Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Southern Food Tradition


In the South we take eating seriously.  
Eating is a ritual...we are either eating, talking about eating, or thinking about eating.  
We are serious about our food.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a prevailing belief outside of the South that southern cuisine consists mainly of mayonnaise-laden or processed-food casserole dishes.  It is simply not true!  While those recipes do exist they by no means constitute the whole of our culinary heritage.

I would be hard pressed to recall eating processed food while growing up.  In addition to a quite large vegetable garden, producing an abundance of fresh vegetables for canning, sharing, and enjoying fresh, my father had a small fruit orchard to the side of our house providing us with everything we could possibly need.
Our meals were simple, nutritious, and delicious with nary a preservative in sight. I promise that cherries picked early in the morning, with your nightgown hem wet from the dew, to be a far superior treat than anything produced by Little Debbie.  

Blessed to have evolved at the hands of settlers from countries with rich and wonderful food traditions, the lineage of many Southern recipes can be directly traced back to France, Spain, Mexico, and West Africa.  And, being an agrarian society, we are doubly blessed with rich soil and our famous southern climate.  

From farmers tending their many acre farms to fine southern ladies tending their backyard tomatoes, southerners have always seen food as something that should be of the highest quality and highly respected.


2 comments :

  1. Beautifully written, ma'am. While my mother often included a Moon Pie in with my school lunch, the stereotypes of Southern food being synonymous with junk food apply only to a rather small part of the Southern population - or at least that used to be the case. The main point to be taken away from this is that no matter what your meals WERE like, you have a choice starting right now. Southern culture covers a broad spectrum, from the best to ... well, some we would rather not claim. We who take pride in our Southern heritage must embrace the best of our culture. Thank you for consistently bringing out only the best in The Subtle Details.

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  2. Mr. McGehee, thank you for your lovely words and I completely agree...no matter what your meals were before, there is a choice as to how we eat now. I have been quite fortunate in my travels throughout most of the United States and I can testify to the fact that every region contains more than a few places/people others would not chose to claim. Unfortunately, I always feel as if our Southern heritage and culture is the last group to be socially acceptable to ridicule. It is my dearest wish that The Subtle Details will help to dispel some of the media promoted stereotypes of our beloved Southern culture.

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Comments are appreciated and always welcomed, but please remember...
"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not." ~ Mark Twain