Food: An Elegant Sufficiency

No regional American cuisine is so original or so richly varied as that of the South, and finally there is a single volume that explores all of its delectable diversity. Southern Food, by John Egerton (Knopf; 408 pages; $22.95), combines history and lore, recipes and personalities plus, as lagniappe for travelers, a selection of restaurants in the South recommended for firsthand sampling. Egerton, a Nashville-based writer with a lifelong passion for food, has included a bibliography of writings about Southern food and quotes on this colorful cuisine from a variety of authors and observers. In describing Southern manners, he recalls how...