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St. Louis native Joe Johnston explores history, culture of Southern cooking

Author Joe Johnston has several appearances in Jefferson County this weekend as part of the county's bicentennial celebration.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s well known that people eat different foods in different parts of the United States.

The culture and history of one of those areas – the American South – is explored in a new book by St. Louis native Joe Johnston. He’s the author of “Grits to Glory: How Southern Cookin’ Got So Good.”

“Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way but I’ve always been curious about why people eat the things they do in different parts of the country,” Johnston said. “How come we eat stuff down here that folks up north don’t eat?”

Further, Johnston noted that cuisine in Missouri is unique due to the state’s location in the middle of the country.

“I just thought the history of Southern food was fascinating and wanted to write about it,” he said.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Johnston, who has several weekend appearances at Jefferson County Library branches to talk about his earlier book, “Mack Marsden: Another Jefferson County Cold Case Solved.”

Johnston has previously joined Marsh to talk about vigilante justice in Missouri and the notorious Missouri outlaw, Jesse James.

By the way, Johnston also helped invent the McDonald’s Happy Meal and is a Grammy-nominated music writer and producer.

Related Event

What: Jefferson County Library Presents Joe Johnston in "Mack Marsden: Another Jefferson County Cold Case Solved"
When: 3 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2018; 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018
Where: Multiple locations, registration required 
More information

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Caitlin Lallygive you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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