Southern food

As y’all may or may not know, I’m a Southern studies major (but you’ve probably already heard this because I’m obsessed with it).  I spend a lot of time thinking about Southern culture, of which food is a huge part of it.  More time than I really want to admit to is spent thinking about food, researching food, eating food, writing about food and then wishing I was eating more food.  I’ve read probably every list of “Best Southern foods” on the Internet and I’ve taken copious notes on the history of shrimp and grits and barbecue.  If you didn’t start out reading this thinking Southern studies is the coolest major ever, I hope I’ve changed your mind.  If not, I’m not sure what can top having food every other class.

When people think “Southern food” or “soul food,” images of fried food almost always come to mind, whether it’s in the form of fried chicken or a fried candy bar.  And while those are almost always present in Southern cuisine, residents of the South know that Southern food is so much more than just fried food.  We know that we have some of the most delicious dishes in the country.  So, I give to you some delicious Southern food dishes that I think are spring-appropriate – devoid of any fried foods, and perhaps not quite what you typically think of when it comes to Southern foods.

Hoppin John is a dish traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day – the black-eyed peas are supposed to bring you good luck!  Though the New Year has come and gone, Hoppin’ John is a staple of Southern food.  Depending on what you read, the ingredients will vary, but the dish usually includes black eyed peas, rice, pork, onions and Cajun spices.

To me, banana pudding is the quintessential Southern dessert.  I associate banana pudding with fellowship dinners at church when I was little.  Banana pudding is also ridiculously easy to make and perfect to eat once it gets hot, since you eat it chilled!

Confession: grits are my favorite food ever.  I’ve been eating grits for breakfast for almost 20 years now.  Grits are my ultimate comfort food.  For breakfast, all I do is put a bit of butter in them, but shrimp and grits is also a classic Southern entree.  The addition of shrimp and cheese makes grits more substantial for a larger meal.

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  1. Pho Tai and Chicken Fried Steak | Two Different Girls

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