Edible North Carolina

A Journey Across a State of Flavor

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Pub Date 03 May 2022 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2022

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Description

Marcie Cohen Ferris gathers a constellation of leading journalists, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, scholars, and food activists—along with photographer Baxter Miller— to offer a deeply immersive portrait of North Carolina’s contemporary food landscape. Ranging from manifesto to elegy, Edible North Carolina's essays, photographs, interviews, and recipes combine for a beautifully revealing journey across the lands and waters of a state that exemplifies the complexities of American food and identity. While North Carolina’s food heritage is grounded in core ingredients and the proximity of farm to table, this book reveals striking differences among food-centered cultures and businesses across the state. Documenting disparities among people’s access to food and farmland—and highlighting community and state efforts toward fundamental solutions—Edible North Carolina shows how culinary excellence, entrepreneurship, and the struggle for racial justice converge in shaping food equity, not only for North Carolinians, but for all Americans.

Starting with Vivian Howard, star of PBS’s A Chef’s Life, who wrote the foreword, the contributors include Shorlette Ammons, Karen Amspacher, Victoria Bouloubasis, Katy Clune, Gabe Cumming, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Sandra Gutierrez, Tom Hanchett, Michelle King, Cheetie Kumar, Courtney Lewis, Malinda Maynor Lowery, Ronni Lundy, Keia Mastrianni, April McGreger, Baxter Miller, Ricky Moore, Carla Norwood, Kathleen Purvis, Andrea Reusing, Bill Smith, Maia Surdam, and Andrea Weigl.

Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region and Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South, is professor emerita of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Marcie Cohen Ferris gathers a constellation of leading journalists, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, scholars, and food activists—along with photographer Baxter Miller— to offer a deeply immersive...


Advance Praise

“Marcie Cohen Ferris and Edible North Carolina's writers present us with a vibrant gastronomic biography of my ancestral state. Drawing on the lives and wisdom journeys of many of North Carolina’s key culinarians, this book highlights people who put the state on the map as a foodscape to revere and savor. I love North Carolina and I love Marcie’s newest love letter to it.”—Michael Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South and Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook

“We’re in awe of the breadth and depth of this portrait of contemporary food culture in the Tar Heel State. The recipes—which are so wonderfully personal—and the illustrations bring the essays to life. It is glorious!”—Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners

“Marcie Cohen Ferris and Edible North Carolina's writers present us with a vibrant gastronomic biography of my ancestral state. Drawing on the lives and wisdom journeys of many of North Carolina’s...


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ISBN 9781469667799
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Featured Reviews

This is a lovely collection of essays and history about North Carolina food, its history and the issues surrounding all of this. I really appreciated the focus on issues like social justice, the environment, slavery, poverty and so on related to the food, and the essays were by a diverse group of people who are helping to champion the best about NC food. It's really a deep dive and goes into things like how the Covid shut-downs affected restaurants, how big ag affects what's grown, and other crucial issues of our day. I wish there were more recipes but I highly recommend it for those who want to meet some of the amazing people involved in the North Carolina food scene.

I read a digital ARC of this book for review.

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As a native but displaced North Carolinian this book reached out to me. So much of my childhood memories revolve around food , especially in the context of family in Eastern and Piedmont regions of NC.
This is a scholarly discussion of food in NC. its role in society and especially its evolution as we battle climate change and food equity. At times it was pretty dense reading. The author has some very important ideas to convey particularly in the afterword.
The essays themselves were delightful and I was pleased to see the diversity of stories included. I hope that this will contribute to cooperation and inclusion is the state's effort to feed its people, literally and figuratively.
The photography was amazing and I felt I would love to meet the people whose stories were told in the book. The pictures really brought their stories alive.
This is not fundamentally a cookbook but the recipes included were interesting. Not sure I would make them myself at home but they did illustrate the essays and the food traditions they chronicle.
It was heartening to see all the efforts that are being made in NC to preserve food heritage and protect the chains of production to provide fresh seasonal food to people. It would be interesting to see other states versions of this concept.

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Gosh! I love that this booked included some recipes but the history and people you learn about from reading it would be enough! This is a beautiful book about the diversity across North Carolina and the individual influence they have put on southern cuisine. My favorite recipe to read was Pork Shank Posole. A delicious sounding must try. People really need to appreciate the stories that went into this book. This book recalls the murder of a Charlottean who owned the Brooks Sandwich shop. I remember the way the community pulled together to help that little sandwich shop out during such a tough time.

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Edible North Carolina is a love song to the State. From the mountains to the off shore islands, from working farms to cities, from Native Americans to the earliest settlers to the newest immigrants, editor Marcie Cohen Ferris provides “A Journey across a State of Flavor”. Told in the words of regional chefs, the book provides a look at North Carolina’s history and the people and foods that shaped it. Each section has an essay by a local chef followed by a recipe. This is not a cookbook. With Baxter Miller’s beautiful photographs as illustrations, this is the story of how North Carolina’s foods reflect its history. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, University of North Carolina Press, Marcie Cohen Ferris and K.C. Hysmith for this ARC.

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Publication date: April 5, 2022

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own.

Marcie Cohen Ferris gathers a constellation of leading journalists, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, scholars, and food activists—along with photographer Baxter Miller— to offer a deeply immersive portrait of North Carolina’s contemporary food landscape. Ranging from manifesto to elegy, Edible North Carolina's essays, photographs, interviews, and recipes combine for a beautifully revealing journey across the lands and waters of a state that exemplifies the complexities of American food and identity.

While North Carolina’s food heritage is grounded in core ingredients and the proximity of farm to table, this book reveals striking differences among food-centred cultures and businesses across the state. Documenting disparities among people’s access to food and farmland—and highlighting community and state efforts toward fundamental solutions—Edible North Carolina shows how culinary excellence, entrepreneurship, and the struggle for racial justice converge in shaping food equity, not only for North Carolinians but for all Americans.

Starting with Vivian Howard, star of PBS’s A Chef’s Life, who wrote the foreword, the contributors include Shorlette Ammons, Karen Amspacher, Victoria Bouloubasis, Katy Clune, Gabe Cumming, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Sandra Gutierrez, Tom Hanchett, Michelle King, Cheetie Kumar, Courtney Lewis, Malinda Maynor Lowery, Ronni Lundy, Keia Mastrianni, April McGreger, Baxter Miller, Ricky Moore, Carla Norwood, Kathleen Purvis, Andrea Reusing, Bill Smith, Maia Surdam, and Andrea Weigl.

Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region and Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South, is professor emerita of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What a wonderful book - it is just not a "cookbook", this is a love letter to all things food in North Carolina. The essays were varied and deeply touching at time, and the recipes are well written and understandable by cooks of all levels and the photos make the food very appealing to myself and other lovers of food out there.

I especially love the book because it uses mostly whole ingredients instead of pre-prepared and packaged foods. My husband says that I never have any food in the house, only ingredients --- that is why I cook so much. I also refuse to eat or cook with Frankenfoods such as "chick'n" and its 88 ingredients vs. 🐔chicken🐔 having one and cheese that does not come from an animal is udder nonsense!)

Damn, I love me some chess pie!!! Will I get strange looks for serving it at our Christmas lunch?

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant/never-ending/constant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. ") on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🥧🥧🥧🥧🥧

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This is a very good book with a lot of great information. I will definitely keep it as a reference. Thanks

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*This book was received as an Advanced Reviewer's Copy from NetGalley.

A book about food, great! A book about food history (and present), even better! A book about food and food history set in my chosen state, ok, I'm definitely in! If you can't tell, I was really excited about this book and then much gratified when it was as good as I expected it to be.

Exploring not only the food of North Carolina, it also looks at the sociological, political, and other impacts that foodways and the people who produce both the raw ingredients and cooked ingredients impact the landscape of the area. So at the same time where you learn about places you want to eat (and even get a few recipes along the way as well) you also learn about the inherent structures, issues, and other factors that go into producing North Carolina's standard food and/or the struggle it took to get there.

This means that the book touches on immigration, racism, and all the nuances that help develop the food system in North Carolina. The issues with food scarcity and large agro-business, the impacts of the pandemic, everything is in here. And it's important to read because a lot of times we take for granted how food makes it to our table, and especially if we do have privilege, that it makes it there at all without issues many people face.

So if you want to learn about North Carolina food and its history, about the people currently producing and innovating, and about the different social issues that underly all of these topics, this is definitely a book to read.

Review by M. Reynard 2022

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I found this to be a fascinating collection of essays that centered around food and food history in North Carolina. Since I have family in North Carolina, I have spent a good bit of time in various areas around the state. I enjoyed having factual commentaries touching on things I have seen or experienced. . There was good bit of historical data that illuminated how trends and customs became as they are in today's North Carolina.

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Thank you to the University of North Carolina Press and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this book. This book is a fantastic guide of essays, recipes, and photos highlighting the history and diversity of cuisines across North Carolina.

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[Review of uncorrected page proofs from NetGalley]
My patrons are going to eat this up! (See what I did there?) Delightful and readable while at the same time well-researched and thought-provoking. Like Vivian Howard's mama, I believe we have everything in North Carolina. Our tagline ought to be, Come for the food, stay for the scenery! Our food is definitely first. Even in the smallest, nondescript little villages, you can find the best little hole-in-the wall eateries. This book highlights some of those (and some hifalutin places, too) along with our temperate-climate-blessed growing season and amazing gardeners. The essays are accompanied by recipes (don't be afraid of lard) and inspiring (not trite or homespun but legit) stories of how many of these folks got their start as well as vital and compelling history of our state. I am so ready for a road trip!
Librarian bonus: references for each essay. I'm already thinking of patrons who'll want to be on hold for this title!

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Edible North Carolina is filled with essays and sprinkled with recipes that read like a love letter to the Tar Heel State. The book looks back at the history, culture, and influences on Southern cuisine that make NC special. There is more to NC than barbecue, although the barbecue is the best in the world. This book would make a great gift to history buffs and foodies alike.

Thank you to University of North Carolina Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

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This is an amazing book about the history of food and agriculture in North Carolina. This book is even more than I expected. It’s chock full of information about alliances formed, battles won (and sometimes sadly lost) and the injustices black North Carolinians have faced over centuries. On top of all of this - beautiful photographs. This is a wonderful book for not only those who live in NC, but also anyone who has an interest in the state or the South.

Thank you NetGalley and University of North Carolina Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This was a fascinating read about the food of North Carolina and everything that goes into, including a lot of history. I was a history major in college and truly enjoyed connecting cuisine to slavery and social justice issues. The book also talked about the environment, poverty, and the political aspects of the food. There were recipes sprinkled throughout but the commentary on the food and its history was want intrigued me the most.

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This book is a love letter to the cuisine and cooking customs of North Carolina. Each essay, written by a native or long time resident of NC tells about their connection to one part of food culture in NC. There are many famous and not so famous chefs with stories about some of the specific regions of NC and how it varies in different parts of the state (like barbecue) as well as specialty foods. This book would be perfect for any North Carolinian who is interested in food or food culture.

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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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