How well do you know Southern cooking?
November 9th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
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On Wednesday, November 10th, Eatocracy is hosting its inaugural Secret Supper in Atlanta, Georgia, centered around the topic of how chefs' increasingly close collaboration with farmers figures into the preservation and evolution of Southern cooking. Take your place at the (virtual) table, by joining in the conversation and cooking along at home.

But first, let's see how well you know your Southern food.

Take the QUIZ

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Filed under: Bite • Buzz • Cuisines • Quizzes • Secret Suppers • Southern • Think

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    The sorghum plant is a grain. The syrup is what you get when you squeeze the heck out of the plants. Then you cook it to get sorghum molasses.

    I'm a live long Tennessean. Never heard of a benne wafer either, or maw, although I got both answers right. Good guessing on my part. As for country fried vs chicken fried, they're just wrong. If you simmer something in gravy you don't get anything crispy out of it. Ground beef or steak, it's still cow. It's still breaded. It's still fried. Same, same.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  2. Paige Love

    You need to find out about sorghum. I didn't see a correct choice in your list – it's a syrup, so I don't know how you get that it's a grain. (And the best happens to come from a little place in Alabama called "Waldo.")

    Before I read the post from SC – where apparently they've actually heard of "benne wafers," I was going to tell you that you also need to get real- that Southerners never use sesame-covered wafers – but apparently it's a regional thing.

    (And I agree with the SC poster – chicken-fried steak and country-fried steak are the same thing in Alabama, too.)

    I think whoever came up with this "quiz" has never been south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    (Probably Connecticut – where I know for a fact that no one at Stop and Shop has any idea what pimento cheese is. Oh, I thought I saw some one day, but after rushing to the display with my heart in my throat, I was crushed to find that it was just a container of hummus, cleverly disguised as pimento cheese.) :0)

    November 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • frogprof

      And what was that line in the quiz about "pimento" [why can't anyone spell that word correctly? it's "pimiento"] cheese being served mostly on celery or crackers? We almost exclusively ate it as sandwiches served on Pepperidge Farm White bread [which all my friends thought was terribly fancy, since they all ate Wonder Bread, UGH!]. My mother even used pimiento cheese as filling for finger sandwiches at fancy tea parties.

      November 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  3. sneezer

    Chitownbess, here's a little history for you .....The reason most stuff is fried is due to it being so hot down here. People fried foods since it was faster and didn't heat up the whole house and make you miserable. The chicken parts and mystery meat meals were created because nothing of the animal was wasted. Most were poor (especially after the civil war) and had to come up with "real" food alternatives. Roasted peanuts were ground up for coffee, etc. When one is reared in that kind of environment, they usually copy the parents and it's passed on and on. I broke the chain LOL

    November 11, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • DocOrlando

      Furthermore, up 'til a couple of decades ago, just about everyone worked a hard day's labor, rather than spending days seated at a desk. People walked where they needed to go, rather than driving everywhere. With a non-sedentary lifestyle to balance things out, a Southern diet isn't bad at all. In fact, it's usually packed with vegetables (beans, corn, tomatoes), complex carbohydrates (hoppin' john) and (once upon a time) built around organic, locally-sourced meat and produce. Everybody wants to blame the food, or fix the food to be lower fat or low-cal. But it's not the food that's an issue.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  4. chitownbess

    I lived in the south for 33 years, inclusive of 19 years in South Carolina. 30% of the population has diabetes, 30% are obese. As a career educator in high schools, I was amazed to have students who had kidney stones. I worked with another student who had broken legs because of ricketts. As I used to tell my students, "soul food" or "Southern cooking" may be good for your soul, but it is not good for your heart, nor the rest of your body. The foods of culture are very fixed, and these unhealthy mainstays are apparently so in the south. If one views the individual life expectancies of states and compares/contrasts, the southern diet shows the results of this fat-laced, starchy diet. There were times I went to a school buffet put on by faculty members where there was literaly nothing I wanted to eat. Then there is something called "chicken bog" . It is rice with chicken backs and necks, fat back strips, and mystery meat sausage from a can. This is the kind of diet that is increasing our health care costs. Interestingly, when I would make food for my students ( I am from the midwest, and I cook from many ethnic sources), they would love it, want more, and want to know how to make it.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  5. Amethyst

    I live in Minnesota. The few Southern foods I've cooked are okra and tomatoes, and collard greens. I'm doing Weight Watchers, and most Southern foods are not point friendly.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  6. dr_rick

    I got 10 right......I live in Wyoming!

    November 10, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  7. SweetSouthernBelle

    I was born and raised in the upstate of SC (The Golden Corner), but have lived and visited all over the US and Canada. I love benne wafers, but agree they are regional only to the Charleston, SC area. Have heard of chitlins, but never maw. My cornbread is always cooked in my cast iron skillet which I grease with hot fatback grease. Country fried steak and chicken fried steak are the same in my neck of the woods. Collard juice is called "potlikker" and Coca Cola is referred to as "dope". We carry our purchases home in a "poke" instead of a bag. Place our items in a "buggy" instead of a cart. The mountain region of SC is different from anywhere else in this country. The movie "Deliverance" was filmed here and, yes, we do have hillbillies who play the banjo on the front porch and only see civilization twice a year. Ya'll should come visit sometime. We can make you "squeal like a piggy." and feed you till you can't eat another bite. We are real hospitable people and love sharing our way of life.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • sneezer

      I too live in the Golden Corner. Not too far from the lake Deliverence was filmed. I've never heard of beene wafers either. I moved away for 2 years and honestly, when I moved back, within one week I thought grease would come out of my skin LOL. I used to like southern cooking, and some items I still do. I only make it healthier. Chicken is dipped, floured and put in the skillet only to be baked . It's just as good as the one on the stove. But when Granny is on my mind we have her Sunday dinners.....Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, homemade biscuits and some cantaloupe. Hmmmm, now I'm hungry :)

      November 11, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  8. KC

    It's Eastern NC-style pork barbeque for me!

    November 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  9. TexanKjun

    They didn't list Head Cheese!

    November 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  10. 4U Mister

    For New Year's eve, chinese food. New Year's Day, Ham, Collards, Buscuits, and BIPs–they say it is lucky to eat BIPs on New Year's Day!

    November 10, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  11. FWCowTown

    As we say in cowtown, don't be a poopagaylor. Country fried steak and chicken fried steak isn't the same thing. Country fried steak is beef. Never heard of thse benne beans or wahtever they are. A better question: what you eat for newyears: BIP. Also, no self-respecting southerner would eat instant grits.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • FWCowTown

      BIP=black eye peas

      November 10, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • ann

      chicken fried steak is also beef. The chicken fried part of the name refers to the method of how the beef (steak) is cooked. Where I live both names mean the same thing.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
  12. 4U Mister

    RH, I missed that one as well, but we redeemed ourselves with the remaining 9 questions!

    November 10, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • RichardHead

      There is HOPE in the Universe!

      November 10, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  13. RichardHead

    OPEN SESAME-The only one I missed,Yet my granddaughter would say"Papaw,You didn't get 100% so you failed". I hang my head low and in despair!

    November 10, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • lisa r

      ditto that, "gran" here...

      November 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  14. WinchLock

    I have several issues with this quiz. I'm born and raised in south Georgia and I only got 8/10. Seriously, who the heck calls pork tripe, maw? Also, why the heck is a contained local food (As I found out, they are only generally found around Charleston SC and New Orleans) like benne wafers even called southern? I asked around and haven't found anyone that has even heard of them. I also find the lack of questions regarding sweet tea is disturbing.

    Oh, before I forget, we call that "fried steak" not "country-fried steak", down here.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:36 am |
    • Unbelievable

      I'm also from Georgia and have never heard of benne wafers or maw.
      Perhaps it's like everything else, you can't lump all southerners in the same boat!!

      November 10, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • MSGal

      I had never heard of benne wafers either and I've lived in Mississippi/Alabama all my life. Yes, the sweet tea would have been a classic addition.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
    • Susan T

      That is what I got! A yankee that doesn't know what they are talking about made this quiz. NOBODY in the South eats waffles with sesame seeds on it.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
      • WinchLock

        I know of folks that might put pecans or cane syrup on waffles, but I've never heard of people putting sesame seeds on them.

        November 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Tasha

    I'm from Southern Florida and I got 1 out of 10 :/. Its not common seeing this type of cooking in an area where the majority of restaurants and chefs are Cuban. I know I'll ace that quiz :)

    November 10, 2010 at 9:31 am |
    • Susan T

      There is South Florida and then there is Florida. I am glad I am Southern.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  16. Will

    wait a minute guys...chicken fried steak is made with CHICKEN and country fried steak is made with STEAK!

    November 10, 2010 at 9:06 am |
    • ann

      Um no.. chicken fried steak is steak. The chicken part refers to how it is breaded and then fried . However, they do also have chicken fried chicken hehe. Which is basically fried chicken but is a flat piece of chicken without bones.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  17. sgli

    Huh – born and bred New Yorker and I got a 9 out of 10. Now I have to go make some cornbread, hoppin john and some garlicky greens. Mmmmmm and baking soda biscuits with gravy.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • Susan T

      Your obviously male. Guys love Southern cooking along with Southern girls. Were the best.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  18. DocOrlando

    Add me to the voices yelling "foul!" over the chicken fried/country fried steak question. Y'all are either thinking of salisbury steak (brown gravy) or a smothered steak/pork chop/what-have-you. Chicken/country fried steak is breaded and fried, and served with milk (white) gravy made from the pan drippings. In fact, I made some just a few days ago! We Southerners like our gravy, but it's a condiment; we don't leave stuff to soak in it. Stewing is for fruits (apples, tomatoes) and vegetables (greens) not meat.

    November 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  19. wfgjr

    The quiz answer on fried steak is WRONG. Country fried and chicken fried ARE the same dish, with chicken fried generally being used only in Texas and Kentucky. What you describe as country fried is actuall smothered steak.

    November 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • Pearl Nelson

      In Mississippi, chicken fried had cream gravy and country fried had brown gravy, always served in a gravy boat and the meat was crispy crispy. You loaded up your plate with a steak, rice, biscuit and greens and poured gravy over everything but the greens. Floating island for dessert (no gravy).

      November 10, 2010 at 9:23 am |
    • Susan T

      Your a true Southerner! Obviously a yankee make this quiz!

      November 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    I meant country fried steak and chicken fried steak!

    November 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  21. Jennifer

    Country-fried chicken and chicken fried steak ARE the same! The gravy can be served on top or on the side but it's not simmered in it. Check your facts, CNN!

    November 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • Susan T

      I know! Every true Southerner knows this! It must of been a yankee that made this quiz.

      November 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  22. Dorothy

    Born and raised in Tenn. My mama made the best fried chicken, okra and pie you ever ate.

    November 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Stella Pearl mama in Mississippi made the best fried chicken, fried okra, and pecan pie!

      November 9, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
      • Teri

        No, y'all are both wrong. My grandmother was the best cook ever! ;)

        November 9, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  23. Carla

    I got 8 out of 10!

    November 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  24. 4U Mister

    Wow! I got 9 out of 10 correct! (y'all...)

    November 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
    • Jerv

      smile, I got 7 out of 10.

      November 10, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  25. Leah

    I have never seen a country-fried steak 'simmered' in gravy. That would make the outside mushy and probably fall off - gross! Please come down to the South and see for yourself what these are; the quiz is simply wrong about this one

    November 9, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • Popeye

      Nah, country fried anything is never simmered in anything, including gravy.

      November 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Joe

      That's how my grandmother made it. It is a special treat around here. My midwesterner (Ohio) wife has perfected it. We have it with mashed potatoes, and gravy, biscuits, and gravy, and green beans. Unfortunately she doesn't slow cook the beans with fat back like my mom did. For dessert, chocolate meringue pie. Grandma dinner!

      November 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
      • Dorothy

        Cook kentucky pole beans (green beans) in a pressure cooker with fat back if you want the best green beans you ever ate. I detest canned and the ones they call fresh.

        November 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Jane

      I agree! This one is just wrong!

      November 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Teri

      My mom always made gravy to go with it (using bacon grease from the crock on the stove and the scrapings from the pan she fried it in mind you), but it was to be poured over the top. She never simmered it in the gravy.

      November 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • Heavy

      Agree – that's country-style steak, not country-fried steak. Country-fried steak is breaded and fried. Chicken fried steak is breaded and fried in grease that has been used to fry chicken with as far as I always knew.

      November 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • koala_t_1

      You fry the steak and take it out of the skillet. You use a bit of the grease and some water and saute sliced onions. You make the white gravy in the same skillet. Once the gravy is done, you place the steak back in. You don't drown it in the gravy. When heated through, you put it on your plate and drown your mashed potatoes with the gravy. You might also want to drag your biscuit through it and eat it. Nuthin' better.

      I'm in PA now, and they don't know how to make country fried anything, white gravy or biscuits. It's so sad. :o(

      November 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  26. John

    I find it very stereotypical for Cnn to have a big basket of fried chicken for its picture.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jane

      We southerners love our fried chicken. Nothing wrong (or stereotypical) about that.

      November 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  27. Travis

    head on down to Gladys Knights for the best chicken and waffles in the USA! Grew up in the country of SC and love good authentic soul food!

    November 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  28. Truth

    Oh Kat...I think I just became physically aroused when I saw the coating on the fried chicken...

    November 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Never been a fan of fried chicken, though I also became aroused. That's how I do.

      November 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Teri

      I've always lived in the south and have never been a fan of fried chicken because of the skin. Just can't get over the fact that it's skin. But, I'd be tempted to pick the crispy off that fried chicken.

      November 9, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
      • ann

        All the women in my family remove the skin before they fry chicken. You might try that sometime.

        November 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
      • sneezer

        True southern fried chicken has no skin.

        November 11, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    • Pearl Nelson

      It's too uniform in need little darker brown bits for good flavored cream gravy.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:14 am |
      • Pearl Nelson

        And because there are no darker brown bits, the above fried chicken was NOT fried in a cast iron skillet which makes it illegitimately southern.

        November 10, 2010 at 9:30 am |
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