Gary Paul Nabham has really put together a beautiful and inspiring apologia for the emerging local, cultural, slow food philosophy. Like a simmering stew, the book bubbles over with diveristy, as the author runs in and out of the poetic, historical, cultural and academic. Whereas others reviewers have found fault with the seemingly "unfocused" nature of the book, I was happily entertained. From cover to cover, the subject matter remains fresh and suprising. Some of the foods you can expect to encounter include boiled venison, baked rabbit, grilled corvina, tomatillo consommes, squash souffles, tepary bean burritos wrapped in mesquite tortillas, freshly picked and lightly steamed lamb quarters, purslane, tansy mustards, cress, prickly pear punch, mistletoe and Mormon tea. You will encounter organpipe cactus jam, stewed pumpkin, pinole, creosote bush salve, jojoba oil, damiana tea and pit roasted agaves - or "tatemada" - an ancient tradition the author and some local Indians revived, among others. Although the book runs thin on recipes (there are none), it liberally bastes philosophy: "If food is the sumptuous sea of energy we dive into and swim through every day, I have lived but one brief moment leaping like a flying fish and catching a glimmering glimpse of that sea roiling all around us. And then just as quickly, I splashed back beneath its surface, to be overmore immersed in what effortlessly buoys us up." When Nabham is not introducing you old, now by-and-large forgotten foods and the cultures they come from, he is reminding you of the pitfalls of the emerging global marketplace: for example, "the average American brings home nearly 3,300 pounds of foodstuffs each year for his or her consumption...much of it never eaten. It is nearly two-and-a-half time the weight of what most of our contempories in other regions of the world consume, and much of it comes from their farmlands." He also reminds us that, with each passing season, we are losing more top soil, more biodiversity, and more of the foods that help us keep us strong and healthy. A very important book that is also a pleasure to read. On a scale of deliciousness, I give it a peach cobbler.