July 23, 2024

Perry Evanoff

Spread Wings

Southern Cooking: An American Tradition

Southern Cooking: An American Tradition


If you’ve ever been to the American South, then you probably know that Southern cooking is a unique and delicious style of food. It’s hard to say exactly how old the tradition is, but it’s something that has changed over time as different cultures came together to produce this unique cuisine. The main ingredient in Southern cooking is fried chicken—and some other staples include meatloaf (a dish made with ground beef mince), sweet potato pie, green beans with ham and even collard greens! Gumbo and jambalaya are both popular dishes too (they’re basically the same thing). So when planning your next trip through America’s South, be sure not only to visit the beautiful cities like New Orleans or Charleston but also make sure you try some traditional southern dishes!

Southern Cooking: An American Tradition

It’s impossible to say that any one group of people is responsible for Southern cooking, because it’s been around for so long.

It’s impossible to say that any one group of people is responsible for Southern cooking, because it’s been around for so long. While we can’t pinpoint the exact moment when southern cuisine was born, it’s clear that this style of cooking has been influenced by many different cultures over time.

Southerners have long been known for their love of comfort food and fried foods–a legacy from Europe that dates back to colonial times. The Spanish colonists brought tomatoes and chile peppers (which they called “peppers”) to North America; Africans brought cornmeal; Native Americans taught European settlers how to grow squash and beans; Irish immigrants taught Southerners how to make yeast breads like biscuits and cornbread–and so on!

The food was influenced by British, African-Americans and Native Americans.

The food of the South is influenced by a multitude of cultures. The British brought their culinary traditions to the area in the 18th century, while African-Americans brought their own culinary culture with them when they were brought here as slaves. Native Americans also had an impact on Southern cooking, as did Spanish missionaries and French settlers who came later on.

The main staple of Southern food is fried chicken.

Fried chicken is a staple in Southern cooking. It’s easy to make, and it’s delicious. Fried chicken can be served with many different sides, such as mashed potatoes and gravy or coleslaw.

Fried chicken may be one of the most famous American foods–and for good reason! Most people associate fried chicken with comfort food or fast food restaurants like KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Another Southern specialty is meatloaf.

Meatloaf is another traditional American dish, dating back to the 19th century. Although it’s often associated with Southern cuisine, meatloaf can be found throughout the United States and even internationally. It’s typically made from ground meat (usually beef), bread crumbs and seasonings like salt and pepper–although there are plenty of variations on this basic recipe!

Meatloaf is most commonly baked in an oven at 350°F until cooked through; however you may also want to cover your loaf pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup afterward if you’re having trouble getting all those little bits out from between your teeth afterwards!

Other traditional foods include sweet potato pie, green beans with ham, collard greens and black-eyed peas.

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Gumbo and jambalaya are also popular in the South.

Gumbo is a stew made with a roux and meat, vegetables and seasonings. Jambalaya is a rice dish usually containing chicken or sausage, along with vegetables such as onions and celery. Both are usually served with cornbread on the side.

Try some traditional southern dishes on your next trip through America’s South

Southern food is more than just fried chicken, barbecue and collard greens. It’s a blend of many cultures that reflect the people who live there–and it’s delicious!

If you’re traveling through America’s South, here are some dishes to try:

  • Gumbo – This stew has everything from okra to sausage in it; it gets its name from an African word meaning “okra.” But don’t worry–it’s not too spicy!
  • Brunswick Stew – This dish contains corn, lima beans and tomatoes along with whatever else you want to throw in there (like sausage). You may even find potatoes floating around if someone makes this dish at home instead of buying it from a restaurant or grocery store ready-made…but don’t worry about those either–they’re delicious!


If you’re traveling through the South, be sure to stop at one of these restaurants and try some of these dishes. You won’t be disappointed!