As a Southern woman, born 'n' raised, the pig is very important to me. BBQ, bacon, baked ham, "pig pickin's" - they're all an integral part of Southern life. So I was very excited to receive a copy of "The Southern Foodie's Guide to the Pig: A Culinary Tour of the South's Best Restaurants & the Recipes that Made Them Famous," by Chris Chamberlain.
I love a good cookbook with good recipes, but what I really love is a cookbook that's "more than a cookbook." Chris Chamberlain's "Guide to the Pig" definitely falls into the later category! Yes, there are fabulous recipes from BBQ to cole slaw to bacon peanut butter cookies in this book, but there's SO MUCH MORE!!!
To begin with, the Introduction is not to be missed! It goes all the way back to colonial times and explains the history of the South's love affair with pork. Next comes a fabulous section on picking the perfect hog, building a BBQ pit, preparing the hog, and building the perfect BBQ sandwich. Then he goes through the anatomy of the hog and explain the different delicious parts and how to make them. (Bacon, belly, shoulders & butts, ribs loins & chops, etc.) There are recipes for rubs and sauces from all over the South (South Carolina Mustard Sauce, Georgia Sweet Tomato Sauce, Alabama White Sauce, Carolina Pork Shoulder Rub, Memphis Rub, etc.).
Next comes a section on Southern restaurants. Each Restaurant has its own profile page, complete with a description of the eatery, what makes it unique, menu specialties, and an insider tip. After the profiles, comes a list of recipes from these popular spots. There's anything from Southern Fruit Tea to Maple Bacon Muffins to Broccoli Bacon & Apple Salad.
And to top things off, throughout the anatomy section of the book (at the beginning) there are little snippets called "Pig Tales" that contain interesting facts! For example: "Wild hogs used to roam the fields of the lower end of Manhattan. Farmers had to build a wall to keep the pigs from digging up their crops. The street that ran alongside this wall became known as Wall Street." I love interesting little facts like that! And I love this book! Its more than a cookbook! Its a cookbook, a history book, a restaurant guide, and much more!
I received a copy of this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.