Appalachian Hill Country Cook Book

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9780934750042: Appalachian Hill Country Cook Book

The taming of the East preceded the taming of the West. In the 18th Century, both before and after the Revolutionary War, the "new land" that was being opened up were the mountains of the Appalachians. On the cutting edge of this battle against the wilderness was the frontiersman, fiercely independent, who hacked and slashed at the forest to make a little clearing upon which to build a rough cabin for his wife and family. Theirs was a relatively frugal life, and the frontier wife made do with the few easy-to-grow materials at hand, largely corn and pigs. There was plenty of game for the husband to provide, and the mountain women quickly became expert in gathering edible wild plants, fruits and nuts. The tradition of gathering "poke" and other greens continues to this day. It is no uncommon sight in the spring to see women walking along the roadside picking a "mess of greens." Or later, during berry season, country roads near especially good patches will be lined with cars. The Appalachians are uniquely blessed with an unparalleled diversity of plants. The late Euell Gibbons called the region "Nature's Supermarket." The earliest great influx of settlers to the region were the Scotch-Irish, and many of the traditional foods of the hills reflect their influence. But there were other people. The Pennsylvania Dutch had a great impact on the cooking of the area, not only in its northern reaches but as far south as the Carolinas. The fight against the wilderness was won: clearings gave way to towns and cabins to houses. The development of coal fields brought new ethnic groups and new diversity to the food customs of the area. With the coming of multi-national chemical plants and research centers, Appalachian cookery has become almost international in scope. As in all other sections, regional specialties have given way to mass-marketed foods. The T.V. dinner is present "up the holler" just as it is in Manhattan.

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Robinson, Delmer
Published by Jalamap Pubs
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Delmer Robinson
Published by Jalamap Pubs (1980)
ISBN 10: 0934750041 ISBN 13: 9780934750042
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