Besides our glowing skin, our charming accents, the unusual way we talk and the fact that most of the time we’re cuter; what people really like about Southern Women is our Food! I mean who doesn’t like:
- Fried chicken, real macaroni and cheese
- Green beans, cornbread,
- Blackberry cobbler, sweet potato casserole
- and our Banana pudding?
So, every once in a while I feel I should warn folks about seriously misguided phrases, so you can avoid being trapped into eating something not at all like Real Southern food! For instance, if someone says-
- ‘I found a new recipe for fruitcake and it doesn’t even taste like fruitcake!’ – Don’t believe ’em. We don’t say that for Fried Pies, Blackberry Cobbler, Banana Pudding or Mimi’s Pound Cake! And really why would you even want to make a fruitcake that doesn’t taste like fruitcake? Only a fruitcake, if you get my drift…
If someone wants you to try something called ‘Southern Style’ – well, it’s a fad. If style is added after Southern- Don’t believe ’em…it’s against the truth in advertising law. We all love to be stylish but don’t mess with our food! I’m also leery if someone says- ‘ I make oven fried chicken’. No, darlin’… this is how you say it-‘Ah’m gonna fry some chicken.’ Here’s the clencher for true Southern cooking- if she has the burn marks to prove it; pulls up her sleeve- points to a place and says ‘Easter, 1998’ – and that place is ‘March 2001’. That is physical proof of someone who can actually fry chicken- not style or oven fry chicken!
But the real term to avoid is: ‘It tastes just like…’
- No, Honey, Alligator does not taste just like Chicken- it’s tough and chewy…not even a tom turkey is as tough as alligator! Just say- It’s alligator, try it if you dare and add that white alligator meat is better than dark.
- Sweetheart, Frog Legs do not taste just like chicken! Someone tried to pass off Buffalo Frog Legs on me one time and I was not fooled by that Yankee for a New York minute!Fried Frog legs are common in the South and lots of people like ’em, but Faithful Frog Leg Lovers are proud to place an order for Fried Frog Legs please ma’am.
- Bless your heart, I hope you nevah believe that Turtle tastes just like chicken– go ahead and try our high faloutin’ Turtle Soup but please don’t ever compare it to chicken!
- No Darlin’-Rattlesnake does not taste just like chicken- I’ve been to that rodeo before…and I looked like someone gaggin’ on a maggot when I was told what I was really eating! Honestly since Eve pawned off that Apple on Adam- Southern men will go to any lengths to pass off Reptiles and Am-phib-ians as chicken! Don’t believe ’em.
- No Precious- Soy Burgers, Emu or Buffalo steaks do not taste just like beef and believe me in a state like Alabama where cattle are raised in every single county? We do know Real Beef.
- And Tater Tot- Turkey Bacon cannot compare to the only meat designed to produce real Bacon-Don’t believe ’em…you have to go Whole Hog to get real bacon!
- Imitation or Mock Crab does not taste like Alabama Blue Crab! And while I’m at it- Don’t believe ’em if they say Crawfish tastes like a cross between lobster or shrimp! Crawfish is a delicacy on it’s own! *please note: It is a cross we bear, but please-Southerners do not say Cray-fish! That really sticks in this Southern girl’s craw!
Today I was amusing myself by reading one of my favorite cookbooks- Don’t even think about asking me which one, I cannot bear for cornbread to be shown such disrespect– Some woman, whose ancestors, no doubt are Carpetbaggers; was Scalawag enough to pawn off a recipe called ‘No Corn Bread’ – really! She actually wants folks to use Cream of Wheat instead of our revered Corn Meal! I tossed the cookbook away from me in abject horror. I couldn’t believe it! Why mess with perfection?Though as I’m writing this, I have to think that the cook who submitted- No Corn Bread must either be flush with money or not very well liked. Some Junior Leaguer is surely grinning like a possum- that she included such an irreverent recipe in the final draft! You might as well be warned, don’t put too much credence in food styles, any recipe that says ‘mock’ or ‘tastes just like’ are food traps! Be warned, they are out there and often passed off as Real Southern Food.- Don’t believe ’em.
Love y’all, Camellia
*note: There is an actual Rattlesnake Rodeo held in Opp Alabama if you ever get a hankering for real rattlesnake!. We might be the only State in the Union to have one town name Opp and another called Epp! Many years ago, I had a dear friend who had travelled from her home in New England cross country- She could not believe that she passed through OOPS on one side of the state and on the other side. she passed through EEPS, yes, that’s my sweet home Alabama!
Fruitcake photo is from www.commons.wikimedia, Black Chickens from www.publicdomainpictures.net All other photographs are my own.