Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: Southern Food


I decided it was time to hit on something that's not unique to me, something that belongs to all Missisippians. Since I talked about my favorite friend eateries yesterday, I thought it would be fun to say goodbye to Southern cuisine.

Now, the first thing I'm going to say is this: I don't think "Southern" is synonymous with "country". I think you can have a good country dinner of meat and potatoes just about anywhere in the US of A. My friend Kodi and I talked about this one time in one of our many discussions about Southerns claiming things that don't truly belong to them (us). Which I think is a fair point. You live in an amazing place, it's tempting to claim everything awesome in the world as yours.

Anyway, I actually thought it would be fun to do a little research. I know what *I* consider Southern cuisine, but I wanted to further explore a bit. Per Wikipedia "The cuisine of the Southern United States is defined as the historical regional culinary form of states generally south of the Mason-Dixon Line dividing Pennsylvania from Maryland and Deleware as well as along the Ohio Rivere, and extending west to southern Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas...The most notable influences come from English, Scottish  Irish, German, French, Native American and African American cuisines. Tidewater, Appalachian, Cajun  Creole, Lowcountry, and Floribeean are examples of types Southern cuisine. In recent history, elements of Southern cuisine have spread north, having an effect on the development of other types of American Cuisine."

The article is really interesting and worth reading. One thing I thought was interesting was Southerner's "propensity for a full breakfast" (as opposed to a Continental one). If ANYTHING screams "Peyton Herrington" it is a propensity for a full breakfast :)

Here are so of my favorite Southern/Mississippi foods (some of which I may have to devote an entire post to):

main dish/meat: fried chicken and catfish (so trite and ovbious, I know)
veggies: greens (turnip greens with lots of salt and ham), mashed potatoes, "lady" peas and butter beans, okra, corn on the cob (pretty much all of it, you can't turn up your nose at a veggie if it's smothered in butter)
snack/appetizer: "stuffed" (deviled) eggs and pimento cheese on a Triscuit
bread: cornbread (again, duh)
dessert: peach cobbler or pecan pie
drink: sweet tea and mint juleps (okay, I like the idea of mint juleps, I actually *hate* them, but the little sterling cups are so pretty, espesially when they are engraved with one's monogram. Right? Right???)
miscellaneous: grits and hushpuppies 

Like I said, I'll probably write more about a few of these, but while saying goodbye to some favorite foods isn't hard like saying goodbye to my house and my meaningful friend experiences, it's not particularly enjoyable. 

I will admit that we ate some tasty things in NYC when we visit a couple of months ago. So here's to trying new things and broadening horizons!

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I smiled when I saw this post because I also wrote on MS food today and will continue the food thread for a couple more posts. Southern food is the best : )