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Cornbread Nation 6: The Best of Southern Food Writing
     

Cornbread Nation 6: The Best of Southern Food Writing

by Brett Anderson (Editor), John Edge (Editor), Sara Camp Milam (Editor), Molly O'Neill (Contribution by), Jessica B. Harris (Contribution by)
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

chef/owner of Momofuku - David Chang

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.

Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University - Tom Rankin

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.

Cook Chair of History and Southern Studies, University of Mississippi - Charles Reagan Wilson

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.

Edible Memphis

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.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Nedra Rhone

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. . . . [I]t gives a revealing and insightful look at [Southern cuisine's] evolution.

Athens Banner-Herald - Andre Gallant

I've hardly put the volume down.

Shelf Awareness - Roni K. Devlin

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820342610
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Series:
Cornbread Nation Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Sara Roahen is an oral historian and the author of Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table. She has written for Tin House and Food & Wine.

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