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Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History
     

Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History

by John Egerton, Al Clayton (Photographer)
 

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Hailed as an instant classic when it appeared in 1987, John Egerton's Southern Food captures the flavor and feel of what it has meant for southerners, over the generations, to gather at the table. This book is for reading, for cooking, for eating (in and out), for referring to, for browsing in, and, above all, for enjoying. Egerton first explores southern food in more

Overview

Hailed as an instant classic when it appeared in 1987, John Egerton's Southern Food captures the flavor and feel of what it has meant for southerners, over the generations, to gather at the table. This book is for reading, for cooking, for eating (in and out), for referring to, for browsing in, and, above all, for enjoying. Egerton first explores southern food in more than 200 restaurants in eleven southern states; he describes their specialties and recounts his conversations with owners, cooks, waiters, and customers. Then, because some of the best southern cooking is done at home, Egerton offers more than 150 regional recipes, including barbecue, spoonbread, muscadine jam, and key lime pie, with informative and amusing information about each one.

Editorial Reviews

Barbara Fairchild
[A] superb book.
Bon Appetit
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Egerton (Generations, Nashville, etc.) writes here not as a food critic or professional historian but as an affectionate observer. The book commences with an informal history that suffuses the entire volume, from notes on 19th century meat packing in Nashville to the invention of the hot Brown sandwich at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in the 1930s. However, aside from a few wistful observations, such as a comment that the golden age of oysters peaked in 1850, the book celebrates the here and now of Southern food. Extensive travel and tasting produce a narrative account of more than 200 restaurants, from unique pockets of homestyle cooking to the Po Folks franchise, which has 167 restaurants in 24 states. Home cooking also is well represented with descriptions of dishes and the people who prepare them. Included are recipes for a number of traditional items such as burgoo, a hearty stew, which can be made entirely with grocery-store ingredients though ``a squirrel or two would have added much in the way of both flavor and history,'' pecan bourbon cake, deviled crabs, red-eye gravy and buttermilk pie. Photos. (June 17)
Library Journal
Southern food and cooking viewed with a critical but not jaundiced eye, and with a sense of urgency about capturing the past before it disappears forever. Egerton follows a short history of Southern food with a report on eating placesfew of them fancy but each with a regional specialtywhich he visited on a tour of 11 states. A chapter on eating at home includes 160 recipes chosen to show Southern food at its home-cooked best. His roster of 225 restaurants listed by state is a gold mine for travelers who would like to sample the past at meal time; a 300-item annotated bibliography is a gold mine for readers. An odeno, a symphonyto what is left of a glorious past: less than it ought to be but infinitely better than nothing. Ruth Diebold, M.L.S., Upper Nyack, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807844175
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/28/1993
Series:
Chapel Hill Books Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
The best contemporary book on Southern cuisine.--Memphis Commercial-Appeal

No matter what region of the country you hail from, you won't be able to put this book down once you've begun reading.--James Villas

I defy anyone to read so much as a page of Southern Food without developing a powerful longing for a plate of barbecue, Brunswick stew and hush puppies.--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

As evocative as it is delectable.--John E. Mariani

A rich history of Southern food, with a great section devoted to the humble start and subsequent rise in status of the catfish.--Saveur

A treasure trove of information and insight.--Nathalie Dupree

[A] superb book.--Barbara Fairchild, Editor-in-Chief, Bon Appetit

Meet the Author

John Egerton (1935-2013), a journalist known for his work in southern race relations, education, and food, was co-founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His articles appeared in the Washington Post, Saturday Review, New York Times Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. He is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including The Americanization of Dixie and Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

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