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View Poll Results: Select your favorite regional cuisines (limit it to 3 options)
New England: seafood, clam chowder, etc 11 11.34%
New York: pizza, bagels, deli, and dozens of ethnic foods 24 24.74%
Chessapeake Bay: seafood 4 4.12%
Louisiania: Cajun/creole 25 25.77%
Texas: Tex-mex cuisine, chili con carne, steaks 24 24.74%
New Mexico: chile (with an 'e'), red or green? 9 9.28%
California/West Coast: cali mex, asian fusion, etc 12 12.37%
Southern/ Soul food: chicken fried steak, grits, etc 27 27.84%
Chicago: pizza, among others 15 15.46%
General Midwestern fare 3 3.09%
Other: (explain in your post) 5 5.15%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-13-2007, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,718,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
I don't know about the distinction between "Southern food" and "Cajun food". What's the difference?

In many parts of the south (Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, Wilmington, etc.), what you call "Cajun/Creole food" is our regional food, and has always been. We just don't market it as well as the Louisianans do. Likewise, the food of the upland south (What you call "Soul food") is definitely eaten in Louisiana.
I posted this poll because I want to learn about regional cuisines too. You're right, I'm kind of fuzzy about what "southern" food is. I meant to include an option for BBQ as well-- but then there are so many different styles of BBQ. I should have also included Hawaiian as an option-- that is a US state too! I appreciate the comments!

Last edited by vegaspilgrim; 06-13-2007 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,718,689 times
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I personally voted for "California cuisine," a somewhat amorphous term that could include everything from rice rolls to Mexican inspired food to your stereotypical fruits and nuts health craze food. I do LOVE New Mexican food, it's one of the tastiest (and spiciest) cuisines anywhere, but it's SO bad for you! It's good for once in a long while. I'm starting to become more health conscious, so I'd rather eat something with whole black or pinto beans, healthier tortillas (without lard, not fried in oil), and more veggies. I like the concept of the San Francisco-style taqueria. Chipotle and Qdoba are basically mass produced, generic versions of the taqueria concept. Here in Arizona we have another subtle version of Mexican food, which comes from the region of Mexico just south of us: Sonoran style. I'm not the biggest fan of it, personally.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Austin
4,102 posts, read 7,364,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
I don't know about the distinction between "Southern food" and "Cajun food". What's the difference?

In many parts of the south (Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, Wilmington, etc.), what you call "Cajun/Creole food" is our regional food, and has always been. We just don't market it as well as the Louisianans do. Likewise, the food of the upland south (What you call "Soul food") is definitely eaten in Louisiana.
I have never actually heard South Carolinians, Georgians, or people in any other area of the South outside of Louisiana describe Cajun/Creole food as their indigenous cuisine. Does the South at large consider these dishes to be their own?

Boiled Crawfish
Crawfish Etoufee
Boudin (Rice and Pork Sausage)
Andouille
Cracklins
Po-Boy Sandwiches
Muffalettas
Gumbo
Oysters Rockefeller
Jambalaya
Red Beans and Rice
Beignets
Dirty Rice
Bananas Foster

and many more....
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:05 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,453,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
I don't know about the distinction between "Southern food" and "Cajun food". What's the difference?

In many parts of the south (Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, Wilmington, etc.), what you call "Cajun/Creole food" is our regional food, and has always been. We just don't market it as well as the Louisianans do. Likewise, the food of the upland south (What you call "Soul food") is definitely eaten in Louisiana.
The difference (as I see it) is that Cajun/Creole cuisine is more inspired by Latin European cooking and includes lots of sauces. It's much closer to Latin American, Caribbean, and African cuisine, which accounts for the heat! The slaves in the U.S. had to use the food items available to them so traditional Southern/soul food is something of a watered down version of that. Cooking techniques are similar; the ingredients are different. Also, New Orleans and the cities you mention along the coast so Cajun/Creole recipes make much more use of seafood than traditional Southern/soul food, although there has of course been some influence due to contact and migration. There are differences in regional varieties of Southern/soul cooking though, I agree with you. I think the soul cooking of Charleston, Florida, Georgia, etc. falls somewhere in between the two. Unfortunately, shrimp and grits didn't make it out to Texas, but we've got boudin, thanks to the Great Flood of 1927!

Last edited by houstoner; 06-13-2007 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:08 PM
 
4,723 posts, read 13,922,543 times
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Houston has my vote,,tex-mex was great and LOVE the margueritas
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Central Coast, CA
115 posts, read 444,150 times
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Can't mess with Cajun cuisine...

But KC BBQ is pretty close!
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:21 PM
 
Location: In God
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Tex-Mex is to West Texas as southern food is to eastern Texas, in my opinion. Still, I don't think you'll find any kind of cooking like that better anywhere than in Georgia. Georgia is the southern cuisine capital. If you look for it west of San Antonio (greasiest fried chicken in the world) or north of South Carolina, you're out of luck.

I also voted for Chicago where you can find some pretty good southern kitchens in the city. You hear so much about their pizza, but it's very hard to impress me, so I'm still looking for the best restaurant there.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:09 AM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,641,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brattpowered View Post


I have never actually heard South Carolinians, Georgians, or people in any other area of the South outside of Louisiana describe Cajun/Creole food as their indigenous cuisine. Does the South at large consider these dishes to be their own?
I agree that there are differences - New Orleans, particularly in the past 50 years or so, has created some unique and interesting dishes that aren't really traditional foods. We don't describe Cajun or Creole food as our regional food, because that is a word to describe two Louisiana ethnic groups. Some people call it "Lowcountry food", but I don't really call it anything. And no, the south at large doesn't claim these dishes, just the coastal parts of Georgia and South Carolina. As to whether they are also lowcountry dishes:

yes, or at least similar
Cracklins
Boiled Crawfish
Gumbo
Red Beans and Rice
Dirty Rice
Crawfish Etoufee
Boudin (Rice and Pork Sausage)
Jambalaya

no
Beignets
Andouille
Oysters Rockefeller
Bananas Foster
Po-Boy Sandwiches
Muffalettas

They may go by different names, or be slightly different, but the two areas have very similar food. Both had major ports with heavy french, carribean and african influence, grew lots of rice, and had access to seafood. Authentic Cajun food really isn't extremely spicy, that's sort of a misconception. I know some Louisianans who get upset about that, lol.

For example, the word "Gumbo" came from the Gullah of South Carolina, and it's up for debate whether the dish did. Charleston Red Rice is very similar to Dirty Rice. A shrimp etoufee is basically what you use for Shrimp & Grits. Crawfish Bisque is very similar to She-Crab Soup. What they call "Shrimp Boil" we call "Frogmore Stew". Things like Charleston Red Rice, Catfish stew, Perlau, Hoppin' Johns, Country Captain, Limpin Susan, and Shrimp Bog are all just lowcountry terms to describe some of the dishes you mentioned.

Wow, that ended up being a lot longer than I'd anticipated
I only mention all this, because I grew up in South Carolina, eating this type of food. The two sides of my family were from different parts of the state, so my dad cooked stuff like this, and my mom cooked more of your southern country cooking.

Last edited by anonymous; 06-14-2007 at 07:54 AM..
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
1,230 posts, read 2,840,722 times
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In my opinon southern food is the best (Im a little biase because Im from the south). Southern food is about family and comfort and not giving a flip how many calories it has in it because it taste so good. It taste so good cause it is made with butter, cream/milk, and grease. .
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:03 PM
 
8,862 posts, read 14,839,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Tex-Mex is to West Texas as southern food is to eastern Texas, in my opinion. Still, I don't think you'll find any kind of cooking like that better anywhere than in Georgia. Georgia is the southern cuisine capital. If you look for it west of San Antonio (greasiest fried chicken in the world) or north of South Carolina, you're out of luck.
I always thought that 'Southern Cuisine' was pretty much the same throughout the SE. ie--same produce --sweet potatoes, turnip greens, tomatoes, corn, beans



Rice would be found in the coastal areas/Low Country--in addition to the other vegetables.
My father grew up in the Low Country and always enjoyed rice pudding--my mother's family from North GA rarely served rice pudding because the rice would have been more expensive--transported from the coastal area.
They made bread pudding.

I suppose my family had simpler tastes--and that is the sort of Southern food I enjoy. Vegetable soup, Brunswick stew and a number of other dishes.

Not the Paula Dean style of Southern cooking --as delicious as her food is.
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