Romancing the Stomach

[imgbelt img=cornbreadbeacon_strobel300.jpg]Even the satiated hunger for tales of cooks and hyper-local recipes. David Mudd reviews a new book of essays that makes the imagination growl.

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ephemerama

Potluck lunch at Anathoth Community Garden, Cedar Grove, North Carolina

Book review
Cornbread Nation #5: The Best of Southern Food Writing
Edited by Fred Sauceman, General Editor: John T. Edge
314 pp., University of Georgia Press, 2010, $19.95 paper

The problem with maintaining a proper appreciation for food is it’s just so routine.  Each day — several times even! — the urge to eat, and each time the need to act on that urge. 

And so, food. It’s in your face all the time. I’ve never suffered it myself, but I can see how some develop a contempt born of familiarity, or a bored neglect.

A good famine would take care of such attitudes, but they’re so drawn-out and messy.  Better to connect regularly with people knowledgeable and genuinely excited about food, people who can tell you in entertaining ways and deep detail why food matters for more than just filling the gut.

And for that, there’s Cornbread Nation. CN is the invention of the Southern Foodways Alliance, which is the almost single-handed invention of a widely-traveled, ever-hungry writer named John T. Edge.  He’s been working for some years now to combine research into Southern culture with entertaining, informative magazine and website writing about (mostly) Southern foods, cooks, and cooking. 

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