Started conversation Aug 22, 2000
(1) I think it's actually "collard" greens, not "collared."
(2) If redeye gravy is mostly pigs' blood it's news to me and my (very Southern) uncle. His recipe was: Pan-fry some country ham (in butter if there's no fat on the ham). Remove the ham and add coffee and boiling water, scraping up the fried bits left over from the ham. Season with black pepper and hot sauce. Serve with the ham.
Note: Take seriously the point about boiling (or at least soaking) the ham before cooking it. The ham is salt cured and so will be too highly seasoned for most people without removing some of the salt first. This will also prevent your redeye gravy from being too salty.
(3) You left out pot likker (liquor), which is the broth left over after cooking collard greens. Served with the greens. Important because, as collards are tough and therefore usually boiled, the pot likker has all the vitamins in it.
(4) Also, "ramps," aka rampions, which are highly sulfurous and flavorful relatives of onions and garlic. Not to be eaten raw. Really more an Appalachian specialty than Southern in general. Important because, when the ramps start to show up in the spring, they're the first fresh vegetables most people have seen in months.
Posted Aug 23, 2000
Yes, yes, yes! Redeye gravy has coffee as its important ingredient, not *shudder* pig's blood. Southerners may have some odd food ideas, but that's not one of them.
Now grits, on the other hand... sand in a pot. This I have never understood. Don't believe anyone who equates grits with polenta. It's more related to gruel, only made with ground corn--the afore-mentioned sand.
Here's another one for y'all...
Posted Sep 18, 2000
In Alabama and other States in the South, another delicacy is boiled peanuts...
Don't ask me why they came up with that one, but they did, and my sources indicate
that once the shell has been removed from such a legume, the meat inside isn't much
more than a mush.
Also, let's not forget corn pone, fried catfish, deep-fried turkey (A holiday treat!), barbeque,
pork rinds, pickled pig's feet, pickled okra, and the ever-famous Krispy Kreme Donut.
Krispy Kreme Donuts are a mainstay of the South and are just as their name implies. When
purchased fresh from the fryer (a sign will light up in the store window indicating that the donuts are
fresh) these donuts have a crispy outer crust with a delightfully gooey, greasy inside. Purchased
cold, they're not even worth the effort.
Last but not least, there's Chili (which was taken from the Mexicans but lives it's own life in the
US)...The original chili was indeed a mexican dish consisting simply of stewed meat with a
tomato/chile sauce. In America, and particularly South and Southwest America, it has
evolved into an art form, with chili cook-offs being held year round to see which sadist
can make the hottest concoction around. These cook-offs culminate in a big final event
held in Terlingua, Texas in which only the best of the best are assembled to fight it out.
I might add that mexican chile con carne is now a different beast entirely (though still related)
from American Chili.
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