If you’re an American, you would know that when it comes to comfort food, no one can beat Southern food. It may sound cliché, but the fried, steamed, roasted, and stewed classic Southern dishes give us homely feelings. 

They hit you with a wave of nostalgia and remind you of home. While you can find truly authentic Southern dishes only in the South, the northerners have also tried their hand at recreating the same. Besides, the iconic fried chicken of the South has gone international, and now you can find its variants all across the globe.

Top 9 Authentic Southern Foods

Below, we have shared some of the most authentic Southern dishes that you can only find in the South. While some of these dishes have been recreated in the North or other parts of the world, you won’t find the true Southern taste anywhere else.

Continue reading to find out more about authentic southern cuisine:

  1. The Classic Fried Chicken

No Southern food roundup is complete without paying homage to the iconic fried chicken. Although the origins of the fried chicken are slightly mysterious, the Southerners embraced it before anyone else. They made the world see that it can be a delicious treat, and just like that, it became the symbolic southern food. 

While you can find fried chicken all over the world now, nothing beats the authentic Southern taste. The Southerners take their fried chicken very seriously and preserve its juiciness inside the crispiness atop.

Until the World War II, people in the United States treated fried chicken as food meant only for special occasions. Now, there are a lot more fun ways to enjoy your delicious bird. For example, in the deep south, in Tennessee, you can enjoy your fried bird along with dinner shows in Pigeon Forge, which makes for a fun-filled evening to remember. 

Need to chomp down on fried chicken legs while watching your favorite movie at the cinema, or at home watching Netflix, you can do that with this treat, as it is an all-round versatile option that fits in with almost every occasion. 

  1. Grandma’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern meals are known for their homely feels, and how can this list be complete without the iconic steamy butter-bombs, known as the buttermilk biscuits. However, the Southern biscuits as we know and eat today weren’t there until the 19th century. Since then, buttermilk biscuits have made the Sunday-morning-in-Grandmas’-rusty -kitchen fantasy come true for anyone who eats them.

  1. BBQ Pulled Pork

Want to enjoy the best Southern lunch of your life? Get some BBQ pulled pork, pile it on a homemade bun, add some coleslaw, and thank us later. This delicious meat-of-the-Southern-gods can be topped with any sauce from the spicy Tennessee dry rub to mayo-heavy Alabama dressing. Besides, BBQ pulled pork nachos are among the best things Memphis has produced after Morgan Freeman and Kathy Bates.

  1. Deliciously Deviled Eggs

While they may have a cursed name, deviled eggs are the South’s finest church food. This traditional southern delicacy is served at brunches and barbecues as an appetizer. Although stuffed eggs are as old as ancient Rome, deviled eggs are a purely southern innovation. 

These boiled and sliced eggs are filled with a unique sweet and tangy mixture of egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet pickle relish. You can add salt and pepper as per your taste in the mix and sprinkle some paprika on top for an added kick.

  1. Scoopy Spoon Bread

It doesn’t get more basic and comfortable than bread, but the southerners have put their own spin on it as well. Have you ever had bread that is crispy-fried on the outside and moist and tender on the inside? 

If not, try the Southern spoonbread. It is easy to make and comforting to eat. To make spoonbread, mix cornmeal with salt in a bowl and add boiling water or buttermilk while mixing. 

Then, add baking powder, eggs, and crumbled bacon to the mix. Grease the baking pan, add the batter into it, and put it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. When the dish is ready, you can eat it by scooping portions out of the pan.

  1. Hush Puppies

Initially, this southern dish was created for keeping the dogs quiet – hence the name. But the southerners soon realized these crunchy golden-brown nuggets shouldn’t be meant for the dogs alone. These yummy treats will keep you munching and relishing in the burst of flavors. 

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes

The southerners love eating fried food: from the fried chicken, fried catfish, fried cornbread, to fried okra, and now fried green tomatoes. Hot and gooey on the inside, fried green tomatoes have a slight crunch on the outside. 

These delicious appetizers can be served in a variety of ways. You can eat them standalone with a hot sauce, paprika, mayo dip on the side, or sandwich them between white bread, bacon, and lettuce to make for a filling meal.

  1. The Mighty King Cake

The King Cake is an authentic southern sweet dish with its iconic shape and colorful appearance. It uses three colors: purple, green, and golden, representing the 3 kings who visited baby Jesus on the twelfth day after Christmas. 

The cake uses simple ingredients, like flour, yeast, sour cream, sugar, eggs, butter, and salt. After baking, it is drizzled with a glaze on top and sprinkled with colored sugar. Besides the touch of tradition and history, the King Cake tastes delicious.

  1. Delectable Banana Pudding

Want to experience food-induced bliss? Try the southern banana pudding. While the origins of this genius dish are not clear, nobody does it more justice than the southerners. This dish is deliciousness personified through and through with its velvety layers of vanilla custard, banana slices, wafers, and whipped cream. The southerners went a step forward with this one, as it is a dish equally loved and devoured by children and the elderly.

Final Thoughts

They say, if you want to learn about a country’s cuisine, try its comfort foods, and the South has a killer collection of comfort foods. While they have an elaborate cuisine, you will find frying and baking to be their methods for cooking. These authentic southern dishes may have emerged in the South, but they keep crossing borders, sometimes even spread internationally.