Known as American comfort food, classic Southern cuisine includes fried chicken, braised greens, mashed potatoes, cornbread, sweet tea and dessert pie.
From fried to creamy flavors and textures, Southern food is warming and fun to eat. The complex tastes may throw off food pairing ideas, but.that’s what we’re here for.
What to eat with Southern food? A typical Southern dish may include crispy fried chicken paired with a side of cornbread, collard greens, hot sauce, red beans and rice.
On the other hand, there are other filling Southern dishes such as jambalaya, gumbo, grits, BBQ, po boy, and catfish.
These dishes pair wonderfully with potato salad, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, butterbeans, and sautéed cabbage with crispy bacon bits, and corn pudding or corn on the cob.
End on good note with finger-licking desserts such as beignet, cobbler, key lime pie or Mississippi mud pie.
There’s something magical about Southern food with homestyle taste that gives warmth to the soul. As a matter of fact, these dishes are called soul food because it touches the heart and childhood memory.
From crunchy fried food to hearty stews, southern food is filled with classic foods. But what makes southern food tasty to pair with? Well, tag along to find out!
What is a typical Southern meal?
From fried chicken to collard greens, these popular dishes are enjoyed by everyone. However, there are other foods served throughout the day in the Southern region.
- Breakfast: Buttermilk biscuits, hash brown, casserole, cheesy grits
- Main entree: BBQ pulled pork, cajun shrimp and grits, chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings, fried catfish, Brunswick stew
- Sides: fried okra, boiled peanuts, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, hush puppies, black-eyed peas, cornbread
- Drinks: mint julep, sweet tea
- Desserts: banana pudding, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, peach cobbler, tea cakes, pound cake
What is considered Southern comfort food?
Known for soul food which is basic, down to earth cooking with its roots in the rural Southern states. The cooking techniques used in these dishes are stewed, fried, smoked, or slow-roasted.
The staples of Southern comfort food are beans, greens, cornmeal, and pork. Cornmeal is used in various dishes such as Southern cornbread, hush puppies, and johnnycakes, as well as to coat fried fish.
Furthermore, pork is a staple in countless soul food dishes.
The best Southern comfort food includes:
- fried okra
- boiled peanuts
- pimento cheese
- fried catfish
- deviled eggs
- brunswick stew
- shrimp and grits
- fried chicken
- biscuits & sausage gravy
- banana pudding
- peach cobbler
What are good soul food sides?
Soul food has its roots in the African-American communities located in the South. The traditional Southern soul food side dishes are divine, with plates of field peas, collard greens, candied yams, or cornbread.
The best soul food side dishes are:
- mustard greens with bacon
- hush puppies
- baked macaroni and cheese
- potato salad
- green beans and potatoes
- candied yams
- fried green tomatoes
What flavor goes well with Southern food?
Without adding different herbs and spices, Southern food would not have the bold and complex flavor profile that makes people love it so much.
To understand the Southern food flavors, these 7 essential spices make up the essence and spice.
- Black pepper: A distinct and tiny speck of black pepper must be included in Southern food, from the breading of fried chicken to the final touch of a bowl of pasta.
- Paprika: Very delicious in a rub for BBQ ribs and pork shoulder, giving it a distinct red color.
- Cayenne: The base of most Cajun spice blends, it can be found in powder or whole form. This spice can be a little bit deceptive as for how much heat flavor it put out, sometimes more than others.
- Celery seed: It has a recognizable flavor when added to a dish that tastes exactly like celery.
- Coriander: This flavor profile pairs excellently with chicken and fish dishes, and also adds a fantastic depth to braised meats.
- Cinnamon: A warm spice that is incorporated in classic dishes.
- Curry powder: A blend of different flavors and spices that gives additional depth to vegetables and stews.
With these spices in mind, here are classic flavors combinations to complement Southern food:
- buttermilk biscuits + fried chicken + collard greens + syrup
- grits + sautéed shrimp + cream + butter + salt + greens
- blackened catfish + cornmeal + hushpuppies + fried potatoes + coleslaw
- shredded cheese + mayonnaise + pimentos + seasonings
- pork + black-eyed peas + rice
Eat with Southern Cuisine: Conclusion
It is impossible to make a list of Southern food classics without including spices and soul. Southern cuisine is filled with intense flavor, aroma, and texture.
Traditional Southern foods are fried chicken with a piece of fresh baked cornbread, collard greens, beans and rice, and tossed with hot sauce to give a thrilling heat.
Other known Southern dishes that are not fried food include jambalaya, gumbo, grits, BBQ pulled pork, po boy, and catfish.
Whether it is fish, pork, or chicken, consider adding side dishes such as mashed potatoes, potato salad, butterbeans, and corn on the cob.
Serve with sweet tea or mint julep, and end the meal with sweet desserts. Some Southern dessert favorites include beignet, peach cobbler, and a variety of pies to choose from.
Each recipe benefits from adding spices and flavors because Southern foods have a firm profile that other foods cannot achieve. Soul foods are divine and make the whole eating experience memorable to share with friends and family, so put together Southern food next time you need menu ideas.