Melissa's Reviews > Fried Chicken: An American Story

Fried Chicken by John T. Edge
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's review
Mar 04, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: food, history, cookbook, non-fiction

Fried Chicken is the first in a series by John Edge that explores different American foods. Or at least those foods that Americans claim as their own. And this book combines a little bit of history with cookbook and food travel writing.

Fried Chicken explores all the fried chicken of the regions. Southern to Ohio to New York's chicken wings to out on the west coast in Seattle. In each area, he details the history of the area and fried chicken and then goes on to explore a restaurant or two in the area. He lists out the merits (or downfalls) of each one. And at the end of the section he includes a recipe that's supposed to represent the fried chicken of the area.

This is about food, not people. But there are some people that he focuses on. Mainly the cooks, who all seem to be characters of their own sort. But one thing ties them together, their love of food. And Edge seems to take great love in eating the food he travels all over to try. I especially liked the two ladies who worked at an inn and had for over fifty years, just like their mother before them. They were the most endearing story in the whole book.

As for the readability of the book, I didn't really like it. It was too jumbled for my tastes. I liked the history, the recipes and the reviews of different places, but each chapter was way too short to really get the point across. We were reading about wings in New York when way too soon we were down in Tennessee learning about hot chicken. It was just little snippets of everything mashed together. And while some of it was interesting, it just didn't feel thorough. But it was a quick read.

I'll still read more of the series because I like anything involving food. And there were some neat stories in this one. But I think he could have really made this into something special. Although he did make me want to infuse honey with rosemary.

Fried Chicken: An American Story
Copyright 2004
180 pages

Review by M. Reynard 2013

More of my reviews can be found at

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