Cornbread is one of those foods that people seem to develop strangely strong feelings about. Not that there’s anything wrong with preferring one type of cornbread over another, but I’m been to a barbecue or two where the argument over whether cake-like cornbread or skillet cornbread was better got even hotter than the grill did! For cornbread fans, The Cornbread Gospels is a cookbook dedicated to the subject. No matter which side of the “cornbread debate” you fall on, you’ll find recipes to suit your tastes in this book, as it covers northern, southern, southwestern and global cornbreads, as well as a host of other recipes that feature cornmeal or are cornbread-like.
The easy-to-read book provides lots of background on the history of cornbread in general, in addition to background on most of the individual recipes. If a particular recipe doesn’t have a long history, it is usually paired with tips for making it or some notes about the inspirations behind it. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and offer a lot of variety – something that might come as a surprise to those who generally pick one type of cornbread and stick with it. In addition to the straight quick-mix cornbreads, there are yeasted cornbreads and plenty of recipes for things like breakfast soft corn crepes and dessert cornmeal pound cake. There are also a few “go with” recipes that pair up with a good batch of cornbread perfectly.
This is definitely a good book for cornbread fans of all kinds. You can cook through the whole book without getting bored, and will probably end up with lots of good ideas on how to make additions to your own favorite cornbread recipe. At the very least, you can try both the northern and southern cornbread, serve them at a summer barbecue, and please even the most ardent which-cornbread-is-better debaters.