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Regional Food Favorites: Dishes of the Deep South

Updated on July 9, 2011

Traveling provides a terrific opportunity to try regional food favorites that are hard-to-find – or at least uncommon – in the corner of the world that you call home. Every region has its own local food favorites and the Deep South of the U.S. is certainly known for many different types of traditional southern dishes.

Five Must-Try Southern Dishes

The next time you’re visiting Dixie, be sure to enjoy several meals that have true local flavor. Here are a few regional food favorites that you should try on your next trip to the Deep South:

1. Fried Chicken

No visit to the Deep South is complete without a meal of fried chicken. While this dish isn’t exclusive to the South, it seems that southern cooks seem to have a special touch with this tasty main dish.

If you’ve only had fried chicken from one of the chain restaurants with locations throughout the country, you haven't really tried genuine southern fried chicken. If you really want to experience the flavor of the south, you owe it to yourself to visit a down-home country cooking style restaurant and enjoying a serving of home cooked fried chicken the next time you are passing through a southern state.

2. Deep Fried Pickles

Even though I’ve lived in the South my life and am fully aware that southerners will fry just about anything, this dish seemed odd even to me when I first became aware of it. It didn't seem strange once I tasted it, though.

This dish is surprisingly delicious. It's generally served as an appetizer, but I sometimes order an appetizer portion of deep fried pickles as a meal. Once you taste deep fried pickles yourself, you’ll understand why this strange-sounding dish should be near the top of any southern food favorites list.

3. Fruit Cobbler

Southern cooks have mastered the art of preparing delicious cobblers from many different types of fruit. When you visit the south, you’ll likely find restaurants serving piping hot peach cobbler, apple cobbler, cherry cobbler, blueberry cobbler and blackberry cobbler. Be sure to try a serving (or several) topped off with vanilla ice cream.


4. Grits

While grits are among the most popular breakfast food and side dish items in the Deep South, they’re not at all common in other parts of the country. No visit to the Deep South is complete without trying this traditional dish. Truly, there’s not much that tastes better than grits and toast in the morning or a side dish of cheese grits served with fried seafood.

Note: If you've never tried cheese grits as a side for seafood, be sure to stop by Ed's Seafood Shed in Spanish Fort, Alabama if you drive through the state on I-10 and order a Yo Mamma's Platter. It's worth your time!

5. Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

If you order grits for breakfast during your next trip to the Deep South, consider adding on a serving of biscuits and sausage gravy to your order. You’ll get a plate with a couple of biscuits that have been cut in half and that have been slathered with white gravy that has chunks of bulk sausage in it.

What Are Your Favorite Southern Dishes?

These are only a few of the many tasty dishes that are associated with southern dining. What are your favorite southern dining delights? Feel free to share in the comments section below.


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  • catgypsy profile image

    catgypsy 6 years ago from the South

    Great hub! I live in Alabama too and have for most of my life. I love black-eyed peas!