the MBB's top southern dishes
10 of our favorite traditional southern cuisines
Traditional southern foods are enjoyed world 'round. From state to state, you can find endless renditions of the classics, but nothing beats the simplicity of southern fare in its basic form. Here are 10 of our favorite foods from the south.
1. Shrimp + Grits
Said to have started as a fisherman’s breakfast, shrimp and grits have become a southern staple served all times of the day. This is a great meal to get you moving and keep you moving all day without feeling weighed down.
Tip: Many variations of the classic shrimp and grits have been popping up all over. Do your taste buds a favor and try them all! You won’t be disappointed.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are a great meal starter. The firmness and tartness of the unripe tomato allows this southern favorite to stand out.
Tip: Always have a sauce to complement the green tomatoes. A tangy buttermilk or traditional remoulade sauce are always winners.
3. Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is as southern as a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby. Every person who has fried up a batch has their own personal twist and seasonings, however, nothing beats crispy skin!
Tip: Make sure your grease is hot, hot, hot! If the grease isn’t hot enough, your chicken will not be crispy.
4. Chicken + Waffles
Fun Fact: The chicken and waffle meal originated in Philadelphia as a replacement for catfish during a shortage. Catfish or chicken, I’d take both. This is always a good breakfast mix-up that’s is sure to please.
Tip: Create different flavors of waffles. Also, try mini waffles for bite size fun!
5. Brunswick Stew
Whether its origins are in Brunswick, GA or Brunswick County, VA remain unknown. But what is known is Brunswick Stew is a hearty, stick to your ribs kind of food. It can be either a side dish or the whole meal.
Tip: Play with the recipe to make it your own. Add potatoes, different veggie or meats. This is really a good way to clear your fridge of leftovers.
6. Lower Alabama Caviar
Lower Alabama Caviar is one of my favorites. This can be served as a side, with chips, crostini, etc. This dish is also vegan and inexpensive, so it can be enjoyed by everyone and won’t break the bank.
Tip: Allow the salad to sit overnight before serving. The crisp chill and the marriage of flavors will leave you wanting more!
Gumbo is a delectable soup. The simplicity of ingredients and boldness of flavors come together to make an experience you are sure to never forget. Do not be scared to try different variations of the classic gumbo.
Tip: A great gumbo starts with the roux. Give the roux time to brown and mix properly so you do not end up with an undesired texture to your soup base.
8. Red Velvet Cake
I am still uncertain if the chocolate flavor of the red cake or the cream cheese frosting is my favorite. Fun fact: The Red Velvet Cake was originally served at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NY and called the Waldorf-Astoria Cake!
Tip: Do not attempt to stack more than 4 layers. Your cake has a higher chance of falling. And we don’t need such a pretty cake getting messed up!
9. Hush Puppies
Hunters, fishermen, and others would fry the extra batter they would have and feed it to the dogs to “hush the puppies” during cookouts and fish fries. Now we have learned how wasteful that was and what we were missing out on!
Tip: Add some chopped shrimp, crab meat, and other seafoods to add a twist to this classic.
10. Deviled Eggs
These little beauties never make it through round 2. The variations are endless so you can let your creativity fly.
Tip: Sprinkle some smoked paprika on the top of traditional deviled eggs. The flavor is out of this world.