If it’s possible to “lionize” a pig, no American cuisine does more to elevate the humble animal than Southern cooking. From North Carolina whole hog to Memphis ribs to St. Louis pork steak, Southerners love some swine!
When it comes to regional food, arguably no part of the United States is more evocative than the American South. When someone says, “Southern food,” images of fried chicken, shrimp & grits, pecan pie and/or country ham spring to mind and can immediately make your mouth water.
The Southern United States is an area that has borders often open to discussion, but generally includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The region is very diverse with varied languages, cuisines, and landscapes. It’s a collection of experiences, including a dark history that can’t be ignored. But the South is more than one story.
Georgia-born Chef Virginia Willis's cookbooks have become staples for southern cooking. Need a foolproof chess pie or cornbread recipe? Consult Bon Appetit, Y'all. What about a lighter version of cheese straws or chicken and dumplings? Just pull the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y'all off the shelf. With five previous cookbooks under her apron, Willis also serves as an editor-at-large for Southern Living and writes a regular column “Cooking with Virginia” for SouthernKitchen.com.