Edible North Carolina

A Journey across a State of Flavor

Edited by Marcie Cohen Ferris

K. C. Hysmith, Associate Editor
Photography by Baxter Miller
Foreword by Vivian Howard

296 pp., 7.5 x 10, 105 color plates

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6779-9
    Published: May 2022
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-6780-5
    Published: March 2022

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Marcie Cohen Ferris gathers a constellation of leading journalists, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, scholars, and food activists—along with photographer Baxter Miller— to offer a deeply immersive portrait of North Carolina’s contemporary food landscape. Ranging from manifesto to elegy, Edible North Carolina’s essays, photographs, interviews, and recipes combine for a beautifully revealing journey across the lands and waters of a state that exemplifies the complexities of American food and identity. While North Carolina’s food heritage is grounded in core ingredients and the proximity of farm to table, this book reveals striking differences among food-centered cultures and businesses across the state. Documenting disparities among people’s access to food and farmland—and highlighting community and state efforts toward fundamental solutions—Edible North Carolina shows how culinary excellence, entrepreneurship, and the struggle for racial justice converge in shaping food equity, not only for North Carolinians, but for all Americans.

Starting with Vivian Howard, star of PBS’s A Chef’s Life, who wrote the foreword, the contributors include Shorlette Ammons, Karen Amspacher, Victoria Bouloubasis, Katy Clune, Gabe Cumming, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Sandra Gutierrez, Tom Hanchett, Michelle King, Cheetie Kumar, Courtney Lewis, Malinda Maynor Lowery, Ronni Lundy, Keia Mastrianni, April McGreger, Baxter Miller, Ricky Moore, Carla Norwood, Kathleen Purvis, Andrea Reusing, Bill Smith, Maia Surdam, and Andrea Weigl.

About the Author

Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region and Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South, is professor emerita of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more information about Marcie Cohen Ferris, visit the Author Page.


"The book’s appeal transcends any one state. It’s a gorgeous collection of articles, photographs and recipes that capture and celebrate the distinctiveness of regional culinary traditions, and it’s an epicurean voyeur’s delight."—Frank Bruni, New York Times

“From one of the most important voices in southern foodways, Edible North Carolina illustrates the state's profound richness, vitality, and influence. Marcie Cohen Ferris brings together dynamic local thought leaders and producers who explore North Carolina’s complex agricultural, migratory, and racial histories, while also capturing the pulse of a constantly evolving region and evoking an exciting food future.”—Von Diaz, author of Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South

"Drawing together many perspectives, Marcie Cohen Ferris helps us understand the complex history and the exciting future of North Carolina’s food movement. She gives deeper meaning to the concept of intersectionality from her ‘edible point of view.’”—Toni Tipton-Martin, author of Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking and The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

“A true celebration of the abundance of North Carolina: rich in natural resources, nuanced food culture, and adept storytellers.”—Chef Gregory and Subrina Collier, founders of the BayHaven Food & Wine Festival and BayHaven Restaurant Group, including Leah & Louise and Uptown Yolk

“We’re in awe of the breadth and depth of this portrait of contemporary food culture in the Tar Heel State. The recipes—which are so wonderfully personal—and the illustrations bring the essays to life. It is glorious!”—Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-Be Southerners

“A vibrant gastronomic biography of my ancestral state. Drawing on the lives and wisdom journeys of many of North Carolina’s key culinarians, this book highlights people who put the state on the map as a foodscape to revere and savor. I love North Carolina and I love Marcie’s newest love letter to it.”—Michael Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South and Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook