Recipes and Stories

26 January 2018: In Defense Southern Cooking, Part II

January 27, 2018

Tags: Southern Cooking, Defining Southern Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Essentials of Southern Cooking, Regional Southern Cooking, In Defense of Southern Cooking

Country fried steak with onion gravy as it’s done in my kitchen and was done in my grandmothers’ kitchens. The variations on this dish across the South’s many cuisines are staggering.
Beginning to Define the Cuisine(s) or, the Tip of the Iceberg

The most useful fact to know in attempting to define Southern cooking is the same one Marcella Hazan addressed of her own native cooking in The Classic Italian Cook Book: “The first useful thing to know about Italian cooking is that, as such, it actually doesn’t exist.”

She goes on to explain that cooking in Italy varies from region to region and from town to town within those regions, so “Italian cooking” isn’t a single cuisine, but a collection of many.

Likewise, the most useful thing to know about Southern Cooking “is that, as such, it actually doesn’t exist.” As is true for Italian cooking, it also is not, and never has been, a single, homogenous cuisine. (more…)