Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes... a review


I was interested in reading Victuals as soon as I saw the Publisher's description as, "an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia".  The author, Ronni Lundy, was born in Corbin, Kentucky but her family moved to Louisville.  Which is where my interest came in.

My mother was born in the area just south of Louisville. While it is not officially part of the mountains, the food and culture is similar for the rural people of the state.

The author drove 4,000 miles through Southern Appalachia covering parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, southern Ohio, northern Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina.  What follows is a loving account of the history of this region through its food, its' culture, and the people who have lived in each area.

If you are only wanting recipes, this is not your book.  If you want a history of a region by food... this is the best book on the subject I've read.  The author's research is amazing and written as if one were reading a novel.  The photography is gorgeous, both of the food and the various locations.

It brought me to tears a couple of times.  For instance, the "recipe" for sorghum butter took me back immediately to my childhood when my mother whipped up sorghum and room temperature butter for biscuits and pancakes.  I could taste it as if I'd had them for breakfast that morning.

I highly recommend Victuals for those who want to learn more about southern Appalachia, the culture in each location, and the food.  This makes for great reading even if you don't know how to cook.

This book was provided by Blogging For Books for the sake of review but the opinions are my own.

More information about Victuals can be found... here.*

*Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

4 comments:

Deanna Rabe said...

Wow! Now this is my kind of cookbook. I love learning about cultures and regional things. Some of my relatives may have been settlers in Appalachia - where many Scottish people settled.

I may actually buy this one and not just get it from the library.

Vee said...

Good non-fiction is hard to find. I think I would really enjoy this book. Thanks for the review.

Keri said...

Ah, I remember reading Ronni Lundy when she wrote for the newspaper here in Louisville! I didn't know that she's a cookbook author. Although I'm Louisville born-and-raised and have never lived anywhere else, I've always felt like God placed a piece of my heart in the Appalachians of Eastern Kentucky. I've been patiently waiting for Him to show me why my heart is there, but in the meantime, I love reading books set in, or about, the Appalachian region. I think I'm going to have to buy this one!

I remember our email conversation from several years ago about your mother being from this neck of the woods. I like that you and I have that small, meaningful connection, despite having never met each other. :-)

Rachel H said...

My maiden name is Lundy. My family is from south Alabama. Interesting, and this book looks great. I'd love to read through it!