Skip To Content

    15 Foods Southerners Don't Realize Are Kinda Weird

    It's not all fried chicken and banana pudding!

    Southern food is truly a gift.


    I see you, chicken and waffles!

    And while a lot of it has made its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of people all over the world...

    ...some of it hasn't quite reached the same level of popularity.


    Yes, those are peanuts in a bottle of Coke.

    But if you want to explore more Southern cuisine, here are 15 of the strangest (and most delicious) dishes you can find only in the South:

    1. Chocolate gravy:


    In the South, we know that chocolate is an important breakfast staple and chocolate gravy is the best way to start your day! It's typically made with cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and some kind of fat and served over buttermilk biscuits.

    2. Polk salad:


    This salad is made from pokeweed and scrambled eggs. It seems simple enough, but pokeweed is actually poisonous unless it's properly boiled. If all goes well, it's considered a delicacy!

    3. Cornbread in buttermilk:


    If you happen to find yourself with leftover cornbread, you'll want to make this treat. Just cut the cornbread into chunks, put it in a glass, and fill it up with buttermilk. If you're feeling sweet, you can add a spoonful of sugar!

    4. Pimento cheese:


    Though there are many different variations of pimento cheese, this dish always contains shredded cheese, pimentos, and a combination of mayo and cream cheese. It's often eaten as a dip with crackers but has also been known to reach its full potential as a sandwich spread.

    5. Boiled peanuts:


    If you want a soft and salty treat, boiled peanuts are the snack for you! They are usually available for purchase around the South, but you can also make them at home by boiling peanuts in water with salt for a few hours.

    6. Potato candy:


    If you think potatoes and dessert don't go together, you are WRONG. This treat is typically served during the holidays and is made with potatoes, powdered sugar, and peanut butter.

    7. Hoppin' John:


    Hoppin' John is one of those dishes that can be easily customized, but most versions tend to have rice, black-eyed peas, and onions. It's typically eaten on New Year's Day because black-eyed peas are thought to bring luck and prosperity!

    8. Hush puppies:


    Cornbread is good. Fried foods are good. Fry some cornbread batter to make a hush puppy and you've got the Greatest Food of All Time.

    9. Succotash:


    Succotash combines corn and lima beans to create an absolutely DELICIOUS veggie side. It can also be jazzed up with things like okra and bell peppers.

    10. Fried green tomatoes:


    Red tomatoes? Never heard of them! For this dish, unripe green tomatoes are sliced and dipped into a cornmeal batter and given a good fry. They're great on their own, but are also a delicious addition to any sandwich.

    11. Ambrosia salad:


    If you hate vegetables, let me introduce you to ambrosia "salad." This dish can be served as either a side salad OR a dessert and is typically a combo of whipped topping, mini marshmallows, and crushed pineapple.

    12. Corn pudding:


    If you want to take your love for corn to the next level, make it a casserole and call it corn pudding. It's made using some combination of corn kernels and creamed corn and is thickened up using milk, butter, and flour. It's then baked in the oven to give it some texture.

    13. Divinity:


    This Southern meringue is so sweet and simple, it's downright ~divine~. It's made with only sugar, corn starch, and egg whites and is often topped with a pecan.

    14. Chicken fried steak:


    At its core, this dish is not quite steak and not quite chicken. To make it, a cube steak is tenderized and then battered and fried like a piece of chicken. It is essential to top it with white gravy. If you choose brown gravy, you've suddenly entered country fried steak territory.

    15. And finally, chitlins:


    What chitlins lack in beauty, they more than make up for in FLAVOR. It's typically made from pig intestines, which are boiled and then fried and served with apple cider vinegar and hot sauce.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form