Cave City watermelon. Kat Robinson

Food writer and former Arkansas Times Eat Arkansas blogger Kat Robinson has released her third fifth book: “Arkansas Food: The A to Z of Eating in the Natural State,” she’s announced.

The 290-page book (available both in hardcover and paperback) answers such questions as: Why are fried chicken and spaghetti paired in the Ozarks? Who created the fried pickle? How do you make chocolate gravy? It also includes a treatise on buffalo fish (there are three types, we learn) and the fact that you can get buffalo at the Lassis Inn in Little Rock. It includes hundreds of listings, images and recipes and retails for $29.99 (paperback) or $39.99 (hardcover). You can order it on Kat’s website or pick it up at WordsWorth Books & Co., Barnes and Noble or Honey Pies Bakery and Cafe in Little Rock and at other eateries around Arkansas.

An excerpt from the introduction:

Arkansas is a stubborn, hang-on-by-your-teeth subsistence land that adapts to weather, new folks and the lay of the land. Its cuisine isn’t Southern or Appalachian or Midwestern, though elements of all of these things are evidenced by our communal meals. Its regional specialties are tied tight to its geographical holding place; my own experience of country fried venison and sugared rice as breakfast was certainly as strange to my Delta friends’ dinners of wild duck and rice as theirs was to me. Searcy County’s chocolate rolls, an expected everyday dessert when visiting my brother’s side of the family, seems far more exotic now that I realize they’re found nowhere else.

The book is the second under Robinson’s own imprint, Tonti Press.