With “Victuals,” Ronni Lundy — salt-of-the-earth Kentucky native, former newspaper reporter, pop-music critic, Southern Foodways Alliance founder and longtime chronicler of the “hillbilly diaspora” — has produced one of the most important and authentic books on Southern culture of her generation.
Like many Southern food writers before her, Lundy starts at home. But she is not content to be moored in the kitchen with grandma. Clocking over 4,000 miles on her Chevy van, Lundy seeks out seed collectors, bread bakers, jam makers and pig farmers, linking their present-day stories and recipes to the traditions of the past. Lovingly annotated and lyrically told, “Victuals” doesn’t begin with spring but ends there, celebrating a renaissance regional moment that is bright-eyed with hope and promise.