4 Southern Dishes and the Best Cities to Try Them
The American South is home to some of the most interesting and adventurous cuisine in the world. With the combination of soul food cooking, Cajun influence, and region’s wild game, you’ll find some of the best recipes for pork, seafood, and even gator meat.
Whether you’re a born and raised southerner or taking a trip to the south, there are some undeniable standouts in regional cuisine. Here are 4 of the most delectable southern dishes and where you need to try them.
If you’re taking a trip out to New Orleans, you’ve got to get yourself some gumbo. Every gumbo needs to have celery, onions, and bell peppers. From there, a gumbo is usually categorized by the type of thickener, roux, or fat used to make it stick together.
Where it was once a way to throw all sorts of kitchen scraps and leftovers together, it’s now been perfected to such an art that the Smithsonian has taken notice.
Shrimp and Grits
You can find shrimp and grits throughout many parts of the south. In Georgia and South Carolina, you’ll find people mixing all kinds of combinations of seafood and grits. While it’s more often eaten for breakfast, shrimp and grits can be had any time of day.
If you want to get a broad range of takes on the dish, book a hotel for a trip out to Brunswick, Georgia, for the annual Shrimp & Grits Festival. Take a drive 2.5 hours north and compare what you had to the famous shrimp and grits in the Charleston area.
Key Lime Pie
Key limes were brought to Florida in the 1800s by a botanist who imported them from Mexico. Since then, they’ve become ubiquitous in drinks, fruit salads, and desserts. The most important of all of these dishes has to be the key lime pie. Key lime pie has grown from its humble days of mostly condensed milk and merengue. It’s now been turned into chocolate-dipped popsicles, hard candy, and even soda. The standard Florida diner key lime pie is still an undefeated classic.
Brunswick stew is a cousin to gumbo, but with a bit of a twist. German immigrants supposedly brought the dish to Virginia along with the standards of a tomato base, beans, meat, and vegetables. The most common take on the dish involves chicken.
While it can resemble a soup with meat, it’s often thicker than a traditional soup, much like gumbo. The most common variations on the dish will include more meat and vegetables than soup base.
From Memphis barbecue to the peach cobbler of Georgia, every part of the south has their own set of recipes and distinct flavors. No matter what you’re interested in trying, there is sure to be a dish that will whet your appetite. Spend enough time in the south and you may even end up taking a side in the age-old battle of whether you should eat grits with salt or with sugar.