Deep Southern Cuisine
Southern United States cuisine is unique to its roots depicting the “deep south”. You will find cultural variations from state to state, but most dishes considered southern can be found anywhere you go. Some states are known for their signature item, such as Louisiana Hot Sauce or Georgia Peaches. You will find that all southern states take pride in what they call “comfort food”.
Comfort foods are consumed to improve the emotional status of an individual and are commonly a cultural preference. Southern foods such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pot roast, meatloaf, and casseroles are all considered comfort foods.
There is no shortage of home grown vegetables in the south. Southerners in Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, and Macon enjoy growing watermelon, butter-beans, okra, peppers, squash and tomatoes. Savannah, Georgia and Mobile, Alabama are known for its fresh seafood, including grilled fish, scallops, oysters, alligator tail and fried shrimp. In the south, you can get shrimp any way you want it. Shrimp n’ Grits are a favorite dish throughout the south. Fried catfish is common is areas of Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Jackson.
Have you ever heard the term “soul food?” Head on down to Louisiana, where they are known for their creole cuisine. New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport are home to the many craw fish boils and low-country boils. Cajun food is readily available, along with turnip greens, rice and cornbread.
Great southern BBQ can be found in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Cross Plains Orlindo and Knoxville, Tennessee. BBQ recipes and preferences vary from person to person, but you will find one common thread throughout the south. Each BBQ-er and each smoker thinks their recipe is “the best” and is reluctant to share recipe secrets. Common side dishes are coleslaw and baked beans.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with a tall glass of sweet iced tea and leave room for dessert. Southerners are known for their baked cookies, pies and cakes!