From Publishers Weekly
The second in a series of annual anthologies, this collection of 40-odd newspaper columns, articles, poems and essays is a satisfying celebration of Southern cuisine and culture. The focus this time is barbecue, whose deep-rooted traditions and regional variations reflect the ardent localism of the South. "I don't think you can really understand the South if you don't understand barbecue—as food, process, and event," says John Shelton Reed in "Barbecue Sociology." Reed rails against image-conscious Southern cities like Atlanta, which seem to hide their greatest barbecue joints in the worst neighborhoods ("Harold's is one of the best—it's near the prison"), and he advocates replacing the Confederate flag with one featuring a dancing pig holding a fork and knife. In "Whole Hog," Jeff Daniel Marion's search for the perfect barbecue leads him to Wood's, a ramshackle establishment outside Memphis, where he finds his shrine to the pig: "great chunks of pork, tender, with no hint of greasiness, succulent." Despite the bland introduction by New Orleans Times-Picayune
columnist Elie, this is a nice compilation, and the tones and topics (politics, race, religion, etc.) are as varied as the barbecue styles you'd find from Texas to the Carolinas. The book's biggest tip? Never trust a restaurant without flies; they may know something you don't. 16 illus.
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Some of the best writing about food, barbecue in particular, that has ever been collected. These 30-some essays are mouth-watering indeed.--Baton Rouge Advocate