Today, I look harder at my region. I’m less interested in affirmations. Instead, I search for tastes that complicate my understandings. Some of this is a willful act of self-creation, an attempt to redefine the region in an inclusive and progressive way.
If Appalachian cuisine could speak, I think it’d sound like my grandmother: loving but no-nonsense, pleased but bemused by your enthusiasm over the meal she’s just made from little more than dried beans and a tin of flour.