Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Virginia Willis, is the author of cookbooks "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y’all." She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and a frequent contributor to Taste of the South. She also wrote Eatocracy's most-commented post of all time.
In this series for the Southern Foodways Alliance, I am examining iconic Southern foods that so completely belong to summer that if you haven’t relished them before Labor Day, you should consider yourself deprived of the entire season. My plan is to share a little history and a few recipes that I hope you will enjoy.
We kicked off the series with homemade ice cream. Coming up, I’ll feature tomatoes, squash, peas & beans, okra, peaches, and finish up right before Labor Day with a barbecued Boston butt. This week, we’re going crazy for corn!
Corn is not only an iconic Southern food; it’s All-American. Granted, as a country, we have perhaps become overly dependent on corn. But instead of the unpleasantries of industrial agriculture, let’s focus on buttery juices dribbling down your wrists, old-fashioned miniature plastic corn forks jauntily stabbed into the ends of the cob, and bacon fat melting in the cast-iron skillet, ready to receive freshly cut, milky kernels for creamed corn.
If you don't like mangoes, look away now.
This article includes a "mango" word count well in excess of what is normally reasonable.
It features mango culinary demonstrations, mango samplings, mango lectures, mango medics, a mango auction and even a mango summit.
That's because I attended the International Mango Festival, held in the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami earlier this month.
It's an annual event, one that draws enthusiasts, like myself, and also mango "experts" who gather to talk, taste and slurp their way around this sweetest, drippiest of fruits.
At least 22 schoolchildren died in northeastern India after eating free school lunches that contained a poison, a state official said.
More than 25 others have been hospitalized in Bihar state, said Education Minister P.K. Shahi, after ingesting an insecticide that was in the food.
Some die-hard fans are getting all wrapped up in a campaign to defend Paula Deen.
They're sending cleaned and origami-folded butter wrappers to Food Network and other companies that dropped the popular chef and cookbook author in the wake of allegations of racism and sexual harassment. Deen later admitted to "of course" using the n-word. The wrappers are intended as signs of protest - physical declarations of "we're sticking with Paula."