There is a misconception that Southern Cooking consists solely of Creole and Cajun cuisine. However, both of these culinary styles have their roots planted firmly in Louisiana soil.
Whereas Southern Cooking encompasses cuisine from all of the Southern states and is as varied and different as the regions that make up the South.
Creole and Cajun dishes have a strong culinary connection to France, a nodding acquaintance to Africa, Spain, and Native America, and to a lesser degree the West Indies, Ireland, Germany, and Italy.
Southern cooks, on the other hand, have always creatively dipped into the mixing pot of Native American, European, and African cuisine, learning from cultures that once fused together to make the South what it is today. In fact, African traditions have had a significant influence on the flavors and cooking methods of what we lovingly refer to as Soul Food.
As cliché as it may sound, heart and soul have been put into many of these dishes. There is a deep-rooted history behind every recipe. A feeling that each one was prepared with love and effort in the hope that every mouthful will be savored and enjoyed by those who eat it.
Although some dishes are enjoyed throughout the South, they’ll vary depending on which state you are living. Take, for instance, ribs. In Texas, they make them spicy and saucy, while in Tennessee there’s more rub and the sauce is on the side. Go to the Carolinas though, and the sauce has more of a mustard flavor.
America is defined by the influence of those who helped to make her great, be they African, Native American, or European, and Southern Cooking is at the very center of that beating heart.