The seventh edition of Cornbread Nation, a compilation of the best in Southern food journalism, was published today, and City Paper is happy to report our own cuisine reviewer Robert Moss is featured. Better yet, it was Moss’ CP 2012 DISH essay, “The Post Husk Era” that was included.
In the piece Moss discussed the threat of pan-Southern cooking:
In the new pan-Southern cooking, anything with a Dixie twang is given equal billing. Thus you get cornbread, bacon, shrimp, collards, grits, Carolina Gold Rice, Sea Island peas, pickled ramps, pimento cheese, and fried green tomatoes all lumped together and labeled a cuisine.
But the cooking of the Lowcountry was very different from that of, say, south Georgia or the rural western counties of Virginia. When the Works Progress Administration’s Guide to the Palmetto State described Lowcountry cookery in 1941, it talked about shrimp, oyster, crab, “hop-in John,” red rice, wild duck, okra and tomato pilau, syllabub, and benne-seed brittle. It didn’t mention peanuts or country ham.
Like its accents and dialects, the South’s cuisine is multifaceted. And yet today, the menus at our city’s most lauded restaurants look almost identical to those of Atlanta, Nashville, or Birmingham.
To read Moss’ entire feature, click here.