Beyond Banjos: The Bountiful 'Victuals' of Appalachia

People living in the mountains stretched from New York to Alabama have a vibrant food culture that defies stereotypes, says author Ronni Lundy.

Sometimes there are cookbooks that you wish had stuck to the recipes. Witness, for example, Thug Kitchen. And then there are books like Victuals, by Ronni Lundy.

A food writer by trade, Lundy was born—and partly raised—in Corbin, a “railroad town in eastern Kentucky.” Her family spent summers there, which Lundy loved. But when she left home, Lundy was surprised to learn that most of her new friends equated Appalachia with some mishmash of “The Beverly Hillbillies, the War on Poverty, [and] Deliverance.”

It’s a whole lot more complicated than that, and Lundy uses the recipes in her cookbook to tell stories about food preservation, slaves in the salt mines, what Jamie Oliver got wrong when he went to West

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