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The state of Southern food

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As a fan of The Oxford American, a literary and cultural magazine based in Little Rock, I’ve always looked forward to their special issues. They do a rocking Southern music issue, and back in 2005, did their first-ever Southern Food issue.

It took a while, but the magazine has come out with its second issue devoted to food. It was worth the wait. Guest edited by John T. Edge, head of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the issue is packed with discoveries. I particularly liked the articles on homemade jerky (my own guilty pleasure), and writer Alice Randall’s report on a new Nashville bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Olive and Sinclair. Other good reads include Atlanta-based writer John Kessler’s article on three African-American chefs blending old and new traditions in haute soul cuisine, and the write-up on the Southern tradition of eating dirt.

What I like is that all the articles are on topics you won’t read anywhere else, and the writers come at them from unexpected or slightly off-center viewpoints. Makes for great reading.

The Oxford American is holding events to celebrate this special issue: Tuesday in New York City and April 16 in New Orleans. Check out The Oxford American’s Web site for more information on the events.

You can pick up the Southern food issue on newsstands now through May.

Click here to purchase

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