The U.S. is often called a melting pot of people and cultures, but this is especially true when it comes to the cooking and cuisine of the southern states. Early colonists from England brought their own cooking style, which merged over time with techniques used by the Native Americans. The arrival of French, Spanish and French-Canadian settlers brought even more food options, notably the Cajun and Creole cuisine that is so popular in modern-day Louisiana. And of course, there is the African influence brought about by the slave trade, as millions of people from West Africa brought the flavors and cooking methods of their home countries across the Atlantic.
If you haven't spent much time down South, you might not even know about about the classic dishes you're missing out on, but that doesn't mean you'll never get the chance to settle down to a glass of sweet tea or a steaming plate of jambalaya. While there's nothing like chowing down on fried green tomatoes at a small-town cafe in Alabama, or scooping up flavorful shrimp and grits in Charleston, you'd be surprised how easy it is to make many of these recipes for yourself, no matter where you live. Ready to explore the very best dishes from the American south? Feast your eyes on these southern specialties — no reservations required!