What you see above are fried green tomatoes. Ever heard of them? They are quite the delicacies in the south. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of tomatoes, so I cannot tell you if these are good or not. However, I am told they are - so - go for it!
In the south, if it can be eaten - it can be fried. Seriously. Everything is fried. (Now you know how I got this girlish figure!) A signature dish for a true southern meal would include: fried chicken, green bean casserole, creamed corn,cornbread or buttermilk biscuits, creamy gravy, potato salad, and then add the following, fried: okra, pickles, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, eggplant.. etc. etc.
Not only do we fry it up, we have to have something to dip it in, right? The answer? Ranch dressing.
I must admit, it is not so much the fried item I crave, as it is the ranch dressing I am going to cover it in.
Once you have consumed all of these heavy foods - then we expect you to indulge into an array of desserts. Banana pudding (sorry Leanne ;-), pound cake, chess cake, peach cobbler.. etc. etc.
Makes me full just writing about it.
Important to know, depending on which state you are in, and which portion of that state, you will find different specialities.
Here is an example of what you might find traveling through the southern states (specifically what is known as the DEEP SOUTH - this is where I live):
Pompano en Papillote
Red Beans and Rice
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Creole Baked Chicken
Grits with cheese
Pizza with french dressing dip
Mississippi Mud Cake
Open faced sandwich made with butter and sugar
Alabama Pound Cake
Pickled pigs feet
Pickled ham hocks
peanut Butter Pie
Cajun Frog Legs
Grilled Catfish with Strawberry Salsa.
Smoked Pork Sausages
Granpa John's Traditional Cracklins
Alabama Barbecue Sauce (Mayonnaise as its base rather than tomato sauce, vinegar, or any of the other traditional barbecue sauce bases.)
Fried green tomatoes
Sweet Potato Pie
Squash ( Sauteed, casserole)
black eyed peas
muscadine grapes/homemade wines
Hot breads or biscuits spread thick with homemade preserves.
There you have it! A very small list of traditional foods each state prides itself on.
If you are from these states - what would you add? If you are in another state, what are the foods of your state (plus make sure you share which state you live in!)