The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge
Foreword by Alton Brown

Local recipes from the worldly South


"It's as much Americana as cookbook, an effort to preserve a vanishing part of our culture. Either way, it's an instant classic."

"The folks at the S.F.A., which works to preserve the region's foodways, called on their friends—chefs, historians, civil rights activists and ham curers, to name a few—to help assemble a modern community cookbook. And what friends they have. . . . The only thing that could make this book more Southern would be a complimentary bottle of bourbon."
—Christine Muhlke, New York Times

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Everybody has one in their collection. You know—one of those old, spiral- or plastic-tooth-bound cookbooks sold to support a high school marching band, a church, or the local chapter of the Junior League. These recipe collections reflect, with unimpeachable authenticity, the dishes that define communities: chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, chess pie. When the Southern Foodways Alliance began curating a cookbook, it was to these spiral-bound, sauce-splattered pages that they turned for their model.

Including more than 170 tested recipes, this cookbook is a true reflection of southern foodways and the people, regardless of residence or birthplace, who claim this food as their own. Traditional and adapted, fancy and unapologetically plain, these recipes are powerful expressions of collective identity. There is something from—and something for—everyone. The recipes and the stories that accompany them came from academics, writers, catfish farmers, ham curers, attorneys, toqued chefs, and people who just like to cook—spiritual Southerners of myriad ethnicities, origins, and culinary skill levels.

Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge, written, collaboratively, by Sheri Castle, Timothy C. Davis, April McGreger, Angie Mosier, and Fred Sauceman, the book is divided into chapters that represent the region’s iconic foods: Gravy, Garden Goods, Roots, Greens, Rice, Grist, Yardbird, Pig, The Hook, The Hunt, Put Up, and Cane. Therein you’ll find recipes for pimento cheese, country ham with redeye gravy, tomato pie, oyster stew, gumbo z’herbes, and apple stack cake. You’ll learn traditional ways of preserving green beans, and you’ll come to love refried black-eyed peas.

Are you hungry yet?

  • Dale Abadie
  • Hugh Acheson
  • Jean Anderson
  • Ben Averitt
  • Ben Barker
  • Karen Barker
  • Scott Barton
  • Billy Bayley
  • Allan Benton
  • Bill Best
  • Vishwesh Bhatt
  • Marcelle Bienvenu
  • Fritz Blank
  • Pauline P. Bridgforth
  • Sean Brock
  • Gayle Brooks
  • Eliza Brown
  • Walter Bundy
  • Richard Bunn
  • Ora Lee Butler
  • Erin Caricofe
  • Johnnie Carr
  • Kathy Cary
  • Ann Cashion
  • Margaret P. Cashion
  • Madge Castle
  • Sheri Castle
  • Bryan Caswell
  • David Cecelski
  • Natalie Chanin
  • Georgeanna Milam Chapman
  • Leah Chase
  • Craig Claiborne
  • Carol Copeland
  • Shirley Corriher
  • Diana Cottier
  • Mildred Council
  • John Coykendall
  • Amy Crockett
  • John Currence
  • Carol Darden
  • Norma Jean Darden
  • Sally Davenport
  • Nan Davis
  • Eula Mae Doré
  • Stephen Palmer Dowdney
  • Crescent Dragonwagon
  • Nathalie Dupree
  • Jason Edwards
  • Lolis Elie
  • Belinda Ellis
  • Rick Ellis
  • Elizabeth Engelhardt
  • Corbin Evans
  • Eli Evans
  • Mary Beverly Evans
  • Pam Eversmeyer
  • John Fleer
  • John Folse
  • Martha Foose
  • Kenneth Ford
  • Sara Foster
  • Damon Lee Fowler
  • Fred Fussell
  • Sara Gibbs
  • Nikki Giovanni
  • Jim Gossen
  • Flavius B. Hall Jr.
  • Melissa Booth Hall
  • Ashley Hansen
  • J. C. Hardaway
  • Jessica Harris
  • Chris Hastings
  • Thomas Head
  • Eddie Hernandez
  • Blair Hobbs
  • Linton Hopkins
  • Beckett Howorth
  • Dan Huntley
  • Bret Jennings
  • Sonya Jones
  • Elizabeth Karmel
  • Lionel Key
  • Joyce King
  • Jimmy Koikos
  • Nicky Koikos
  • David Lasseter
  • Mary Beth Lasseter
  • Mike Lata
  • Phoebe Lawless
  • Edward Lee
  • Matt Lee and Ted
  • Lee Austin Leslie
  • Donald Link
  • Dana Logsdon
  • Ronni Lundy
  • John Malik
  • Dean McCord
  • Rick McDaniel
  • Nancie McDermott
  • April McGreger
  • Robby Melvin
  • Alexander Mitchell
  • Debbie Moose
  • Gene and Ouida Morris
  • Angie Mosier
  • Jennie Sue Murphree
  • Walter Murphree
  • Bill Neal
  • Cynthia LeJeune Nobles
  • Sarah O’Kelley
  • Louis Osteen
  • Mary Margaret Pack
  • Peter Patout
  • Tim Patridge
  • Scott Peacock
  • Bob Perry
  • Audrey Petty
  • Floyd Poche
  • Margaret Propst
  • Paul Prudhomme
  • Susan Puckett
  • Billy Reid
  • Kay Rentschler
  • Todd Richards
  • Jared Richardson
  • Lee Richardson
  • Cappy Ricks
  • Ann Garner Riddle
  • Grace Riley
  • Sara Roahen
  • Glenn Roberts
  • Clinton Robinson
  • Ray Robinson
  • Tom Sasser
  • Steven Satterfield
  • Jill Sauceman
  • Lynne Sawicki
  • Patty Schnatter
  • James Schroeder
  • Francine Wolfe Schwartz
  • Ed Scott
  • Jamie Shannon
  • Jim Shirley
  • Beth Shortt
  • LaRue Shouse
  • Bill Smith Jr.
  • Bill Smith Sr.
  • Ken Smith
  • Lee Smith
  • Greg Sonnier
  • Susan Spicer
  • Martha Stamps
  • Kathy Starr
  • Robert Stehling
  • Frank Stitt
  • Amy Evans Streeter
  • Chuck Subra Jr.
  • John Martin Taylor
  • Sarah Thomas
  • Poppy Tooker
  • Miguel Torres
  • Celeste Uzee
  • Vance and Julie Vaucresson
  • Robb Walsh
  • Ari Weinzwieg
  • Hal White
  • Liz Williams
  • Randall Williams
  • Virginia Willis
  • Joe York
  • Alex Young


Published in association with the Southern Foodways Alliance at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi
A Friends Fund Publication

Page count: 296 pp.
Trim size: 7.5 x 9.5


List price: $24.95

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Sara Roahen (left) is an oral historian and the author of Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table. She has written for Tin House and Food & Wine.

John T. Edge (right) is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Cornbread Nation general editor. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Foodways and A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South. Edge contributes to a wide array of publications, including the New York Times, Oxford American, and Garden & Gun. Learn more at

The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. It is a member-supported organization of more than 1,000 cooks, thinkers, academics, writers, and eaters. Atlantic Monthly called the SFA "this country's most intellectually engaged (and probably most engaging) food society."