NYT: Southern Food is Undignified
Posted in the Foley Forum
#1 Jan 8, 2012
The New York Times has declared down home Southern cooking undignified in a story that heaped praise on a new generation of Southern chefs while denigrating fried chicken, Cracker Barrel restaurants and the Queen of Southern Food — Paula Deen.
The food snobs at the Times attacked Miss Paula in the second sentence of their lengthy diatribe – calling her a “so-called queen of Southern food, who cooks with canned fruit and Crisco.”
The Times bemoaned the “hayseed image” of Southern cooking while praising “a new generation of chefs who have pushed Southern cooking into the vanguard of world cuisine.”
Their headline proclaimed –“Vanquishing the Colonel – Farmers work with chefs to restore Southern cuisine’s dignity.”
You can read the entire story by clicking here.
“Today, purists believe, Southern cooking is too often represented by its worst elements: feedlot hams, cheap fried chicken and chains like Cracker Barrel,” the Times whined.
Perhaps The New York Times should consider first restoring its own dignity before launching a crusade against shrimp and grits.
It seems to me that the “so-called” queen of Southern cooking should fly up to New York City and take a cast iron skillet to the backside of the “so-called” newspaper that printed such nonsense.
But Miss Paula is a genteel Southern lady and would probably just shake her head and say,“Oh Lord, y’all.”
So as a proud son of the South, I believe it is my duty to defend the honor of our skillet fried chicken, our ham hocks and our sweet potato pies. Nobody speaks ill of butter and gets away with it.
For the record, I happen to have a Cracker Barrel rocking chair in my office at the Fox News Corner of the World – along with several copies of Paula Deen’s cookbooks. That being said – I’m really not quite sure why The New York Times felt compelled to launch a broadside against the traditional cuisine of the Southern states.
I’ll take a Cracker Barrel Meat Loaf sandwich and a slice of their Double Chocolate Fudge Coca Cola Cake any day of the week — over the slop they serve at those five-star New York City restaurants.
Does The Old Gray Lady really want to pick a food fight with Alabama or Mississippi? There’s a reason why the Magnolia State is the plumpest in the nation — it’s called banana pudding.
In New York City, they eat boiled animal tongues. In the South we use our tongues for licking our fingers.
Southerners eat buttermilk biscuits and sip frosty glasses of sweet tea. New Yorkers nosh bagels and drink seltzer water.
New Yorkers eat fermented soy and tuna tartar – while folks in Tennessee eat fried catfish – with tarter sauce.
As an expatriated Southerner living in Brooklyn, I’ve come to realize that this quest to redefine Southern cuisine has taken root in the Big Apple. Chefs who couldn’t succeed in Dixie have moved north to ply their trade. It’s a movement called,“New Southern Cuisine.”
To be fair, I decided to visit one of those so-called “New Southern Cuisine” restaurants the other day. To their credit, they served sweet tea. But that’s about the only southern thing in the building.
The first item on the menu was “Black-eyed Pea Hummus.”
I threw up a little inside my mouth.
The waiter brought my iced tea and suggested I try something they called “Arugula Smear.”
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat it or wipe it.
I paid for my sweet tea, went home and whipped up a batch of Miss Paula’s macaroni and cheese. And as I sat down at my table, I prayed this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, thank you for butter. Amen.”
So let this column be a warning to my fellow Southerners. Take up your cast iron skillets and prepare to defend our kitchens from the Yankee invaders. And let our rally cry be heard from the beaches of Biloxi to the mountains of Gatlinburg – the only good chicken is a fried chicken.
So praise the Lord and pass the biscuits.
#2 Jan 8, 2012
The North has gone to far now,insulting our cooking and food,they don't think much of Cracker Barrel Restaurants and "Paula Dean".
#3 Jan 8, 2012
#4 Jan 8, 2012
#5 Jan 8, 2012
I just wish that I could find a good Sub, a good pizza and a dozen steamed crabs that are as good as I ate up North. I also wish every Krispy Kreme doughnut shop would be replaced by a Dunkin Doughnut shop. Once these things are done, the South will rise again.
#6 Jan 8, 2012
"Crab Trap" in Pensacola Fla.if you live in Gulf Shores it is about 11 miles, I haven't been there in a while but it was a good place to eat," Steamed Crabs". Krispy Kreme is top of the line,and Sub Way is better than anything you can get up North,and with all the choices of places to buy Pizza you can't tell me you can not find one that is good. I think you were out in the snow to long before you got here.
#7 Jan 8, 2012
Well bless their little hearts!
#8 Jan 8, 2012
"with all the choices of places to buy Pizza you can't tell me you can not find one that is good."
I keep trying. I went to Bella Luna's new restaurant in Gulf Shores this week. Their pizza is horrible and their prices are entirely too high and the remodeling that they did is penny-ante. They could have saved the 2-bucks that they spent remodeling Big Daddy's and just put up a tent--it would have had more appeal. I find that the best pizza is Mellow Mushroom but the service is shoddy and there is no quality control with their pizzas. Sometimes they have too much cheese and not enough tomato sauce and then it is the reverse. Sometimes it comes out over cooked and sometimes bordering on raw. Pappa's Pizza is a joke. Murphy's Pizza is a joke--if I want to fix my pizza at home, I'll buy a frozen pizza from Wally World and doctor-it up the way I want for 1/2 the price. I'll try Crab Trap if I only knew where it was. Thanks for the info and I never return an empty plate so here is my contribution to your eating experience. Go to Aegean Breeze in Gulf Breeze for the best Greek food I have found down here.
#9 Jan 10, 2012
Dunkin Doughnuts were here years ago and they all went belly up because there was no corporate quality control on the franchises. Sometimes you went in and the shelves were almost bare and you also had to watch for moldy and stale products. The coffee was left on as long as the pot lasted and got so strong it was undrinkable. If they plan to stay around this time there will have to be a system to guarantee quality or they will be gone again. Sonic and Jack's went down and now they are reorganized and back. I hope DD has their sh%$ together this time.
#10 Jan 18, 2012
My mother is rolling over in her grave! If it weren't for her being able to cook without so-called "dignity", there would have been many a day that we wouldn't have eaten at all. I'm not crazy about Cracker Barrel because I'm not a fan of franchise food. I have to admit that I DO love Lulu's here in Gulf Shores. You will find yummy food and good music there. But, most of all, yeah, pass me a biscuit and the butter please! As for Paula Deen....you gotta' love her.
#11 Jan 19, 2012
#12 Jan 21, 2012
Try Lillian's pizza in perdido key they have great pizza
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