Southern Food

At Home, on the Road, in History

By John Egerton

Special assistance from Ann Bleidt Egerton; Photographs by Al Clayton; New preface by the author.

Southern Food

416 pp., 8 x 10, 90 photos

Not for Sale in British Commonwealth except Canada

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4417-5
    Published: June 1993

Chapel Hill Books

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Awards & distinctions

1987 Best Book on Food Award, Culinary Institute of America

Hailed as an instant classic when it appeared in 1987, John Egerton's Southern Food captures the flavor and feel of what it has meant for southerners, over the generations, to gather at the table. This book is for reading, for cooking, for eating (in and out), for referring to, for browsing in, and, above all, for enjoying. Egerton first explores southern food in more than 200 restaurants in eleven southern states; he describes their specialties and recounts his conversations with owners, cooks, waiters, and customers. Then, because some of the best southern cooking is done at home, Egerton offers more than 150 regional recipes, including barbecue, spoonbread, muscadine jam, and key lime pie, with informative and amusing information about each one.

About the Author

John Egerton (1935-2013), a journalist known for his work in southern race relations, education, and food, was co-founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His articles appeared in the Washington Post, Saturday Review, New York Times Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. He is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including The Americanization of Dixie and Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South.
For more information about John Egerton, visit the Author Page.


"A rich history of Southern food, with a great section devoted to the humble start and subsequent rise in status of the catfish."—Saveur

"A superb book."—Barbara Fairchild, Editor-in-Chief, Bon Appétit

"The best contemporary book on Southern cuisine."—Memphis Commercial-Appeal

"I defy anyone to read so much as a page of Southern Food without developing a powerful longing for a plate of barbecue, Brunswick stew and hush puppies."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"No matter what region of the country you hail from, you won't be able to put this book down once you've begun reading."—James Villas

"As evocative as it is delectable."—John E. Mariani