Cornbread Nation 6
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Cornbread Nation 6

The Best of Southern Food Writing

Edited by Brett Anderson

Title Details

Pages: 288

Illustrations: 10 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 05/01/2012

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4261-0

List Price: $27.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published in association with Southern Foodways Alliance

Published with the generous support of Friends Fund

Cornbread Nation 6

The Best of Southern Food Writing

Edited by Brett Anderson

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

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.

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

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.

—Nedra Rhone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

I've hardly put the volume down.

—Andre Gallant, Athens Banner-Herald

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

Brett Anderson

Molly O'Neill

Jessica B. Harris

Frederick Douglass

Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

Sara Roahen

Naomi Shihab Nye

Barry Estabrook

Jennifer Justus

Bob Marshall

Francis Lam

Jane Black

Matthew Lee

Ted Lee

Todd Kliman

Donald Link

Calvin Trillin

John T. Edge

Sara Camp Milam

Lolis Eric Elie

Besha Rodell

Martha Foose

Jack Hitt

Fred W. Sauceman

David S. Shields

Alison Cook

Lonnée Hamilton

Wright Thompson

Brett Martin

Jon Fasman

Greg Alan Brownderville

Sarah Nagem

Paul Greenberg

David Grunfeld

Michael Pollan

Ben Montgomery

Kim Severson

Andrea Weigl

John Dufresne

Edward Behr

Tim Carman

Ben Westhoff

Wayne Curtis

Charles Thompson

Lucid Olason

Bill Addison

John Kessler

Hanna Raskin

Andrea Nguyen

Iain Haley Pollock

About the Author/Editor

BRETT ANDERSON is the restaurant critic and a features writer at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The winner of two James Beard awards for journalism, Anderson has written for such publications as Gourmet, Food & Wine, and the Washington Post.