12 Dishes Every Southerner Should Know How to Cook

If you ever find yourself inclined to take on a project that is sure to stir up a lot of fuss, ask a group of people about food. I submitted a preliminary list of twelve kitchen essentials for a Southerner to my friends, among them many talented cooks, and it was like throwing a June bug down into a flock of ducks. The pot roast was devastated by a barrage of detractors who claimed that it’s just got Yankee written all over it, the red velvet cake was gunned down as a Waldorf recipe and the pecan pie was mined by a sweet potato. So I substituted a pound cake and sweet potato pie for the red velvet and pecan, stewed greens, which almost lost out to butter beans, for the roast, and achieved some degree of consensus. This list deserves a Purple Heart, at the very least.

Buttermilk biscuits
Cornbread
Pimiento and cheese
Fried chicken
Barbecued ribs
Pound cake
Fruit cobbler
Cornbread dressing
Chicken and dumplings
Sweet potato pie
Banana pudding
Stewed greens

 

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4 Responses to 12 Dishes Every Southerner Should Know How to Cook

  1. Start a restaurant. Serve only this (well, sweet ice tea and the like). Never lack for money, food, or friends again.

    • I don’t know, Joseph; most people these days are going to insist that you put a squash puree with basil on the fried chicken or a bunch of truffles in the cornbread. I’m so tired of people telling me where to eat, what to eat, or how to make a soufflé with peanut butter that I could just lay down and die, but I endure.

  2. David Doggett says:

    Gotta have a bean dish – black-eyed peas, red beans, butter beans, barbecue beans – take your pick. I’d add this in place of banana pudding and pound cake, neither of which are more associated with the South than with other parts of the country.

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