The food of the South is not only one of the best kinds of cuisine one can find in the United States, but it's also one of the most diverse. This food takes its influence from a number of continents, mostly Africa and Europe, with emphasis on countries like Spain, France and Ireland. It makes use of a variety of cooking techniques, which include but are not limited to frying, barbecuing and stewing. And although Southern food is known for its rich flavors, it's also known for not being one of the healthiest food options. Nonetheless, these foods are here to stay, and ingredients like corn, okra, rice and black-eyed peas will forever frequent the recipes.
But it takes more than knowing what kind of foods are usually served to call yourself an expert when it comes to Southern food. First, you need to know what the dishes are called. And that's what we're here to find out today. Do you know enough about the food of the South to name all these dishes correctly?
We're going to show you some of the most popular Southern foods, and it's your job to name them correctly. Prove to us and everybody else that you know your stuff. Prove it to us in this quiz.
This meal partly gets its name from the cooking style rather than ingredients - chicken fried steak contains no chicken. Instead, it is steak, breaded or coated with seasoned flour and pan-fried; it is also very similar to country fried steak.
Long believed to be gifted to the U.S. by early German settlers, potato salad has many variations. This side dish is made with potatoes and various other ingredients, such as chives, onions, red peppers and mayonnaise, to name a few.
Also referred to as "red links," these are made using a blend of pork and beef. Hot link sausages are just as the name says - hot. Along with meat, additional ingredients include spices, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and paprika.
Quite similar to gumbo, jambalaya originates in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is prepared in much the same manner as gumbo, but without the use of a thickener. Common ingredients are chicken breast, sausage, rice, Cajun seasoning and shrimp.
This oatmeal-like dish is made with corn, which is ground into a coarse meal and then boiled. Grits has its roots with the Native American Indians and was later adapted in the Southern United States.
Mac and cheese, which is also called macaroni and cheese or macaroni pie, is a classic comfort food of English origin. The dish is made with boiled macaroni and a cheese sauce (commonly cheddar), but may include other ingredients, such as bread crumbs, vegetables or meat. It's often baked as a casserole, but a simpler version can be made on the stovetop.
Ham hock, also commonly known as pork knuckle, is the joint right above the pig's foot. In Southern cooking, it is used as an essential ingredient for flavoring many dishes and may be cooked with various vegetables or added to soups and sauces.
This savory liquid is made from the juices and brown bits left over from cooking meats, often thickened with cornstarch or flour. Gravy commonly accompanies mashed potatoes, rice, meatloaf or roasts. Southern U.S. variants include cream gravy and brown gravy.
Corn on the cob is the culinary term used for sweet corn eaten on the cob. It is also referred to as sweet pole, cornstick, pole-corn, butter-pop or long maize. Corn on the cob is seasoned with salt, butter and black pepper and may be roasted, grilled, fried or boiled.
A caramel cake is usually a cake that has been smothered in, you guessed it, caramel. Sometimes bakers add more caramel in as a filling. It can take quite some time to make, but it's more than worth it.
Often pronounced as "chitlins," this delicacy is made from the small intestine of a pig, or sometimes made with the intestines of cattle and other animals. Chitterlings were eaten by slaves during that time in history, but are now considered to be a special-occasion dish by many.
Formerly used to refer only to the tail of an ox, "oxtail" has evolved from just oxen to describe the tail of any cattle. Due to its gelatin-rich composition, it is often used in soups and stews as a thickener.
In Southern cuisine, the greens of turnips are harvested and prepared with bacon grease or ham. Often the greens are seasoned with onion, black pepper, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and sugar.
Considered unpalatable to some, chicken liver can also be a delicacy to others. Despite being unpopular, it is rich in iron and can be prepared tastily. It can be battered and fried or served as pate, among many options.
Also called black-eyed beans or goat peas, these were first cultivated in West Africa. A main ingredient in many soul food meals, black-eyed peas are also seen as a good luck food that brings prosperity if eaten on New Year's.
Otherwise known as okro or lady fingers, okra is an edible green pod that becomes very slimy when cooked. It is a main ingredient in gumbo and is used in many other dishes, in baked, pickled, fried or sauteed form.
Also known as a Johnny cake, a hoe cake is an unleavened flatbread made by mixing cornmeal, salt and water, along with perhaps some eggs and milk. The thick dough is then grilled over an open fire or fried in a skillet.
This sweet treat is of Southern origin and is a holiday must-have. It is made by mixing pecans with a filling made of butter, eggs, sugar (most often corn syrup), vanilla and salt, and perhaps some bourbon whiskey. Pecan pie can be served with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or hard sauce.
These little savory treats are made using cornmeal, wheat flour, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, eggs and salt, and sometimes scallion, garlic, pepper or whole kernel corn. They are made into balls and fried, then they are typically served as a side dish for seafood and other deep-fried foods.
Similar to kale and broccoli, these short leafy plants are a staple in Southern cuisine. They are typically prepared with diced onions, pepper, salt, onion, garlic, oil and smoked meats like ham hocks or turkey drumsticks.
Many dishes can be made from the large, sweet-tasting and starchy tuberous roots which are commonly served as a side dish. Sweet potatoes may be prepared like mashed potatoes, in a casserole, as fries or chips, as a pie, or even as a spin on the usual potato salad.
Ubiquitously touted as a food of choice, this dish is made from seasoned chicken pieces which have been battered, breaded or floured, and then fried. The dish is a combination of West African seasoning techniques and Scottish frying techniques.
Also going by the moniker of Carolina Peas and Rice, this is a dish Southerners associate with prosperity. The main ingredients are rice, black-eyed peas, bacon, chopped onion and salt.
A New Year's Day good luck food is hog jowl, which is also called pork jowl or jowl bacon. This refers to the smoked and cured cheeks of pork. It usually accompanies black-eyed peas or greens.
Sweet potato pie is traditionally served as an American dessert, popular during the holiday season. It is made with a filling of mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs and evaporated milk, along with spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon or allspice, placed in an open pie shell and baked.
This small, leavened quick bread with its soft, flaky interior and firm browned crust is as Southern as it gets. Made using all-purpose flour, baking powder or baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and butter or shortening, biscuits are often eaten for breakfast alongside gravy, honey or sausage.
This tasty source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids is served in many countries. It is dipped in batter or flour after being seasoned, then fried and served with a slice of lemon. Fried fish generally refers to any type of fish or shellfish served in this manner.
Anyone who likes sausage should know that fatback is often added for flavor. Fatback can be salted and cured, becoming salt pork, which is used as flavoring for vegetables, black-eyed peas, green beans and leafy vegetables.
The ribs of a pig are cooked after being seasoned and sometimes glazed by grilling, smoking or baking, then served with a sauce, typically barbecue. This is one of the most popular Southern classics and is loved in Western and Asian cultures.
The name "red drink" can be attributed to several drinks for Southerners. This includes but is not limited to the Alabama Slammer, a cocktail composed of sloe gin, amaretto, orange juice and Southern Comfort. It may also refer to red Kool-Aid which is either strawberry or cherry flavored, or a carbonated red soda.
Another quick bread popular in the South is cornbread. It is made with cornmeal and generally leavened with baking powder. This is another dish adapted from Native American recipes - Johnny cakes and hushpuppies are variants. Muffins can also be made from this recipe.
While savory cobblers are a thing for a sparse few in the South, peach cobbler is the reigning champion of desserts, often served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. During the Second World War, cobblers were one of the preferred dishes because they require less butter than pastries.
With its origins in Great Britain, this age-old classic is a type of cake which is simply made with a pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. The batter is then baked in a loaf pan and can be lightly glazed, dusted with powdered sugar or given a coat of icing.
Falling in the category of New Year's Day prosperity food, this dish is made of the external wall of a pig's stomach. It can be stewed, fried or baked. Often the stomach is stuffed with potatoes and sausage. Some restaurants refer to it as "Susquehanna turkey" or "Pennsylvania Dutch goose."
This is a relatively easy holiday side dish and is made by mashing peeled, boiled potatoes and mixing them with salt, cream and butter. This accompaniment to meals is a must-have for holidays.
The treasure and "national" dish of the state of Louisiana is this heavily seasoned delight. Gumbo is essentially made of a richly flavored meat or shellfish stock, a thickener such as okra, filé powder or roux, various meats and fish, and vegetables - particularly onions, bell peppers and celery.
This Native American-derived classic is made by extracting milky residue from pulped corn. Alternate recipes include an addition of milk, starch or sugar. It can also be found in a can at most grocery stores.
Similar in preparation to collard greens, this is a well-known product of Southern kitchens. The mustard green leaves are cooked with bacon, chicken broth, vinegar, onion and seasonings, such as salt and ground black pepper.
Made famous by Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," crackling bread is simply pork cracklings baked into cornbread. Even more flavor can be added with chives, peppers or cheese.
Sweet tea is a popular style of iced tea which is made by adding sugar to black tea while it's in the process of brewing or still hot. Flavoring like lemon or peach may be added as well.