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Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue (Cornbread Nation: Best of Southern Food Writing) Paperback – October 30, 2004
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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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
An entertaining collection. . . . Its very existence--a barbeque collection from a university press--speaks volumes about the establishment of food studies.--Gastronomica
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
A satisfying celebration of Southern cuisine and culture. . . . This is a nice compilation, and the tones and topics . . . are as varied as the barbecue styles you'd find from Texas to the Carolinas.--Publishers Weekly
Cornbread Nation 2 is a worthy successor to the first volume, edited by John Egerton, godfather of southern palates. Even those condemned by cholesterol and age to special diets can get vicarious thrills visiting southern places and dishes of misspent youth.--Union City Messenger
Even the most devoted barbecue fans will find many new and surprising insights in this collection of 43 newspaper columns, magazine pieces, poems, and essays.--Southern Foodways Alliance
Top customer reviews
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The SFA is validating my Southern Pride. Thanks
About three quarters of the book is dedicated to barbecue - the rest is dedicated to southern cooking and food, including a chapter on a geophagy, something I never heard of... the eating of dirt. Who knew that mudpies were a nutritional staple in some parts of the world!!??
Overall, it is very good writing on a specific topic - you'd better like barbecue enough to read story after story about it - which makes it not for everyone, but great read for those looking for it.
Elie has done a masterful job of assembling some of the most vivid food writing-on barbecue-imaginable. The depth of subject matter is both stunning and satisfying in what it brings to the table.
It is my opinion that including Smith's Rhetoric of Barbecue treatise is alone worth the investment in this book. Often quoted as snippets in other books,here it is in it's entirety for the very first time.
Quite simply, this is a book to be treasured by anyone who loves barbecue, southern culture or U.S. history. I can safely bet that once you begin reading Cornbread Nation 2, you'll find yourself becoming ravenous for some good slow cooked barbecue!