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Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South Hardcover – February 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hill Street Press; illustrated edition edition (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892514656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892514653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A mosaic portrait of Southern food culture." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"This is curious creation and cultural history." -- CNN

Review

"I want to keep Southern Belly around for reference and re-reading. That's why I keep fighting off the urge to eat it."—Roy Blount Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

One of those books you'll want two copies of, one for the kitchen and one for the car.
Mike Luster
John T. also has a native's understanding of what the South actually is, instead of what sentimental hogwash like Steel Magnolia's would have us think it is.
Marsha Nicholson
If you love food, if you love America, and especially if you love American food, you'll love Southern Belly.
Douglas R. Worgul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Nicholson on September 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you eat, you're gonna want a few copies of this book. One for the house, one for the glove box, and you probably know a couple people who would just love to find a copy under the tree come Christmas.
As director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, John T. Edge knows his subject. But while his knowledge of Southern foodlore is impressively deep and wide, don't think for a minute that this is a scholarly tome filled with academic jargon and lofty observations--nothing like it. In pursuit of his quest, John T. is not a man afraid of getting his hands dirty. Or his elbows. Or his shirt front, when you get down to it.
A native Southerner, John T. Edge stands firm and proud in the face of the Macdonalds and Burger Kings goosestepping through the heart of Dixie. The moral fire of his paean to butter pats offers up testimony to his eye for detail and the purity of his vision. "I fell in love with the Waysider soon after I reached for a pat of butter to slather on one of those thin tiles of coarse cornbread they serve hereabouts. Miracle of miracles, it was just that: a pat of butter, a lemony yellow square of salted, churned cream, sandwiched between a white cardboard base and a thin slip of wax paper. These days most restaurants stock little plastic tubs of margarine emblazoned with names that read like false promises: Country Crock, Farm Churn, and I Can't Believe It's not Butter."
John T. gets beyond the barbeque and biscuits reportage of the food magazine writers who figure if they've eaten a slaw dog at the Varsity they've done their slumming in the South. I bet you don't know what a scuppernong or Tabasco mash is. He does. He ain't too proud to eat a pig ear sandwich.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Douglas R. Worgul on July 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Southern Belly is to food books what "burnt ends" are to barbecue: chewy, smoky, tender and tasty. John T. Edge understands that food = culture, and he captures the sum of that equation with efficient writing, colorful storytelling, and an obvious affection for his subject matter. It's a nifty travel book that would serve quite nicely as a guide to The South. And it's a well-researched antropological study that traces the history and status of the region's culinary traditions. But mostly it's a love story.
If you love food, if you love America, and especially if you love American food, you'll love Southern Belly.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike Luster on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One of those books you'll want two copies of, one for the kitchen and one for the car. John T. Edge's Southern Belly is indeed the Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South. The book combines insightful dining guides to the individual Southern States plus sidebars on tamales in the Delta, New Orleans po' boys, fish camps, and the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, to name just a few. Edge knows what he's talking about. He's the director of the Southern Foodways Symposium (sort of the heavy-weight championship bout of Southern food) and is author of the equally recommended A Gracious Plenty. Plan on getting this book good and greasy.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone searching for cook books should be fascinated with John T.'s food documentary The Southern Belly. If you love the Southern food traditions you'll devour every page and be inclined to jump in your car to search out the source of the marvelous food he describes. Want Southern recipes? Buy Emeril or Justin Wilson. Want to learn more about how food shapes a culture? Read The Southern Belly. You'll savor every delicious word.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Hunger is never a simple matter in the South and unlike other road food books, this one is not only concerned with what's on the plate, but also with the how and why and by-whose-grace it got there. Yes, you'll find out what you need to know about (and where to get a great taste of) Kentucky beer cheese, Big Bob Gibson coconut pie and great barbecue in Birmingham. But you'll also meet the people who make and eat this food, and learn the history -- some bitter, some sweet -- that lies enticingly behind it. The ability to notice and relate social/political/spirtual undercurrents behing the food of the South is what makes John T. Edge and Southern Belly such great companions both for the road or simply dreaming about it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter D on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
John T has created the essential road trip guide to the South. With this book on the passenger seat, I went to almost all the places mentioned in Tennessee, N.C., and S.C. I have given this book to almost everyone I know. A great read even if you aren't planning a trip to the riches food culture area in the America. I have the first two editions, and waiting for the third. My original is stained with BBQ sauce, grease and sweet tea. His Fried Chicken book is also fantastic. He writes for people that love food.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Savvy Susan-SPH on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such an informed study of Southern Foods and where to get them! I love his writing. It is so accessible.
And, of course, he knows all the nooks and crannies of the South. It's a great read and also a
culinary "tour guide" of the South.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Terence R. Fuerst on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author points out in the book's "forward" that it is Not a travel guide. Pity. If you go to AAA their travel guides offer descriptions of restaurants in much more depth. Seems he should have concentrated on either Southern "history" or Southern "food". He flip-flops to much and does not include even a single recipe in this book. Very disappointing.
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