Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quintessentially Southern

     The South, much like the rest of America, is a melting pot full of interesting flavors and ingredients.  Admittedly, many southern specialties were not born of the South; however it is in the South where they rose to fame, so to speak, thereby making them quintessentially southern treats.

When you think of sickeningly sweet iced tea, what first comes to mind? The South.

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When you think of shrimp and grits, what comes to mind?  The South.
shrimp grits
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When you think of Gumbo or Chicken Fried Steak or Collard Greens,what comes to mind?  The South.
Hard Knox Cafe soul food
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Sure there are calories and fat, but there's also warmth and tradition.  If you aren't familiar with Mr. Anthony Bourdain's recent comments on Paula Deen's cooking, you may want to scan this article.  Now, it's public knowledge that Mr. Bourdain hasn't always been concerned with putting toxic substances into his system so I'm surprised at his concern for his fellow Americans' intake.  I guess he's preachin' more in the "do as I say and not as I do" choir, as of late, but never you mind.  I've got my own little soap box to hop onto regarding the subject of southern food.

When it comes to southern fare, I'll be the first to admit it isn't the healthiest thing on the planet, but I don't believe that the cuisine should catch all the heat.  There are such things as moderation and exercise.  I'll just leave it at that. Oh, but let me just add (and why not when I'm on a roll), Mr. Bourdain isn't condemning the television, is he?  I thought not.  I mean, why bite the hand that feeds you?!  And last I checked, sitting around watching t.v. programs was just as much at fault in fattening up Americans as, say, any recipe whipped up in the likes of Paula Deen's kitchen.
Paula Deen. photo courtesy Food Network
(Honey, keep doin' what you're doin'!) image source
Well, with that being said, whew.  I've been thinking of getting that off my chest for weeks, but I'd really like to get back to the topic of southern food & drink and what I love about it.
Now, this sounds like a book that I need to check out!
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Firstly, I love the history of it all.  How a food came to be what it is today is interesting to me.  Being one of many G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South), it only makes sense that my food interests center around the area I call home.  I love visiting food museums and reading blogs dedicated to our food's history.

Secondly, I love the memories it evokes.  Nothing says home quite like a southern comforting and tasty.  Which brings me to my last reason- the flavors.

Folks, I'm not a drinker or a smoker or a partaker of any drug prescribed or otherwise so count food as my weakness.  I figure, if I'm gonna be bad, the food better be good! (And you can quote that, y'all)

I plan on creating several posts over the near future to discuss my love affair with southern cuisine.  Do you have a love of southern fare?  If so, please share.

The Kitchen Witch

1 comment:

Sherri B. said...

Hmmm...I do believe I have seen Mr. Snooty Bourdain, puffin' on a good old CANCER STICK !!!