Friday, January 20

SOUTHERN SIX-PACK


If you don't subscribe, you should go out in search of the February issue of Bon Appetit and the February/March issue of Garden and Gun. Each explores the places, ingredients, and people who are making (and eating) great Southern food. And, in its own way, each publication is asking and (sort of) answering the question, "What is Southern food?"

We wrestle that particular question a lot around these parts. No more so than this week when the news of Paula Deen's type 2 diabetes is once again making Southern food sound like something to be avoided (I'm looking at you, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce.) rather than celebrated (I can't wait to take you home, Chicken and Dumplings.)

1. Hugh Acheson makes the case for Southern food without a beginning or an end. At least not an any-time-soon end.

2. Ed Helms waxes nostalgic about Southern food and elevates the boiled peanut. We encourage nostalgia. We love a boiled peanut. But we like to live in the now. Seriously, Ed, step away from the fryer.

3. Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes. In fact, she's had it for 3 years. She announced her illness and her new job as a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk this week.

4. The fall-out from that announcement was quick and furious. Marion Nestle of Food Politics and Tom Philpott of Mother Jones offered two of the more reasoned and thoughtful criticisms.

5. Nancie McDermott and John Birdsall write in defense of Deen.

6. Of course there's this. It's not for Paula or against her. It just is.