for public or school library acquisition as well as for foodies. The biggest value for me was reading the stories of the contributors and not so much for the 20 included recipes (although they're appetizing). 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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