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Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook

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Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables-and on tables around the world-rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savory and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables-and on tables around the world-rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savory and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties and offers a vast range of scents, tastes, and textures depending on how it is cooked. In some dishes, it is crunchingly crispy; in others, soothingly smooth; in still others, somewhere right in between. Commingled or paired with other foods, rice is indispensable to the foodways of the South.


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Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables-and on tables around the world-rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savory and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables-and on tables around the world-rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savory and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties and offers a vast range of scents, tastes, and textures depending on how it is cooked. In some dishes, it is crunchingly crispy; in others, soothingly smooth; in still others, somewhere right in between. Commingled or paired with other foods, rice is indispensable to the foodways of the South.

30 review for Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    This book is one of 25 titles in the Savor the South cookbook series. Rice is written by African American and Jewish American foodways historian Michael W. Twitty. He has written extensively on African foodways and their connection to Southern cooking and the African Diaspora in America. This particular book looks at how rice was brought to and cultivated in the South from Africa and its influence on Southern dishes. There are six sections to the book that includes recipes for basic rice to sout This book is one of 25 titles in the Savor the South cookbook series. Rice is written by African American and Jewish American foodways historian Michael W. Twitty. He has written extensively on African foodways and their connection to Southern cooking and the African Diaspora in America. This particular book looks at how rice was brought to and cultivated in the South from Africa and its influence on Southern dishes. There are six sections to the book that includes recipes for basic rice to southern classics like Hoppin' John and Jambalaya. This is a great little microhistory and cookbook.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    The Savor the South Cookbooks series is a project of the University of North Carolina Press to preserve and promote the foodways of the Old South. The approach is to produce numerous small cookbooks, each on a single subject, to create a sort of culinary library. Examples are the outstanding volumes "Bourbon" (2013) and "Pecans," both by outstanding food writer Kathleen Purvis. To this collection, food historian Michael W. Twitty has added his volume on "Rice." Twitty is the author of the James The Savor the South Cookbooks series is a project of the University of North Carolina Press to preserve and promote the foodways of the Old South. The approach is to produce numerous small cookbooks, each on a single subject, to create a sort of culinary library. Examples are the outstanding volumes "Bourbon" (2013) and "Pecans," both by outstanding food writer Kathleen Purvis. To this collection, food historian Michael W. Twitty has added his volume on "Rice." Twitty is the author of the James Beard Award winning "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South" (2017). That book is a memoir and a study of the origins of Southern cuisine. In it, he argues strongly for the proposition that the cooking of the Old South derives in large measure from the cooking of West Africa. Much of this argument carries over into his book on "Rice." As expected, there are recipes for jambalaya, red beans and rice, chicken and rice, and Moros y Cristianos. Less expected are his recipes for okra soup, Limpin' Susan, and rice bread. I appreciated the scholarship. I enjoyed the stories. And I will shamelessly steal many of his ideas and claim that they are my own!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I love the Savor the South cookbook series, so I was excited to check out this new one. And I know Michael Twitty from his book The Cooking Gene, so I knew this would give a good history of rice and cooking with rice in the South. Twitty does a great job with the Introduction that covers the history of rice and cooking with rice in the South. Then the recipes are divided into categories like "the basics," "deep origins," and "southern classics." Each recipe has a paragraph at the top that explai I love the Savor the South cookbook series, so I was excited to check out this new one. And I know Michael Twitty from his book The Cooking Gene, so I knew this would give a good history of rice and cooking with rice in the South. Twitty does a great job with the Introduction that covers the history of rice and cooking with rice in the South. Then the recipes are divided into categories like "the basics," "deep origins," and "southern classics." Each recipe has a paragraph at the top that explains the dish or the chef's inspiration for the recipe. There are definitely a few recipes I'd like to try and overall this is another good addition to the Savor the South series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: February 17, 2021 Publication date: March 1, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND it is a loverly minus 26 degrees, snowy and icy where I am currently stuck living, so superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Date reviewed/posted: February 17, 2021 Publication date: March 1, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND it is a loverly minus 26 degrees, snowy and icy where I am currently stuck living, so superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables—and on tables around the world—rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as the main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savoury and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties and offers a vast range of scents, tastes, and textures depending on how it is cooked. In some dishes, it is crunchingly crispy; in others, soothingly smooth; in still others, somewhere right in between. Commingled or paired with other foods, rice is indispensable to the foodways of the South. As Twitty’s fifty-one recipes deliciously demonstrate, rice stars in Creole, Acadian, soul food, Low Country, and Gulf Coast kitchens, as well as in the kitchens of cooks from around the world who are now at home in the South. Exploring rice’s culinary history and African diasporic identity, Twitty shows how to make the southern classics as well as international dishes—everything from Savannah Rice Waffles to Ghanaian Crab Stew. As Twitty gratefully sums up, “Rice connects me to every other person, southern and global, who is nourished by rice’s traditions and customs.” We live on beans and rice a lot of the time, mostly as it is cheap but also because we love rice...arsenic be damned. I mean, if arsenic in rice was sc a big deal, wouldn't 99% of China, India, (heck, ALL of Asia and a lot of Africa) would be dead. I loved reading this history in this very short book ... I wish it was 3x the length, truth be told, as it is a very short book - and I wish that there were more recipes. But that is me ... I am always looking for ways to entice hubby's taste buds as we DO buy rice in 50lb bags! (We also buy steel cut oats in 50lb bags and I find that you can use those instead of rice in many dishes!) What a great book!!!! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲

  5. 5 out of 5

    Celine

    I had been on the hunt for a Hoppin' John recipe and--lo and behold--I stumble upon this book while visiting friends in Chicago. Sometimes the universe knows exactly what you need and provides it. I appreciated the history of rice in Southern cuisine as much as the lovely collection of carefully curated recipes. Can't wait to make some of these for my mother-in-law. I had been on the hunt for a Hoppin' John recipe and--lo and behold--I stumble upon this book while visiting friends in Chicago. Sometimes the universe knows exactly what you need and provides it. I appreciated the history of rice in Southern cuisine as much as the lovely collection of carefully curated recipes. Can't wait to make some of these for my mother-in-law.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Pérez

    A thorough, thoughtful survey of the origins and importance of rice in Southern foodways. Twitty ties the history of rice growing and consumption to West Africa, and masterfully draws the parallels between Southern rice traditions to those of contemporary West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Also, the recipes are wonderful and easy to follow. If you love rice and want to explore fun and interesting ways to prepare it, buy this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    thefourthvine

    It's hard to know how to rate this book, because it's a good cookbook but just not very good for me specifically. These recipes have a lot of meat -- appropriate for the American South, I know, but not great for a vegetarian. Also, none of these recipes makes any suggestions for those of us who cook rice in something other than a pot on the stove. Again, very reasonable! Twitty is a food historian, and this is a book series intended to capture historical recipes. But just not very useful for me. It's hard to know how to rate this book, because it's a good cookbook but just not very good for me specifically. These recipes have a lot of meat -- appropriate for the American South, I know, but not great for a vegetarian. Also, none of these recipes makes any suggestions for those of us who cook rice in something other than a pot on the stove. Again, very reasonable! Twitty is a food historian, and this is a book series intended to capture historical recipes. But just not very useful for me. It's interesting, and I'm glad I read it once. I'm also glad it's going back to the library now; I wouldn't really be able to use it if I owned it. (But that doesn't mean other people, especially people who eat meat, wouldn't love to cook from it.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ifrah

    I have developed an interest in Michael Twitty’s work ever since reading his Cooking Gene book. This book focuses on rice with a brief history of how rice became a staple in the Americas. The recipes are accessible and easy to understand, which is important for a cookbook. These recipes are rooted in the history of the southern region of America but also of the people that migrated there. I’ve saved quite a few and once I make them, will update this review with my thoughts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Piselli

    Surprised to find little mention of the role of the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, particularly Brazil, in Twitty's short introduction, but no matter. It's a short book. And I would have liked to read something about southern rice production today. Looking forward to trying some of the recipes, especially the shrimp rice. Surprised to find little mention of the role of the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, particularly Brazil, in Twitty's short introduction, but no matter. It's a short book. And I would have liked to read something about southern rice production today. Looking forward to trying some of the recipes, especially the shrimp rice.

  10. 5 out of 5

    R.

    I haven’t cooked out of this book yet but I love the reminder of just how African southern foodways are. I’m not sure if everyone knows this and it’s just me but reading Twitty is always a welcome reminder.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    good cookbook

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Feathers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. History in a small grain of rice 🤗. Recipes presented with love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Mansour

    Nothing groundbreaking, but a solid compilation of recipes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    DK Simoneau

    While I really enjoyed the history and recipes I found it to me a little short. Eager to try a few.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margery Osborne

    really great. loved his other cookbook too. def a lot of things I'll cook in this really great. loved his other cookbook too. def a lot of things I'll cook in this

  16. 5 out of 5

    M

    Did anyone test these recipes? Nothing coming out great and directions aren't always clear. I loved the history of rice portion and would have ate up more of that. Did anyone test these recipes? Nothing coming out great and directions aren't always clear. I loved the history of rice portion and would have ate up more of that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I really love how this is laid out into different origins of recipes, like "deep origins," "the basics," "taste transitions," "diverse approaches," and "southern classics." I think this is a really good way to spread out these different types of recipes that all have rice in them but are very very different recipes. I didn't see a single picture in this cookbook and that makes me really sad, because I haven't heard of a lot of I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I really love how this is laid out into different origins of recipes, like "deep origins," "the basics," "taste transitions," "diverse approaches," and "southern classics." I think this is a really good way to spread out these different types of recipes that all have rice in them but are very very different recipes. I didn't see a single picture in this cookbook and that makes me really sad, because I haven't heard of a lot of these recipes and I always like to see a picture of it to get a feeling of what they're supposed to look like when I make the recipe at home.

  18. 5 out of 5

    April Gray

    Very interesting cookbook! In addition to some delicious sounding recipes (OMG I want to eat everything!), Twitty provides so much history throughout the book, and gives context to so many recipes Americans tend to think of as their own (spoiler alert: a huge chunk of Southern cooking comes from the enslaved African people that were brought here). Some recipes I was familiar with, and many were new to me, and they all sound amazing! You'll never think of rice as boring again! Very interesting cookbook! In addition to some delicious sounding recipes (OMG I want to eat everything!), Twitty provides so much history throughout the book, and gives context to so many recipes Americans tend to think of as their own (spoiler alert: a huge chunk of Southern cooking comes from the enslaved African people that were brought here). Some recipes I was familiar with, and many were new to me, and they all sound amazing! You'll never think of rice as boring again!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Frazier

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fire-Brown Gadsden

  21. 4 out of 5

    Timeka

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alethela

  23. 5 out of 5

    texbsquared

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rome Doherty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rice

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

  30. 4 out of 5

    Misha

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