Cornbread Nation 7: Five of Our Favorite Lines


Cornbread Nation 7: The Best of Southern Food Writing (UGA Press) hit bookshelves yesterday. Francis Lam served as volume editor for this edition. Below are five of our favorite sentences from the book. For many, many more awesome sentences, head to your local bookseller and grab a copy of your own.

1. “Decaying meat produces its own peculiar scent molecules, I later learned, with names like putrescine and cadaverine.” —Burkhard Bilger, “Nature’s Spoils” (a profile of fermentation guru Sandor Katz)

2. “In Jody’s freezers we found the following: fourteen frogs, four squirrels, more than a dozen ducks, some rabbits, some leftover wild turkey, as well as five pounds or more each of smoked deer sausage, regular deer sausage, and ground deer meat.” —Bill Heavey, “Grabbing Dinner” (an account of frog-gigging in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin)

3. “Salty, rich, and blessedly cheap, queso was the perfect accompaniment to a life lived immoderately.” —Sarah Hepola, “When the Queso Dripped Like Honey” (a love letter to queso dip)

4. “Those are the only kind of oysters for me, the mad ones, burning, fevered in the mad, American streets of the night of fevered streets of American dreams, roasting only in their secret oyster thoughts of succulent madness.” —Jack Pendarvis, “An Oyster Named Dan” (short fiction)

5. “After a while, I knew that I was eating it not because I was hungry, but because I was eager to learn it, to burn the precise, sensory details of the taste into my memory, the way you do with anything that’s good that you’ve never before tried, any experience, any phenomenon.” —Todd Kliman, “The Perfect Chef” (on the author’s devotion to the peripatetic Szechuan chef Peter Chang)