Southern food can be hard to define. Some people may picture low-country style seafood boils, while others dream of Texas barbecue. The American South is a diverse region full of culinary traditions. The rich farmland provides an abundance of locally-grown ingredients, and the blend of cultures has created a variety of methods for cooking them deliciously. 

Pork

Every part of the pig plays a role in Southern cuisine. Barbecued pork can be a delicious main, and scraps of ham are often used to add flavor to vegetable side dishes. 

Lard

Think this is the same thing as pork? Think again! Lard is an essential ingredient in its own right. This rendered fat is what makes biscuits flaky and collard greens rich. 

Collards 

Collards are a scene-stealing Southern side dish. This naturally tough green is usually softened by stewing with ham, vinegar, and spices. 

collards in southern food

Okra 

Okra is popular in South Asian and West African cuisines as well as in the American South. This vegetable can be controversial: some eaters find the texture slimy. Cooking this traditional vegetable with an acidic ingredient like vinegar or tomato can help break down the goo and make the finished dish less viscous. 

Peaches 

Peaches are synonymous with Georgia. These lovely stone fruits are in season in Summer, and are the star of cobblers and peach pies. 

Want to experience Southern food in your own kitchen? Try the Southern-inspired recipes from our recent partnership with Edouardo Jordan, the award-winning Chef of  beloved Southern restaurants like JuneBaby and Salare