Yes, food in South Carolina is rooted deeply in tradition. But, food in the South is also a lifestyle! Some families will serve the same meal every Sunday of the month. Others find weekends are the perfect time for sharing a meal. Even Southerners by birth don’t truly understand the meaning of the traditional foods passed down from generation to generation. But, this every Southerner knows, food is not something to eat, it is a lifestyle!
Here are our Top Ten Tasty foods that one may find on most Southern meal tables during any given day. They are in no particular order.
You just have to taste grits to really appreciate something made from the husk of corn. We have the Native Americans to thank for this food staple. Most Southerners were raised on a breakfast of grits, eggs and toast. Lots of cream and butter are the secret ingredients no matter what someone else may say. Add the butter and go heavy on the cream. The big craze today is to pair grits with shrimp. Can it get any better than grits and seafood?
Southern Sweet Tea
South Carolina is the only region of the US to have a tea plantation that is located in Charleston. So, it is only fitting this concoction of tea leaves and lots of sugar is our state’s best liquid asset served in a glass. Southerners shudder at the thought of an artificial sweetener being used in this sacred drink.
Or as most Southerners call it—blacked-eyed peas and rice! There are folks who think the only difference between these two descriptions is the type seasonings used. Southerners will tell you everything is seasoned with fatback!
This creamy, cheesy luscious mixture is best served on white bread. Some have called it the ‘caviar of the South’ for years. It is the staple for a picnic or Saturday lunch. Adding a little garlic salt makes it so much better.
It may seem a bit strange to boil a nut in salt and then eat it. But, boiled peanuts are one of the most amazing foods the South is known for these days. It is salty goodness in a shell. They are best right out of the pressure cooker but are just as tasty when they are cold.
Yes, every region of the country eats tomatoes but the South is known for serving tomatoes at breakfast. Some folks like to cut their breakfast buttermilk biscuit in half and add a slice of tomato. But, the all-time favorite way to eat this bright red vegetable is simply between two pieces of white bread. A little spread of mayo and some salt and pepper and you have a lip-smacking sandwich.
Nearly every small town in South Carolina has a BBQ restaurant. It is just necessary to the well-being of the community that delicious pork be readily available for consumption. Whether it is mustard based or ketchup based sauce, the secret is in the slow cooking of this meat.
No food experience in the South Carolina is complete until you try at least one type of seafood we get from our coastal area. A favorite is always going to be boiled shrimp, corn and potatoes. Most Southerners did not grow up calling it ‘Lowcountry Boil’. It was simply referred to as ‘shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes’! Legend is a NY food critic came up with the Lowcountry Boil description. Whatever you call it, be sure to spread this mixture of foods out on newspaper and have lots of paper towels close by for sticky fingers.
What a Southern tradition this tasty ooey-gooey pie is for holidays and special occasions. The secret ingredient according to the cook in the house is to let your butter and eggs get room temperature. And, of course, you want the freshest pecans. By the way, most folks from the South pronounce the nut this way, p-can!
The final food that describes the eating habits of Southerners is the South Carolina peach. Spring and Summer would not be the same without fresh peaches. South Carolina is second only to the state of California in the production of peaches. However, we are by far #1 in how delicious the peach tastes. The most popular way to eat them is simply to bite into the peach and let the juice roll down your mouth and chin! Homemade peach cobbler and ice cream are also two great ways to enjoy this fruit rich in Vitamin A. The secret to a good peach cobbler? Lots of butter on top.
Enjoy these Southern favorites!