The Origins Of Southern Food

By Sponsored by: Tresia's Catering January 19, 2023

Since we are getting ready to go into Black History Month, I thought it was a good idea to talk about our cuisine! Southern cuisine is a unique blend of traditional cooking styles, flavors, and ingredients that have been passed down over generations. The cuisine has its roots in the agricultural and agrarian lifestyles of the Southern United States and was heavily influenced by the foods brought over from Africa. Some common ingredients used were okra, bush greens (collard greens for example), yams (which are different from sweet potatoes), eggplant, black-eyed peas, sesame seeds, cornmeal and red rice. Meat was a rarity, so it was first only used for flavoring. Biscuits, cornbread, and corn pone are also popular dishes. Traditional Southern cooking is often served family-style, with large portions of food served on a single platter. Southern cuisine is also known for its use of spices, such as garlic, cayenne, and black pepper. With its deep roots in the past, many people still enjoy Southern cuisine.

The Difference Between Southern Food and Soul Food
While not all southern food can be considered soul food, all soul food is considered southern food. Southern food generally includes dishes that are staples in the southern United States and feature ingredients like cornbread, grits, and collard greens. Soul food is a type of cuisine that was developed by African Americans in the South and typically includes dishes like fried chicken, pork chops, and macaroni and cheese. While both cuisines feature some of the same ingredients and dishes, southern food is typically cooked in a specific way that is unique to African American culture and is more vegetable based.

Consumers Wanting More Plant Based Options
According to a recent survey conducted by the Plant-Based Foods Association, nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) say they are interested in buying more plant-based foods and
drinks. Younger consumers, especially millennials, are the most interested in purchasing plant-based options, with 82% of them indicating an interest in doing so. The survey also found that the most popular reasons for wanting to buy more plant-based options were health benefits (73%), environmental concerns (38%), and animal welfare (30%). These results clearly show that consumers are increasingly looking for more plant-based options when shopping for food and drinks.

Plant-Based and Vegetarian Soul Food Options

Soul food can be a delicious and hearty meal, but it doesn't have to include animal products!

Here are some creative and delicious plant-based soul food recipes that you can try:

  • Vegan Mac & Cheese: This is a classic soul food dish with a vegan twist! Just swap out the
  • cheese and milk with vegan cheese and a vegan milk alternative to make a creamy sauce.
  • Vegan Jambalaya: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken and plant based sausage.
  • Sweet Potato Chili w/Plant Based Beef: Hearty and rich stews are a southern/soul food
  • tradition. Using plant based beef is optional but I PROMISE YOU, you won't be able to tell
  • the difference!
  • Cajun Tofu Bowls: Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein. Marinate tofu in a spicy cajun blend, and then bake it up. Serve with a side of brown rice and your favorite
  • veggies.

Happy Eating!