The maypop shows, however, that localism need not mean confining oneself to an austere and moralistic diet. If I cannot grow bananas and mangoes in the Ozarks, I can nonetheless harvest maypops. I can plant fruits that boast a cornucopia of tropical flavors: native pawpaws and persimmons, or hardy exotics like jujubes and the vividly named “zombiefruit.” With a little creativity and attention to plants forgotten by our industrial systems, we can eat locally without sacrificing the pleasures of tropical flavors.

From my latest essay in FPR.