Telling the stories of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to the month of its peak readiness for eating, Georgann Eubanks takes readers on a flavorful journey across the state. These ephemeral edibles, and the stories of the people who prepare and eat them, make up the longstanding vernacular of North Carolina kitchens. But we have to wait for the right moment to enjoy them, and in that waiting is their treasure. Available now from The University of North Carolina Press and your favorite bookseller.
The early reviews are in. . .
“I’ve never read anything like it…. a book that is equal parts food essay, regional travelogue, natural history and profile of the characters that cultivate the foods that define the state.”
“This lovely ode to Tar Heel State heritage captures foods at their peaks—shad in march; ramps in April; persimmons in November—while introducing readers to the growers, hunters, foragers, and fishmongers who harvest them.”
“As much as Eubanks’ goal is to preserve cultural knowledge and folk wisdom, it’s also to shed light on the state of food systems and to help protect the state’s biodiversity. . .The Month of Their Ripening is not doom-and-gloom nonfiction, though. Gorgeous botanical paintings by Carol Misner keep company with Eubanks’ story vignettes from mountain ranges to shorelines, and the first chapter kicks off the journey with some whimsy. January’s food is snow.”
Background Photo by Donna Campbell: Figs from the Carrboro tree that inspired Georgann’s new book on NC heritage foods.