Only Southerners Will Understand These "Strange" Food Combinations
Boston has its Fluffernutter sandwiches (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff) and Minnesota its lingonberries and meatballs. While counterintuitive food combinations are not unique to one region, it’s safe to say that this list of unique Southern food pairings is an illustration of our eccentricity and resourcefulness, our curiosity and our ingenuity.
Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy
While the debate over the origin of chocolate gravy still rages on, there is no arguing that this sweet roux poured over biscuits in the morning trounces any French toast.
Peanut Butter and Mayo
Cobbled together during the Depression, peanut butter and mayo was a recommended combination not only for its affordability but because mayo made rougher peanut butter more spreadable. Appalachian Chef Travis Milton is known to wear a t-shirt advertising the sandwich’s nostalgia factor.
Kool-Aid and Pickles
Better known as “Koolickles,” jars of these Kool-Aid-brined pickles sit on gas station counters across the South, especially in the Delta. While you’ll find plenty of Koolickle experiments on the Internet, the preferred flavor is Cherry for a sweet-salty-tangy trifecta.
Potato Salad and Gumbo
Peanuts and Coke
While dropping legumes in soda might sound nutty to those above the Mason-Dixon, you would be hard-pressed to find a Southerner who doesn’t have memories of doing just that with peanuts and Coca Cola for a salty-sweet treat.
Coleslaw and Hot Dogs
While coleslaw and hotdogs are a natural American pairing, in the South coleslaw isn’t served on the side but rather on top of both hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches. The “slawdog” is a favorite in Alabama where vinegar-y slaw offers a piquant, crunchy counterpoint to the squishy bun and savory frank.
Hot Sauce and Fruit
Tomato Aspic and Mayo
While funeral food in the South is a separate culinary craft, bordering on performance art, there is one item mandatory for burying an self-respecting Deltan according to author Gayden Metcalfe. "Chief among these is tomato aspic with homemade mayonnaise—without which you practically can't get a death certificate."
Sorghum or Maple Syrup and Grits
Although this pairing would seem logical given their essential places on the breakfast table, it still separates Southerners into two camps. We love this recipe from Andrea Meyers.
Fried Pickles and Ranch
Southerners are liable to dip just about anything short of cardboard in Ranch, but for hot and tangy fried pickles, a cup of this cool and creamy dressing is imperative.