Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Do you like Southern food?

If you’re a transplant, do you spend more time getting to know the new foods where you live, or missing the foods from back home?

My guess is that more transplants do the latter. A reader named Russell emailed recently:

"I was at a 4th of July cookout with a lot of newcomers to Charlotte and listening to some talk about the lack of ‘good delis,’ no good places to get ‘fresh-cut meat,’ no ‘good bagels.’ I wondered how we have made it so long. Finally, a newcomer lady said, ‘We just need to learn about and try the foods of the South.’ A gentleman from Chicago looked at his wife and said, ‘That's what I have been trying to tell you.’ Everything must not be wrong .... People keep coming and staying."

If you’re new to the South, what foods have you tried here that you liked? Maybe a biscuit or some great pimento cheese or barbecue? Click here for a link to some Southern food ideas from Living Here magazine.

Post here or e-mail me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I-85 goes North and I-40 goes West

I love all these people who move here and gripe

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Love biscuits and gravy, BBQ, and some of the different fish that you guys have down here.

I have a question though. What is Livermush? The name is intimidating....

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern food has more added sugar, salt, or oil.

Sweet tea is a good example. Take regular tea and drown it with sugar.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like biscuits, pulled Pork BBQ, hush puppies, corn bread, Cheerwine, anything spicy, etc.

You won't see me in a Cracker Barrel though. Their stuff is too bland and mushy.

For newcomers complining about not having this or that, you are not looking hard enough. there are plenty of places that will accommodate your needs. Though some places will never compare to that certain spot 'back home', the options are here.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe me, it's just as hard to find good "Southern" food in NYC as it is to find a New York-quality bagel down here.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fried Pickles!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't judge a cuisine by Cracker Barrel :)

And to the other poster, livermush is good once you get past the name. Try it fried on a biscuit, or in an omelette. Neese's should be easy to find.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say fried pickles, deviled eggs, and pimento cheese. Maybe a biscut every now and then (personally I prefer bagels). Sweet tea is good but I try not to drink anything but water. "Barbeque" is kind of gross.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bagels are just bread with flavoring. If that's what Northerners are missing for food, I feel sorry for them. Not on the topic of food, but relevant: Please use the horn on your car sparingly...you're not in Manhatten....be kind and give fellow drivers room. Don't talk so loud, we can hear you even if we're three tables away. We welcome everyone here to our lovely city, just not some of the culture left behind.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biscuts are dough and butter. Is that enough flavoring for you? You wouldn't know what a real bagel tastes like because you can't get a good one here. And it is Manhattan - "an" not "en". And ya'll can be just as loud as us! HEHEHEHE.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

It's my job to write about newcomer issues for the Observer and spark discussion. If you can't discuss things civilly, I invite you to post elsewhere.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may say we are "loud" but atleast we know how to have fun. Besides, what does that have to do with FOOD? Get over yourself.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How exciting it must be to be so prim and proper all the time. Life is too short to worry about such trivial things.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to get FAT eat southern food.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to go get some sushi...

7:32 PM  
Blogger NC girl in De said...

I lived most of my 45 years in Charlotte and now live in Delaware.I miss livermush and Cheerwine.Harris Teeter is opening a store near me soon I am hopeing they will stock some of the southern foods I miss so much

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you know what people should say in Delaware? I-95 runs SOUTH. I love people who move somewhere else and gripe :-P

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am homegrown in Huntersville but have lived in lots of places around the world... some of the things I missed were bisuits (yes they have flavor!), sweet tea (aka "tea"), Krispy Kreme, cobbler, veggies cooked in bacon grease, red-eye gravy with country ham for breakfast (they eat fish up north!), barbecue, and somehow no one else can match the Mexican food you find in the South.

And no I'm not fat. :-)

~From one native Carolina girl~

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get canadian bacon (ham).

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both biscuts and bagels have flavor. And I agree about the mexican food. I am from the North and I have never had fish for breakfast, unless it is lox (raw, cured strips of salmon cut very thin) on my bagel with cream cheese - yummy. I have had ham for breakfast too. Guess it depends on the restaurant.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay try Lexingtons Barbeque INN or Barbeque center then try Bridges Barbeque in Shelby and more as you go east towards Raliegh; Try "REAl" Fried Green Tomatoes made from Real Green tomatoes that never turn red. Try fried Bolonga and fried Green tomatoes on a white bread MMMMmmm. Andy Griffith liked a good Ritz cracker with a slice of Salty Southern Ham.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really its hard to find Southern food here anymore; Even the Northern food coming here is not as good as NEW YORK ect..... If you want Southern food try Raliegh and two hours out or so.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone miss scrapple?


7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference in a NY bagel and a bagel you get here?

BTW, you realize a lot of the food you eat up there is actually grown in the South?

Anyone miss Polenta (aka grits)?

7:58 AM  
Blogger NC girl in De said...

You can take the girl out of the south but you can't take the south out of the girl.As for the comment about I95 I never said I didn't like Delaware but I will always consider NC home

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I don't think anyone says they don't like NC just that wherever they came from feels like home. If it is ok for you it is ok for us to also miss things!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bread up North is better than bread down here, especially in NY, because of the WATER. It is a proven fact and you can look it up. Not trying to start an argument I am just saying...

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so the bagels are better up north than the ones here because of the water used? How's that? What's so special about the water?

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a native Charlottean, I really missed good seafood when I lived in Chicago. It wasn't that you couldn't find it, it just wasn't as fresh and they didn't know how to cook it very well. But now that I'm back home, I miss a lot of the foods I was introduced to there. Every place has it's advantages and disadvantages... just keep an open mind and be KIND to one another. If you're a true southerner, you know that's what good manners are ALL about!

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go eat a bagel in Charlotte then go to NY and eat a bagel and you will notice the difference. They don't call it a NY style bagel for nothing.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I forgot, EVERYTHING is better up north.

Would those bagels be better just in NYC, or NY as a whole?

Regarding the water (mentioned previously), we all know how dirty the water is in NYC, so there probably is a difference.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never said EVERYTHING is better up North. Atleast in the tri-state area, the bread and bagels are better - is that such a big deal? Does it really hurt your feelings that in the South, the bread and bagels don't compare? Awww, poor thing. BLESS YOUR HEART.

AND for your information, NYC drinking water is not dirty. It is actually very clean...

You assume New York City water is bad, but in fact, it's quite good! The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) rigorously tests the city's tap water and reports their findings to the public annually. (For the official report, visit the DEP's water quality page.) By most counts, the quality of NYC's tap water is something to drink to!

In particular, three of the major culprits for drinking water contamination are lead, bacteria, and disinfectants or disinfectant byproducts. New York City stacks up pretty well in terms of each of them.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it is ok for a southerner to move somewhere else and gripe about not having grits or bacon grease dripping vegetables and livermush and cheerwine and country ham slabs etc??? BUT if someone moves south from somewhere else and "gripes" about missing something unique to the area from which they are from, then that automatically implies that wherever they came from must be "better" and they should go back? Wow, some of you (ahem, native folk) need to grow some cahounas and get over yourselves.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No problem. I was kidding. I think bagels suck. I do have a good friend from Rochester, though, that seems to always be chiming in about how great things are "up north",which gets particularly tiresome when he's been drinking.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leigh, I have a great idea for a new blog. "What made the Charlotte area so ideal to move to?" Growing up here most of my life (sans college years), I cannot recall a time such as this where we have so many new families calling our area home. We need to focus on the many positive attributes this area has to offer, and less on what used to be. Obviously, the newcomers honed in on these attributes, and it would help us (ahem native folk) to read their thoughts. If this blog has been done before, then please do it again. Thanks!

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montreal bagels are better than NYC bagels.

Oh and yes the water is very good in NYC.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as southern food goes, to answer the original question, shrimp and grits cannot be beat. Especially when there is a lot of spice added in.

But, NY style pizza in the city, is absolutley amazing.

So, I guess you can find something that tastes better somewhere else... everywhere!

All you native folk... of both regions... need to get over it. It is good to experience the food/culture of other places. Quit complaining.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody ever said transplants aren't "allowed" to miss things. But it is VERY common for that sentiment to be phrased like so: "Such-and-such just isn't any good down here; you don't know what you're missing; it's so much better up north where you can get such-and-such at 4am on a Sunday." Hearing someone talk like that gets old pretty fast.

If you miss something, just say "I miss...". Nobody takes offense to that and it makes the conversation much less us-and-them oriented.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here over two years ago from California. While I am quite excited about Trader Joes and Whole Foods coming, I am also so appreciative for all that we have here from local produce and fresh fruit stands to some of the truly local restaurants that serve lots of "comfort foods". Julia's Talley House Restaurant in Troutman or Ten O'Clock Charlies in Mooresville are a couple that come to mind. Grow where you are planted!

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Charlotte native living in California and I miss livermush. It's not available here.

I never drank "sweet tea," even growing up in Charlotte.

I like bagels, but they are kind of fattening, too-an average bagel, sans schmear, has 500 calories and lots of carbs.

I like lox, with or without bagel attached.

I also like pastrami on rye.

I also like grits at breakfast and Eastern NC-style bbq.

I am multicultural, I guess :)

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love grits and creole food from Lousiana!

1:35 AM  
Blogger Unique Designs from Zazzle said...


mmmmm livermush

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in the south for a few years and I have to say it's a COMPLETELY diff culture. There were a couple southern dishes I liked but in general most of the food was very bland and flavorless.

A typical northerners idea of good food: pastas,pizza, ethnic foods, italian beef, gyros ect.

Southerners: pork bar b q, fried pickles, grits, collard greens, pinto beans, cornbread ect.

For me the choice is a no brainer

4:17 PM  

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