Cornbread Nation 6


The hungrily awaited sixth volume in the Cornbread Nation series tells the story of the American South?circa now?through the prism of its food and the people who grow, make, serve, and eat it. The modern South serves up a groaning board of international cuisines virtually unknown to previous generations of Southerners, notes Brett Anderson in his introduction. Southern food, like the increasingly globalized South, shows an open and cosmopolitan attitude toward ethnic diversity. But fully appreciating Southern ...
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The hungrily awaited sixth volume in the Cornbread Nation series tells the story of the American South—circa now—through the prism of its food and the people who grow, make, serve, and eat it. The modern South serves up a groaning board of international cuisines virtually unknown to previous generations of Southerners, notes Brett Anderson in his introduction. Southern food, like the increasingly globalized South, shows an open and cosmopolitan attitude toward ethnic diversity. But fully appreciating Southern food still requires fluency with the region’s history, warts and all. The essays, memoirs, poetry, and profiles in this book are informed by that fluency, revealing topics and people traditional as well as avant garde, down home as well as urbane.

The book is organized into six chapters: “Menu Items” shares ruminations on iconic dishes; “Messing with Mother Nature” looks at the relationship between food and the natural environment; “Southern Characters” profiles an eclectic mix of food notables; “Southern Drinkways” distills libations, hard and soft; “Identity in Motion” examines change in the Southern food world; and “The Global South” leaves readers with some final thoughts on the cross-cultural influences wafting from the Southern kitchen. Gathered here are enough prominent food writers to muster the liveliest of dinner parties: Molly O’Neill, Calvin Trillin, Michael Pollan, Kim Severson, Martha Foose, Jessica Harris, Bill Addison, Matt and Ted Lee, and Lolis Eric Elie, among others. Two classic pieces—Frederick Douglass’s account of the sustenance of slaves and Edward Behr’s 1995 profile of Cajun cook Eula Mae Doré—are included. A photo essay on the Collins Oyster Company family of Louisiana rounds out Cornbread Nation 6.

Published in association with the Southern Foodways Alliance at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. A Friends Fund Publication.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This collection captures both the spirit and the history of Southern food culture. The breadth of this collection is inspiring. To be able to read Frederick Douglass next to Edward Behr and Michael Pollan is exciting to me. As someone who is passionate about American culinary history and culture, I was also pleased to find that these writings really challenged some of my most basic assumptions about why Southern cuisine exists as it does today.”—David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku

“A veritable feast of good writing and original thinking . . . Like the well-made meal, it’s carefully sequenced to document tradition as well as innovation, history as well as the surprisingly new.”—Tom Rankin, director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

"Southern food has become high profile, but there is not a better book than Cornbread Nation 6 to understand its appeal. From family tables to city restaurants, from Cajuns to Texans to Geechee girls, from slave food to contemporary ethnic offerings, this book offers engaging and informed stories of the diversity of southern foodways. A book that gives food voices from Frederick Douglass to Wendell Berry (by way of Michael Pollan) should be consumed with gusto. Pour a beverage, whether bourbon or Cheerwine, and sit down with this book on the porch. The light will shine."—Charles Reagan Wilson, Cook Chair of History and Southern Studies, University of Mississippi

“Not all for the serious, scholarly or scientific. . ., Cornbread Nation 6  also brings humor and humanity to what could ultimately be the best on-going collection of food writing in America today.”—Edible Memphis

"Reading is a pleasure that most of us wish we could do more often, if only time and energy would allow it. Reading about food is an even more exquisite treat for some; if the focus happens to be Southern food, well, that's simply icing on the cake. Luckily, for those who appreciate all that the world of Southern food entails, there's Cornbread Nation. . . . [Brett Anderson] has created a compilation that will literally make the reader salivate."—Roni K. Devlin, Shelf Awareness

"I've hardly put the volume down."—Andre Gallant, Athens Banner-Herald

"Southern cuisine is a moving target unwilling to lie still for even the discriminating palates of Southern food writers. But thankfully, those folks are still out there, cheering, challenging and chewing on everything that Southern food has come to represent. Their stories come together in Cornbread Nation 6. . . . It gives a revealing and insightful look at [Southern cuisine's] evolution."—Nedra Rhone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820342610
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 637,262
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett Anderson is the restaurant critic and a features writer at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The winner of two James Beard awards for journalism, Anderson has written for such publications as Gourmet, Food & Wine, and the Washington Post. The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. It is a member-supported organization of more than 1,000 cooks, thinkers, academics, writers, and eaters. Atlantic Monthly called the SFA "this country's most intellectually engaged (and probably most engaging) food society." John T. Edge is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Cornbread Nation general editor. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Foodways and A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South. Edge contributes to a wide array of publications, including the New York Times, Oxford American, and Garden & Gun.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Of Memes and Munificence
Brett Anderson

Menu Items
Why Chile con Queso Matters
Alison Cook
The Ceremony
Molly O'Neill
In Sorrow's Kitchen
Jessica B. Harris
Blood-Bought Luxuries
Frederick Douglass
Green Goddess: Why We Love Collard Greens
Lonnée Hamilton
The Fatback Collective
Wright Thompson
I Was a Texas Rib Ranger
Brett Martin
Fire in the Hole
Jon Fasman
Carlo Silvestrini on the Hog Slaughter
Greg Alan Brownderville
An Oyster by Any Other Name
Elizabeth Engelhardt
Adventures of a Boudin Junkie
Sara Roahen
Boy & Egg
Naomi Shihab Nye
As ConAgra Pulls Out, Workers Face Uncertainty
Sarah Nagem

Messing with Mother Nature
Reviving Red Snapper
Barry Estabrook
Jennifer Justus
Reconsidering the Oyster
Paul Greenberg
The Collins Oyster Family
David Grunfeld
A Paradise Lost
Bob Marshall
Mr. Leroy and the French Club
Francis Lam

Southern Characters
Wendell Berry's Wisdom
Michael Pollan
Tom Pritchard, Local Culinary Rock Star and Stuff of Legend
Ben Montgomery
Home Grown
Jane Black
Blood and Water
Kim Severson
A Force of Nature
Andrea Weigl
St. Francine at the Café Max
John Dufresne
Eula Mae Doré
Edward Behr
How Not to Hire a Chef
Tim Carman
A Rapping Drag Queen and Her Fried Chicken
Ben Westhoff

Southern Drinkways
Past and Presence
Wayne Curtis
Whiskey and Geography
Charles D. Thompson Jr.
Lucid Olason
Corncob Wine
Matt and Ted Lee
The Wild Vine
Todd Kliman

Identity in Motion
Empire State South: Athens Star Chef Hugh Acheson Brings Atlanta Its Latest Southern Sensation
Bill Addison
Real Cajun
Donald Link
No Daily Specials
Calvin Trillin
Pie + Design = Change
John T. Edge
The Origin Myth of New Orleans Cuisine
Lolis Eric Elie
Where Are All the Black Chefs?
John Kessler
Homesick Restaurants: How Dallas Became a Dining Nowhereville
Hanna Raskin
An Open Letter to Kim Severson
Besha Rodell
Family Pieces
Martha Foose
Putting Food on the Family
Jack Hitt

The Global South
Bags, Butter, Surfboards, and Spice: Viet-Cajun in Cali
Andrea Nguyen
Ravioli and Country Music's First Family
Fred Sauceman
Prospecting for Oil
David S. Shields
A Geechee Girl Speaks
Valerie Erwin
My Stove's in Good Condition
Iain Haley Pollock
Pancho at the Flor de Celaya
Bill Smith


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