Skip to content Skip to Menu KAL Accessibility Statement

OP: The Taste of Country Cooking

Write a review
| Ask a question
by Edna Lewis

Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. Hardcover. Very Good Plus. First printing.

Edna Lewis (1916–2006) played a major role in establishing that southern American country cooking was not just a local phenomenon but a strongly rooted tradition that had much to offer to the nation as a whole. 

Born in a rural Virginia community that her formerly enslaved grandfather helped found, Lewis later became a celebrated New York City restaurant chef, co-owning and cooking at Café Nicholson until the late 1950s and, later, at Brooklyn’s Gage and Tollner. 

Her first book, The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972), favors her professional training with occasional hints at her southern roots, but it was The Taste of Country Cooking (1976) that truly gave a presence to greens, corn pone, and pork cracklings, making an indelible contribution to American culinary heritage.

Here she returns to the food and philosophy of her childhood. "Over the years since I left home and lived in different cities," Lewis wrote, "I have kept thinking about the people that I grew up with and about our way of life. Whenever I go back to visit my sisters and brothers, we relive old times, remembering the past. And when we share again in gathering wild strawberries, canning, rendering lard, finding walnuts, picking persimmons, making fruitcake, I realize how much the bond that held us had to do with food." 

Throughout The Taste of Country Cooking, even as Lewis is providing recipes for sausage cakes, crusty yeast bread, green peas in cream, and braised leg of mutton, she weaves in stories of the people from whom she learned to cook and the events like hog killing time, Christmas, and Revival Week that inevitably led to community gatherings. It's a compelling account of a way of life—we know many people who own the book simply to read it.

It is our true honor to offer a first printing of this classic. Our copy is in Very Good Plus condition with some evidence of use in the kitchen. The jacket, Very Good, is price clipped and bears some creasing, small closed tears, and chipping. Though the book remains in print today, this original edition is a treasured item.

Shopping Cart