Sunday, November 07, 2010

"Profuse in the Extreme"

I'm reading a lot of late 19th century descriptions of Southern cooking right now, and what stands out is the sharp divide between two schools of thought, one fueled by moonlight and magnolias nostalgia for the elegant meals on plantations before the War.  The other--generally expressed by domestic reformers and other busybodies from Northern cities--has nothing but horror and contempt for the deplorable diet of Southerners.

Here's one of the latter, from Helen Campbell's 1880 Good Company article, "A Year in a Southern Cooking School", which pretty apty describes my own Southern diet today:
The Southern diet was, and is, utterly unsuited either to climate or constitution.  Profuse in the extreme, its processions of hot breads, its inordinate use of fat in the form or ham or bacon, and its equally inordinate coffee and spirit drinking, ensured a nation of dyspeptics.
And she makes that sound like a bad thing.

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