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Savoring the South: Memories of Edna Lewis,…
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Savoring the South: Memories of Edna Lewis, the Grande Dame of Southern…

by Angela Mulloy

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While I do not doubt that Edna Lewis and Angela Mulloy were friends, as I read this book I kept trying to feel Ms Lewis in the text. For me she is not there. This book seems more an attempt to recollect Willow Grove, an inn and restaurant on a Virginia Plantation. Ms Lewis may have helped shape the food at the inn and she and Ms Mulloy published at least one book together, but the introduction and explanations in the text of "Savoring the South" are about the Inn, not Ms Lewis.

Many of the recipes in the book are not particularly Southern either. "The Garden Tea" is very very English. Much of the text is about England or Europe, not the US South. The food photos seem to be as much about someone's collection of old English china as about the food.

The recipes in this book are, for the most part, rather grand, as suits a restaurant at an inn. Many of them sound tasty and the preparations are not too elaborate so even a beginner cook can manage them, with a few exceptions.

There is a peculiar statement in the recipe for MOREL AND SCALLION TART WITH SWEET POTATO CRUST that you must use sweet potatoes, not yams. Later yams are featured in a number of recipes, as are sweet potatoes. Are these recipes really talking about Dioscorea? I doubt it but there is no way to tell from the context. We hardly see true yams outside of big city specialty grocers.

I am also surprised to see pork fat in the beef mincemeat.

Last, and certainly not least, there are far too many fonts used in the text and this messiness detracts from the elegance the book is trying to convey. Too many typos have slipped through.

I received a review copy of "Savoring the South: Memories of Edna Lewis, the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking" by Angela Mulloy (Infinity)through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Apr 23, 2015 |
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