The Potlikker Papers

A people’s history of modern Southern cooking



A people’s history of the modern American South as told through its food. Beginning with the pivotal role that cooks and waiters played in the Civil Rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s fitful journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration, showing why working-class Southern food has become a vital driver of contemporary American cuisine.

Along the way, author John Edge profiles extraordinary culinary figures — including Fannie Lou Hamer, Colonel Sanders, Edna Lewis, Paul Prudhomme, Craig Claiborne, Sean Brock, and even gospel great Mahalia Jackson — to reveal how Southern food has become a shared language for the nation.

“Edge shows that we aren’t just what we eat; we are where that food was grown, how it was cooked, who cooked it, and who all gets to eat it with us.” —The New Republic
John T. Edge is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun and a columnist for the Oxford American.  In 2012, he won the James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. He  has written or edited more than a dozen books, served as culinary curator for the weekend edition of NPR's ‘All Things Considered,’ and is regular columnist at the New York Times

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