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The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture


cowdery
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Please indulge me as I brag on myself a little bit.

Volume 7, "Foodways," of the New Encyclopdia of Southern Culture, is now in print and I'm very proud to have written the Bourbon Whiskey entry (page 127).

I'm proud to be associated with the whole enterprise, which is a very nice balance of serious scholarship and fun reading. If you are interested, as I am, in the general subject of Southern foodways, this is a must-have book.

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$13.57 at Amazon.com, if you qualify for free shipping (orders over $25). I just added it to an order for a new release due in November. Looking forward to both books.

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If I were to judge a book by it's cover, (actually title), then I would say this would be a good book to get.

With a Cowdery bourbon entry to boot.

Does it have a Chicken 'n Dumpling recipe?

Back in the late '80's I got a copy of Ernest Matthew Mickler's White Trash Cooking.

Has some great recipes and pictures that remind me of my visits to Alabama as a yougster.

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Please indulge me as I brag on myself a little bit.

Volume 7, "Foodways," of the New Encyclopdia of Southern Culture, is now in print and I'm very proud to have written the Bourbon Whiskey entry (page 127).

I'm proud to be associated with the whole enterprise, which is a very nice balance of serious scholarship and fun reading. If you are interested, as I am, in the general subject of Southern foodways, this is a must-have book.

Well, then, I must have it!

Congratulations, Chuck.

Tim

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No recipes as such, though I was surprised to learn that chicken was a late arrival in the Southern diet, which was based on "hogs and hominy" for a surprisingly long time. The introduction of things like chickens (hence fried chicken) and wheat flour (hence biscuits) was later than you might expect.

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Chuck, you don't have to go into any great detail or give it away.

But fill us in a little more about this book.

I assume it is historical, so how far back do they go?

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It's an encyclopedia so all of the articles are relatively short and provide suggestions for additional reading. It is divided into two sections, both arranged alphabetically. The articles in the first section are longer and broader in scope, the articles in the second section are shorter and more specific. At the margins, the distinctions are subtle.

The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture is very much in line with the modern approach to scholarship about Southern Culture. I have followed with interest the modern approach to studying Southern Culture, which comes primarily from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Among other things, the Center publishes Living Blues Magazine, which is how I became aware of it more than a decade ago.

The modern approach is very broad and deep. I think the previous approach was very fixated on the antebellum South, everything flowed out from that starting point. The modern approach can best be described as trying to study the culture as it is now and then trying to determine how it got that way. So, how far back does it go? I'd say all the way, as it discusses the Native American foodways, especially those that influenced the later European settlers.

I would say it is scholarly without being academic, in that it's an easy and comfortable read for a layperson. It's not pedantic and in some cases it's even a little more fanciful than I might prefer.

It's not a recipe book but it does discuss cooking techniques.

This statement from the General Introduction is insightful. It is referring to the 1989 original, but this is equally true of the new edition: "The volume was not a reference book of southern history, which explained something of the design of entries. There were fewer essays on colonial and antebellum history than on the postbellum and modern periods, befitting our conception of the volume as one trying not only to chart the cultural landscape of the South but also illuminate the contemporary era."

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