If you loved "Co-Cola" floats and Nehi, you probably have a Southern drawl.

girl eating watermelon in hammock
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Sure, we could enjoy many of our favorite summer foods all year long, but we choose not to. Something about homemade ice cream in December feels like white shoes after Labor Day. So what Southern foods (and drinks) are we willing to wait all year long to enjoy? We asked our Facebook Brain Trust to tell us all about push-up popsicles and other retro food perfect for summertime. Let us know if we missed anything!


Remember slipping out to Uncle Vern's watermelon patch with the cousins and "bustin'" one to eat on the spot? Or eating a cold watermelon under a shade tree in the hot summertime (knowing full well that Aunt Joyce would claim the whole heart for herself if somebody didn't keep an eye on her)? Mostly, we remember those sweet, drippy wedges.

The Brain Trust Says:
"Did anyone else mention watermelon wedges—not the cute little triangles but slices that were about an 8th of a giant watermelon . . . with salt?!!!


Southerners could sing an ode to the fresh tomato all year long, but when those luscious red globes are actually in season, we really ramp it up.

The Brain Trust Says:
"I love tomato sandwiches on Hillbilly brand bread at the beach! YUM!"
"I remember sandwiches made from homegrown tomatoes and mayo, so juicy that the juice dripped off your chin and onto your shirt."
"We had tomatoes from the vine, with just a little salt sprinkled on."

Homemade Ice Cream

Homemade peach ice cream, homemade vanilla ice cream, any homemade ice cream on the front porch . . . did we mention we love homemade ice cream?

The Brain Trust Says:
"I remember hand-cranking the freezer before we got an electric one."
"I had to sit on a towel on top of the freezer while Daddy cranked it."
"As a small boy, my job was to sit on top of the bucket while Daddy turned the last few cranks."

Ice Cream Libations

Southerners can find all kinds of ways to enjoy ice cream in the summertime—including drinking it. There's a place in this world for a homemade milkshake, a Coca-Cola float, a root beer float, a chocolate malt . . . Remember those spoon-straw contraptions we used to sip/scoop our floats with?

The Brain Trust Says:
"I remember sitting on a stool at T Nesmith's Drug Store in Berney Points, Alabama, sipping a chocolate malt."
"Ooooooh, Lassiter's for milkshakes when I was little! I remember Ma Lassiter sitting in a rocker in the back!"
"Coke floats!!! My favorite memory with my Mammaw and Pappaw!"

On A Stick

Did your Mama have a set of those Tupperware popsicle molds that you could fill with Kool-Aid or juice? Of course she did! But we also loved our Dreamsicles, our orange sherbet push-ups, red-white-and-blue "Bombsicles," banana popsicles, sky-blue popsicles . . .

The Brain Trust Says:
"I loved orange cream pops from the little grocery store in Harpersville, Alabama. When they first debuted there in the 60s, we thought they were great!"
"The orange push-up was my favorite—and then a cold Coke with peanuts in it!"

Speaking of "Co-Cola" and Other Beverages . . .

Not only do we love a Co-Cola in the summertime, but we want it ICE cold—and oh, for those small glass bottles. Mountain Dew is good for an afternoon on the water. And then there's sweet iced tea, the "house wine of the South," as our beloved Truvy called it in Steel Magnolias. Freshly squeezed lemonade. Clear spring water. Coke "Icees." Grapico (in the bumpy bottle). Nehi. Vacation Bible School Kool-Aid (served with cream-filled cookies). What are we forgetting . . . besides RC and MoonPies?

The Brain Trust Says:
"My Aunt Callie made a punch from Welch's grape juice and lemonade."
"I remember COLD water from Uncle Al's spring."
"We had sun tea at Grandma's. The tea sat in the sun on her front porch all day long. She usually had a couple going—one for drinking and another one making. My dad's summertime drink treat was a soda pop with cherry flavoring from the local 5 and dime."


If you think there's nothing uniquely Southern about sandwiches, think again. With the kids out of school, always angling for a snack, Southern mamas can get mighty creative in the summertime. Here's what some of us remember:

The Brain Trust Says:
"After we spent hours swimming in the pool, my mom would slather white bread with butter and sprinkle sugar on top. She did this because that's what her mom made for her when she was a little girl.
"My mama got very creative with summertime sandwiches: mayo and pineapple sandwiches, peanut butter and syrup sandwiches, pickle sandwiches, banana and peanut butter sandwiches, apple and peanut butter sandwiches, etc.

Just a Few to Grow On

The Brain Trust Says:

"I remember Mother's lemon ice box pies—she always made two at a time."
"Ice-cold dill pickles."
"Nutty Buddy."
"Peaches and blackberries."
"Fried fish—and eating the crispy fish tails!"

WATCH: 10 Things Only Southerners Know

Besides putting peanuts in our Coke, or Coke in our ice cream, or ice cream inside sherbet, there are a few more things that Southerners know all about.