Okay, it doesn’t feature a spiral spine. And it was written by a professional writer. But we still claim John Parris’ Mountain Cooking as a beloved community cookbook because it captures the authentic soul of a region through storied recipes. Parris, a longtime columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times, was a born storyteller, and his work remains vital reading for anyone interested in the food and folkways of Appalachia. Read Parris’ short, anecdotal essays on cat-head biscuits and sawmill gravy, moonshine, apples, and poke sallet, then turn to the back recipes to learn the old-time secrets and lost arts of mountain cooking.