Pecans and Buttermilk: Great Southern Ingredients
Choosing your favorite Southern ingredient might sound like a nearly impossible task. But for Kathleen Purvis, food editor at the Charlotte Observer, and Debbie Moose, an award-winning food writer and cookbook author, the decision came down to their own Southern roots. Just released by the University of North Carolina Press, Pecans, by Purvis, and Buttermilk, by Moose, launch a new cookbook series—Savor the South—designed to give Dixie’s most time-honored ingredients their due. Purvis’s love of pecans stems from her Georgia upbringing. “Put pecans in any dish, and I will crave it,” she writes. And Moose grew up watching her father pour buttermilk into a glass of crumbled-up cornbread. “I could make a case for buttermilk as the Southern ingredient,” she says.
That love comes across loud and clear in the books, which include the authors’ own creations, family recipes, suggestions from friends, and concoctions from local restaurants—along with a good helping of Southern history. And while the authors pay tribute to some classics, like Southern pecan pie and buttermilk-soaked fried chicken, both also give their chosen ingredients a decidedly contemporary update with dishes ranging from a pecan-infused leche quemada (a Brazilian milk candy) to a buttermilk-based mango-spice lassi (a popular Indian drink).
Up next in the series are Peaches and Tomatoes (both on sale in March), followed by Catfish, Barbecue, Bourbon, Okra, and more. Each book will be sold individually, so you can choose your own favorite ingredient. Or if that seems like trying to pick your favorite child, better start clearing a little room on the cookbook shelf.