Book CoverThe Slaw and the Slow Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South Edited by James Veteto and Edward Maclin Texas has its barbecue tradition, and a library of books to go with it. Same with the Carolinas. The mid-South, however, is a region with as many opinions as styles of cooking. InThe Slaw and the Slow Cooked, editors James Veteto and Edward Maclin seek to right a wrong–namely, a deeper understanding of the larger experience of barbecue in this legendary American culinary territory. In developing the book, Veteto and Maclin cast a wide net for divergent approaches. Food writer John T. Edge introduces us to Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Arkansas, a possibly century-old restaurant serving top-notch pork and simultaneously challenging race and class boundaries. Kristen Bradley-Shurtz explores the 150-plus-year tradition of the St. Patrick’s Irish Picnic in McEwen, Tennessee. And no barbecue book would be complete without an insider’s story, provided here by Jonathan Deutsch‘s “embedded” reporting inside a competitive barbecue team. Veteto and Maclin conclude with a glimpse into the future of barbecue culture: online, in the smoker, and fresh from the farm. The Slaw and the Slow Cooked stands as a challenge to barbecue aficionados and a statement on the Mid-South’s important place at the table. Intended for food lovers, anthropologists, and sociologists alike, The Slaw and the Slow Cooked demonstrates barbecue’s status as a common language of the South.


The Slaw and the Slow-Cooked has far wider relevance than the Mid-South of its subtitle. Its contributors examine many aspects of America’s oldest Slow Food, from its primeval origins into the age of Twitter and Facebook. They treat their savory subject seriously, but not (thank the Lord) solemnly. You don’t have to be a barbecue nut to enjoy this book, but if you are one, you’ll be in hog heaven.” –John Shelton Reed, co-author, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue
“A rich and informative window on Mid-South barbecue.” –Andrew Warnes, author of Savage Barbecue
“Veteto and Maclin, as well as their contributors, took a road trip down to the crossroads of the Mid-South’s barbecue world. Whether or not they made a deal with the devil, they have returned bearing this fine book that takes seriously the community, the knowledge, and the evolving culture in the barbecue practices of west Tennessee, north Mississippi, Arkansas, and north Louisiana. Read this book to get behind the mythologies and into the anthropology of slow-cooked meats and the ethnography of hotly debated sides.”
–Elizabeth Engelhardt, Associate Professor of American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, author of Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket
Where can I get a copy? Or multiple copies for my class/book club? The book is available for order on,, and of course through Vanderbilt University Press. It is a great read for the barbecue lover; it would also be useful as a companion if you are teaching a food and culture course. Happy reading!