7 Things Only A Southerner Would Try To Bring Through Airport Security

‘Tis the season for ferrying Mama’s cheese straws across the country.

Molded Cranberry Salad
Photo: Hector M Sanchez

There’s no place like home for the holidays, and if you’re a Southern transplant living beyond the Mason-Dixon line, there’s a good chance you’ll try to bring a little piece of the region with you when it comes time to fly back to wherever your new home may be. From homemade snacks to family heirlooms, here are seven items only a Southerner would dare attempt to bring through airport security.

A Frozen Casserole

If there’s one thing Southern cooks know their way around, it’s a casserole that “freezes beautifully.” Whether it’s turkey tetrazzini or chicken and sausage jambalaya, make sure that the contents of your 9x13 are frozen solid. Runny casseroles will qualify as a liquid, and there’s nothing more depressing than watching a TSA officer pour Aunt Trudy’s green bean casserole into the trash.  

Congealed Salads

If it wiggles, jiggles, or has the word “fluff” in the name, you’ll likely need to satisfy your craving before heading through airport security, as we don’t think it quite qualifies as a solid. Mama’s leftover marshmallows, however, are fair game for a carry-on snack. 

Gravy, of Any Kind

TSA doesn’t care if it’s sausage, tomato, or chocolate. Gravy is a liquid, so unless you’re planning to travel with it in a clear vessel that’s 3.4 ounces or smaller, you’ll have to check it—and to us, that seems like risky business. 

Cast Iron Cookware

If you’re tempted to slip your grandmother’s heirloom-worthy skillet into your carry-on, think again. While TSA says that “pots and pans are generally allowed in both carry-on and checked bags,” cast iron is only allowed to fly if it’s packed in your checked luggage. Plan accordingly.

Homemade Cheese Straws

Stale pretzels, who? In-flight snacks leave more than a little to be desired, and we wouldn’t ever be caught hungry on a travel day. While creamy cheese products are limited to just 3.4 ounces for carry-on bags, thankfully, crunchy, craveable cheese straws can accompany you from takeoff to landing. 

Local Shrimp

While your seat neighbor may loathe you, yes, you can carry on your fresh-caught crustaceans. That said, you’ll need to keep them on ice packs that are frozen solid for the entirety of your travel day, so cross-country fliers, this seafood souvenir probably isn’t for you.

Banana Pudding

Go ahead and get your fill of the local barbecue joint’s fruity dessert while you’re in town, because this liquid-y dessert will land on the no-fly list—unless, of course, it’s in a container that measures in at less than 3.4 ounces, but what’s the point in a serving size like that?

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