Hi! My name is Anaka and I’m Jonathan’s girlfriend. Jon and I started this blog together. He does the cooking, and I edit all his posts. As Jon has already introduced himself, I thought I’d present myself to you all as well.
My father is in the Army and has served for over 20 years. He works at American embassies all over the world, and hence, I grew up overseas. I lived mostly in third-world countries including several Latin American countries and African countries. Although my parents and younger siblings still live overseas, I moved back to the United States at the age of 17 to begin my University education in Virginia, which is where I met Jon.
Jonathan is from Virginia and is very familiar with the Southern Cusine style, and although I’m originally from Texas, growing up overseas caused me not to be quite as acquainted with it. I was used to eating meals including foods such as curries, lentils, and stir-fry. Before moving back to the U.S., I had never eaten many staple Southern foods such as steak, southern dumplings, or even country ham.
Jon’s knowledge of the Southern lifestyle and cuisine and his amazement at my lack of having eaten staple Southern dishes put him on a quest to educate me in Southern cuisine. I have now had steak, southern dumplings, country ham, and many other Southern foods I had not eaten prior to my knowing Jon.
Now that I’ve tried both exotic and Southern cuisines, I can say that I enjoy the flavors of both. I wouldn’t say I like Southern cuisine more than other styles of cuisine, but I can easily state that it is just as great as the other cuisines I have tried. I’ve decided to focus on what I love about Southern cuisine in this post.
One thing I really enjoy about Southern cooking is its simplicity. Many exotic foods, although good, have so many different spices in them you can’t really tell what’s in them anymore and what you’re supposed to taste. It confuses the taste buds and is somewhat overwhelming. Although not simple or plain, Southern cuisine doesn’t generally use an overwhelming amount of spices. The taste is straightforward, easy to handle, and one can really taste every spice that has been used.
Another thing that’s pretty great about Southern cuisine is its richness. Although maybe not great in large amounts, the creaminess and richness of many southern dishes are mouthwatering and delicious. In the end, even though it’s not easy to eat in large amounts, it works out fine because most of these rich foods are quite filling in smaller portions.
Something that also sets aside Southern cuisine is the diversity of ingredients we have in the United States. This is not to say that we should feel bad because we have more access to more ingredients, I just think it really sets apart Southern dishes from cuisine from third-world countries. These third-world countries don’t have easy access (and if they do, it’s extremely expensive) to what we would consider simple ingredients such as cheese, whipping cream, and certain fresh fruits and vegetables. These ingredients allow Southern cuisine the option of being rich and fresh, unlike some exotic cuisines.
Many Americans probably think of Southern cuisine as the usual, nothing special. However, when we begin to contrast this style of cooking with others from around the world, you can clearly see that the South has its own unique and delicious style that isn’t really available anywhere else. Although the exotic cuisine is super appetizing, I’d still come back to eating Southern cuisines any day.