Book Review: The Southern Foodie's Guide to the Pig

Posted by Katrina Roets at 4:08 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chris Chamberlain, author of the popular The Southern Foodie Cookbook, takes you back to the South for a tour of the restaurants that make the best pig dishes.
When Ben Franklin lobbied his fellow founding fathers to consider the wild turkey as our young country’s national symbol, perhaps he should have considered the pig. Arguably the most democratic of all proteins, pork is welcome across the country from a gourmet pork belly dish on the menu of the toniest Charleston bistro to a whole hog roasting in a hole dug in the sand of a beach in LA (Lower Alabama).
Pork is also uniquely democratic in that it is a meat that is welcome at every meal. The old saw goes that when considering a breakfast of bacon and eggs, "the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed." While you may occasionally see a breakfast steak on the menu, the pig is the star of the morning meal. A thick-sliced smoked bologna purchased from a gas station deli in rural Tennessee is the perfect working man’s lunch, unless you consider the ultimate demonstration of the nose-to-tail versatility of the pig, a snoot sandwich made from a boiled hog’s nose slapped between two slices of white bread. Feel free not to consider that for too long…
The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig takes you on several journeys. An anatomic survey of the pig introduces readers to all the parts of this versatile animal and teaches procedures and recipes to prepare all sorts of wonderful dishes. A geographic tour of the Southern states will showcase restaurants in the region that have particular talents when it comes to pork. The chefs and pitmasters have shared some of their most sacred secrets, the actual recipes for the best pork, barbecue and bacon dishes that emerge from their kitchens. Finally, since man cannot live by pig alone (unfortunately), there is also a selection of recipes that are great accompaniments to the pork dishes contributed by the fifty Southern restaurants that are featured.
So feel free to keep a copy of this book in your glovebox to help you find the best place for an elegant meal in Atlanta or that hidden gem of a barbecue joint in Kentucky. Or get this book a little dirty in the kitchen as you take your own tour of the South’s best pork dishes while you plan your meals for the week. Either way you use it, it’s a journey well worth taking.
About the author
Chris Chamberlain
Chris Chamberlain is a food and drink writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene and their "Bites" food blog. He has also contributed to the Nashville City Paper, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, 2001 Edgehill and at www.geardiary.com.
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If you're into pigs or pork, you'll be into this book. For me, it was a cookbook, so I had to check it out. Y'all know how I am about cookbooks. This one had some really unique recipes, some really interesting looking recipes and some recipes that will go on my try this out list. It was also filled with a lot of really interesting information. My only real complaint? I received an ebook version of this book and it's just not suited for it. It's far too long with too many recipes for that to work, at least for me. It's not the type of thing that you can just skim through on a kindle. It's really far better suited for a print edition, so that would be my recommendation. Skip over the e-version and go right for the book that you can put down on the counter and splatter a bit of bacon grease on as you're making some of these recipes!

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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