Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99, 222 pages
Should you be from Ashville, North Carolina, or anywhere else around the region, Tupelo Honey Café is an excellent addition to your cookbook collection. Anyone who enjoys Southern cooking will also benefit from this cookbook. Nevertheless, with its many historic photos and notes about Ashville, this book will mostly be bought by the locals. The authors feature some 125 recipes over the entire spectrum from basic sauces through sweets, most of which are served at the Café. These are updated traditional relatively simple Southern recipes but don’t believe it that you can make most quickly. Many refer to other pages in the book where one or two (sometimes three) recipes must be prepared in advance to proceed.
Most recipe ingredients are readily available but some (for example honey from a rare, local tupelo tree) would be pretty tough to find. Beer and wine pairing is suggested for main-dish recipes. The recipes are easy to follow though for some gathering all ingredients (17 for Basic Barbecue Sauce) is the most time consuming work. Beautiful photo illustrations include foods, contemporary and historic Ashville. Layout is very good with recipes on single and facing pages. Well cross-reference index is excellent.