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This region is large, and it has more than its share of fine cooks, delectable dishes and a richness of fine writing. Southern cooking can be as sweet as iced tea made with so much sugar that it makes a spoon stand up; it can be as sugar-free as Ms. Dupree’s cornbread, as ethereal as her Angel Biscuits, as spicy as Hot Pepper Relish and as necessary as Pimento Cheese.

“Southern cooking,” says Ms. Dupree, “is the Mother Cuisine of America.” Like her book, it is also very satisfying.

Richard Slusser is a former food and travel editor of The Washington Times.