Rebecca's Reviews > Eating Appalachia: Rediscovering Regional American Flavors

Eating Appalachia by Darrin Nordahl
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really liked it
bookshelves: foodie-lit, read-via-netgalley, skimmed

(3.5) Nordahl travels through Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina in search of truly indigenous local ingredients. He highlights wild garlic (ramsons, or “ramps”), pawpaw, elk (leaner and richer than beef), squirrel, hickory nuts and black walnuts, sumac, spicebush berry, sassafras, and persimmons. There are a few recipes and photographs in each chapter, although this is more of a narrative than a cookbook. I loved how he brought it all together with his imagined Appalachian Thanksgiving feast (what we consider traditional today includes very little that would actually have been eaten in the Pilgrims’ place and time):

appetizers of pickled ramps and brook trout crostini, bowls of butternut [the nut, not the squash] cream bisque, plates piled with the showpiece dish of spicebush-peppered roast elk tenderloin and hickory nut stuffing—all washed down with steaming sassafras tea and chilled sumac-ade, capped with a choice of persimmon pudding with black walnut ice cream or pawpaw panna cotta.

I grew up in Maryland, so these are familiar states for me, but I don’t think I’ve tried a single one of the regional delicacies (apart from wild garlic, which is also available here in the UK). Pawpaw is particularly tempting: it’s meant to taste like mango and vanilla. I’ll have to seek out some of the food festivals he mentions in the resources at the back to give them a try.
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Reading Progress

May 30, 2015 – Shelved
May 30, 2015 – Shelved as: foodie-lit
May 30, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
May 30, 2015 – Shelved as: skimmed

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Margitte (new)

Margitte This sounds like a great (an adventurous) food journey, Rebecca. How do you make brook trout crostini? Isn't crostinis made of bread? I've watched a few episodes of an American series on American cultural cooking, can't remember the name of the series now, but some pretty scary and wild things landed on the menues. Wildly interesting as well. :-)

Rebecca I'm not sure...that's not a dish he gives a recipe for. I imagine it's smoked or pickled trout (or a pâté) on toast.

message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Wild garlic is also called ramsons here too.

Rebecca Yeah, that's a term I'm less familiar with. I don't think he ever actually says "wild garlic" in the book, but I'm translating it in my head ;)

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