I collect Southern Cookbooks like some people collect stamps or coins. I love rifling through the pages and just smelling the good food coming off of them. I was flipping through the Algonguin catalog and realized that somehow this "Southern Cookbook" had passed me by. I quickly requested a copy.
As soon as I received it I realized it was not a cookbook at all, but a book that you need to pack in your handbag and take with you when you drive throughout the South. It's a travelogue of good eats! The book covers 12 Southern states, lists addresses and phone numbers for all of the restaurants, has a bit of foodish history thrown in the pages and has a few recipes, but not a ton of them.
I am making my list - I want to go to Mary Mac's Tea Room in Georgia and be served Pot Likker to get the day started. I want to go to to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in East Texas and see what they're cooking up under the big tree that day. I want to go to Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House because it has a super great name. Finally, I want to go to the Woolworth's Lunch Counter in North Carolina that no longer serves food but is preserved as a museum piece, reflecting on the diner Sit In's of the 60s.
This book is food history. Southern historical food facts where you can still enjoy the vittles at most of the stops today. Next road trip.........this book comes with me.
Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Companion to the South
Original publication date 2007
3rd edition paperback, 2012
Edge reveals a South hidden in plain sight, where restaurants boast family pedigrees and serve supremely local specialties found nowhere else. He introduces you to cooks who have been standing tall by the stove since Eisenhower was in office.
While revealing the stories behind their food, he shines a bright light on places that have become Southern institutions. In this fully updated and expanded edition, with recipes throughout, Edge travels from chicken shack to fish camp, from barbecue stand to pie shed. Pop this handy paperback in the glove box to take along on your next road trip. And even if you never get in the car, you'll enjoy the most savory history that the South has to offer.