The NYT just wrote about Southern food mentioning Paula Deen at the very start. Their headline picture shows pigs eating rotten vegetables off a dirt trail in the fall with a close-up of one of the animal’s mouths open. The caption reads that the farmer watches his pigs eat the tomatoes. Then a 2 page story detailing Southern cooking follows.
NYT opening 2 paragraphs: “It’s not hard to get Emile DeFelice riled up. Just mention Paula Deen, the so-called queen of Southern food, who cooks with canned fruit and Crisco. Or say something like “You don’t look like a Southern pig farmer.” He’ll practically hit the ceiling of his Prius.
Because there are a few things about Southern food that the man just can’t stand: its hayseed image, the insiders who feed that image and the ignorant outsiders who believe in it.”
Middle: “These days, in high-end Southern restaurants, the hoppin’ John is most likely to be made with creamy-textured red peas and heirloom rice, flavored with artisanal bacon fat and fresh herbs grown by the chef — past and present, coming together in delicious new ways.”
End: “Today, purists believe, Southern cooking is too often represented by its worst elements: feedlot hams, cheap fried chicken and chains like Cracker Barrel.” The final quote is from DeFelice who says his mother did not cook like that.
The story I wrote for a nationally syndicated publisher about government making a mockery of a Southern lunch was deleted and they never explained their decision to me. The point is not to whine about it but compare their decision to delete to the NYT’s to run.