The KUDZU CookBook: Cooking with the Vine that Grows in Miles-Per-Hour!
I grew up in Georgia, the land of KUDZU, that wild and crazy vine that they say grows in miles-per-hour! While I’m not sure about that, I have actually watched kudzu grow twelve inches in a single, hot summer’s day. After doing extensive research on this original Japanese ground cover and learning how it got to the South, as well as its many uses, I just had to write a book. Why a cookbook? Because kudzu is actually edible, healthy and delicious! In addition to many creative recipes, you’ll also find sources for kudzu powder, roots, and more. (Park Seed Company in South Carolina actually once sold kudzu seeds! I guess there was not that great a demand?) Today, kudzu has made a real comeback as a respected vine. Online, you can purchase kudzu beer, fragrance for making soap, table lines made from the vine, and find workshops for making kudzu paper, baskets and such. It’s a great gift for those who love all things South, collect unique cookbooks, have friends they’d like to share with from “Up North,” and who can cope with my endless kudzu puns—sorry! There’s even some kudzu poetry—now that’s a versatile vine, hey?
Talented SCAD graduate colorist, illustrator and cartoonist, Kristen French, has done exceedingly clever and humorous drawings for this book. You could say the idea of illustrating a book on kudzu sort of grew on her?
Southside Book Review by Forrest Schultz
"The Kudzu Cookbook: Cooking Up a Storm with That Wild & Crazy Vine That Grows in Miles-per-Hour!" is full of riveting history, befuddling trivia, humor, song, verse, fun, and easy, tasty healthy recipes made with, of course, kudzu! This must be a case of "If you can't beat it, eat it," at first glance. It turns out those evergrowing leaves are in fact nutritious and edible, like so many other greens. Talk about living on a renewable resource! Brought to you from its adopted home in the deep South, here are handy recipes for Kudzu Greens, Kudzu Hush Puppies, Kudzu Quiche, Kudzukraut, Kudzu Stir Fry (Easy), and even Cream of Curried Kudzu and Cauliflower Soup. There is even Kudzu Pizza and Kudzu Pasta. In addition, there are snippets and references and even a song called "The Kudzu Shag!" A home recipe example is Kudzu & Hominy Homestyle Breakfast. An ethnic treat is Kudzu Manju (Kudzu Dumplings in Cherry Leaves), a traditional confection sold in Japan in June and July, made with azuki beans and kudzu powder. "The Kudzu Cookbook" is very witty and fun, more entertaining than your average cookbook. For a zany trip down a kudzu lined lane of plenty, try reading and cooking from "The Kudzu Cookbook" with your kids.