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The Savannah Cookbook

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Long before Savannah became notorious as a Garden of Good and Evil, the city bewitched residents and visitors with its gracious squares and fine old architecture; its wide cobbled streets and canopy of moss-draped trees; its slow-paced life lived on cool verandas and in brocaded parlors; and a well-aged, old-world elegance.

Part of old Savannah’s enchantment is its unique cuisine, which blends European, Asian, and West African customs with the ...

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Overview

Long before Savannah became notorious as a Garden of Good and Evil, the city bewitched residents and visitors with its gracious squares and fine old architecture; its wide cobbled streets and canopy of moss-draped trees; its slow-paced life lived on cool verandas and in brocaded parlors; and a well-aged, old-world elegance.

Part of old Savannah’s enchantment is its unique cuisine, which blends European, Asian, and West African customs with the rich produce of its native environs. It has been justly, if quietly, celebrated for centuries.

This handsome cuisine has been overshadowed by that of its sister cities, Charleston and New Orleans, because it was not to be found in the city’s restaurants or in the chef-driven cookbooks that have come out of the city over the last two decades, nor even in the popular community cookbooks. Instead, it resides in the homes of Savannahians,
whose cooking and entertaining are legendary.

In The Savannah Cookbook, culinary historian Damon Lee Fowler delves into the recipes and foodways that brought this Georgia city reknown as the Hostess City. From traditional preparations of crab to the key ingredients for successful entertaining, Fowler shares the timeless elements of good Southern cuisine—the Savannah way.

DAMON LEE FOWLER is a nationally recognized authority on Southern cooking and its history. He is the author of five critically acclaimed cookbooks: Classical Southern Cooking; Beans, Greens, and Sweet Georgia Peaches; Fried Chicken; Damon Lee Fowler’s New Southern Kitchen; and most recently, Damon Lee Fowler’s New Southern Baking. His books have been nominated for two Julia Child cookbook awards as well as a James Beard Foundation award. Fowler is the feature food writer for the Savannah Morning News as well as the founding board member and past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He lives in Savannah.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Fowler, a food writer, cookbook author (New Southern Kitchen and others), and culinary historian, fell in love with Savannah the first time he visited it nearly three decades ago, and he has lived there ever since. His new book is a celebration of the city's cuisine, and the recipes include both traditional Savannah favorites, such as Crab and Tomato Soup, and dishes that reflect the waves of later immigrants, such as Greek Roast Lamb with Lemon and Potatoes. Many of them are updated versions of recipes from old cookbooks, and Fowler includes the history and provenance of each dish. Savannah hosts are legendary for their hospitality, and Fowler includes a separate chapter on "Parties & Receptions." Numerous color photographs show off both the recipes and the city's charm. For most collections.


—Judith Sutton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423602248
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/10/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Damon Lee Fowler is a nationally respected authority on the history of Southern foodways. He has authored six critically acclaimed cookbooks including The Savannah Cookbook and New Southern Baking, has edited and annotated three facsimile reprints of important American cookbooks, and was editor and recipe developer for the Jefferson Foundation's first Monticello Cookbook, Dining at Monticello. His work has appeared in Food & Wine, Relish, and Charleston Magazine. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, where he teaches cooking and is the feature food writer for the Savannah Morning News.

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About the Recipes

Savannah remains, at heart, a Southern city, and its cuisine sharesmuch with the rest of the South. Much of it differs from that of nearby Charleston, or of far away Houston, Texas, or Charlottesville, Virginia, only in detail. Recipes for buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, boiled peanuts, deviled eggs, fried chicken,macaroni pie, barbecue, pecan pie, and peach cobbler are common in other Southern cookbooks; unless the details of Savannah’s version varied in a significant way, or the dish had a deep association with our city, I did not include it here, since those things can easily be found elsewhere.

Despite what you may have heard about “The Sovereign Free–State of Chatham” (a nickname not always meant as a compliment), Savannah is not a separate country, existing in a vacuum cut off from the world. As we’ve already seen, its population is far fromhomogenous.Moreover, Savannahians of all walks and ethnic backgrounds subscribe to national and international foodmagazines and watched the Food Network long before our favorite adopted daughter was its star. Savannahians have always loved to travel and bring home culinary ideas fromdistant lands.When America discovered pesto, basil appeared in our courtyards; when Southwestern cooking took the country, we bought chipotle chili peppers and added cumin to our black bean soup; when Thai cooking took center stage, fermented fish sauce appeared (or, more accurately, reappeared) in our pantries. In this respect, this city is no different from any other. Needless to say, a recital of recipes from such sources would be superfluous.

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Table of Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

C H A P T E R O N E savannah Pantry basics Provisions, Techniques, Sauces, and Condiments 3

C H A P T E R TWO parties & receptions Appetizers, First Courses, Finger Food, and Beverages 25

C H A P T E R T H R E E soups, seafood stews, & gumbos 55

C H A P T E R F O U R the essential grains Rice, Grits, Noodles, and Bread 75

C H A P T E R F I V E fish & shellfish 105

C H A P T E R S I X poultry, meat, & game 137

C H A P T E R S E V E N vegetables, salads, & side dishes 165

C H A P T E R E I G H T cakes, cookies, pastries, & desserts 191

Bibliography 214

Index 217

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