A South You Never Ate Cookbook Review

A South You Never Ate Cookbook Review

Title: A South You Never Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia
Author: Bernard L. Herman
Published: October 14, 2019, The University of North Carolina Press
No. of Pages: 400
Cover Price: $28.00 Hardcover, $21.99 Kindle

Are you looking for a beautiful cookbook with fascinating information that will keep you interested even when you aren’t cooking out of it? While the purpose of most cookbooks is to present recipes for food and teach cooks how to prepare them, A South You Never Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia by Bernard L. Herman, is more than just a cookbook. It is a book that not only presents recipes and gives instructions how to prepare them, but also includes well-written vignettes and essays that tell about the history of dozens of dishes and the locals who prepare them.

The book includes beautiful photographs, mostly of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the people who live there. There are a few photos, too, of the dishes showcased in the book, as well as some of the key ingredients that are important to the region. There is an essay on sweet potatoes with recipes like Sweet Potato Pie (several recipes from different residents who are known for their good cooking) and Sweet Potato Biscuits. The section on strawberries (everybody loves strawberries) includes a recipe to preserve them.

Seafood plays an important part in the regional food, and there are recipes for Shrimp Mengue, Seafood Fritters, as well as crab cakes and clam fritters as well as local fish such as the popular sugar toads (also known as blowfish and puffers). There are several recipes using oysters which are especially popular there. The produce grown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is plentiful, and there is a recipe for Peach Chipotle Jam that will surely end up in every reader’s queue.

This is a fun and informative book and is recommended for anyone who likes to learn and is interested in the food served on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It would make a good coffee-table book, too.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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