At some point, the true heritage foods of the Southern United States were lost, obscured or perverted.
I think most people are more likely to associate Paula’s Deen’s brand of deep fried, sweetened foods with the South.
But the true heritage foods of this region: smoked meats, cured meats and fresh vegetables.
I travel regularly in the Carolinas and Tennessee, often by car. Barbecue is widely available in small stores an roadside stands offering meats smoked with a variety of wood smoke and sauces, depending on the region.
The traditional ‘cue of the region: pork and chicken is featured on the menu. (Beef is more of a feature of the cattle states like Texas.) Alongside the ‘cue in the best of the restaurants are fresh vegetables – everything from green beans to collard or mustard greens. A lot of barbecue joints seem to resort to using frozen or canned vegetables instead, but that’s can be forgiven if the barbecue is good enough.
Is there anything more primal than meat cooked slowly over a smoky fire? Probably not!