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11 Weird Southern Foods that are Actually Awesome

Monday, July 9, 2018 12:47
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents. cooking sounds strange when you read about it on paper. Gumbo’s ingredients read like some mad scientist’s concoction. Who drinks tea so sweet it could straighten your hair?

And what, exactly, are grits even, anyway?

There’s a lot of things that people don’t understand about Southern Cuisine. It doesn’t make much sense until you the lights go on and the pieces click. Enjoy a slice of ice-cold watermelon and a steamy summer afternoon while a pot of jambalaya simmers on the stove, filling the air with its peppery savory scent, and it all comes together.

Like with most culinary delights, you simply have to try these weird southern foods to truly understand. Once you have, you’re going to be a little more Southern at heart.

11 Weird Southern Foods That Are Actually Delicious

Remember, a lot of common dishes seem like strange food combinations at first glance. Beans and franks would be an easy first example. A peanut-butter-and-marshmallow-fluff sandwich is stranger than many of the items that have made our list.

We ask you to keep an open mind (and palate) when trying these weird Southern foods. Try to get in the right headspace as much as possible. Turn on some country music, jazz, or Southern rock. Open the windows and let in the smell of the cooling night air.

These Southern dishes will make a lot more sense when you experience them in their natural habitat.

Peanut Butter And Mayonnaise Sandwiches

Since we started off giving New England-ers a hard time for their fluffernutter sandwiches, we’ll go ahead and call Southerners out for their own strange sandwich combination.

Peanut butter and mayo didn’t come together initially for their complex, complimentary flavors. This strange Southern dish came about due to necessity. The mayonnaise would make stiff peanut butter easier to spread.

Regardless, it’s become a staple of Southern living. Chef Travis Milton is known to wear a t-shirt singing its praises. So open a jar of Jif and some Miracle Whip and find out what it’s all about.

Biscuits And Chocolate Gravy

Biscuits and gravy is one of the most iconic Southern dishes. This is still true even when the gravy is made of chocolate.

Dishing chocolate sauce over savory biscuits might seem strange. it’s really not that much different from French toast when you think about it. A stale baguette soaked in egg yolks, fried in a skillet, and then topped with maple syrup sounds weird, too.

Shrimp And Grits

Shrimp and grits together actually makes a lot of sense. People just might not put the two together that often, outside of the Delta.

Shrimp and grits is a specialty dish from one of the Deep South’s most iconic regions – the Mississippi Delta. Distinctive, unusual Cajun food in all of its flavorings could fill its own book but still must be included in any Southern cooking roundup.

Shrimp and grits is sort of like a mash-up between shrimp etouffee and hominy grits, one of the South’s most characteristic dishes. The light, fluffy corn kernels are the perfect texture to offset the crisp snap of the shrimp.

Every region of the South has its own variant of shrimp and grits. Look into the subtle variations and try a bunch. You can tour the entire South without ever leaving your kitchen.

Gumbo And Potato Salad

Cajuns are particularly good at combining unexpected ingredients in exquisite ways. They are master alchemists of taste and texture, bringing together flavors in mind-blowing arrays.

Putting a dollop of potato salad in a bowl of gumbo really isn’t that strange. It just might not be the first combination you’d think of. The cold creaminess of the potato salad offsets the piping hot stew of the gumbo, making it a prime choice for warmer weather months. The sharp tang of the dill helps to brighten the red smokey flavor of the gumbo.

Just when you thought Cajun food couldn’t be more delicious, you find out you can completely reinvent a timeless dish with a simple addition of a side dish.

Mayonnaise And Bean Sandwich

You must be thinking, “What is it with Southerners adding mayonnaise to everything? Also, why are so many dishes eaten in sandwich format?”

Again, when you really get down to it, BBQ baked beans with a modest dash of mayo between two slices of bread isn’t that out of left field. You’ve eaten beans with bread on the side before, right? Maybe cleaned your plate with some bread-and-butter (another Southern specialty.) This distinctive Southern treat just puts it all together in one easy-to-eat delicacy.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern cooking is a goldmine of inspired fried foods. The Southern mantra is “If it’s good, it’ll be even better fried.”

Fried green tomatoes baffle those who’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing their tart tantalization. They mistakenly think of ripe tomatoes when imagining the texture. It’s no wonder they mistake this for a weird southern food.

Green tomatoes are not yet ripe. This makes them tougher and less runny than the red, ripe variety. This helps them stay firm during the frying process. It’s a deliciously winning combination.


Hot dogs are one of the most “All-American” foods around. Every region has its own variants, many of which can be quite extreme and strange (looking at you, Chicago.)

Southerners have their own flair on the traditional hot dog. In Alabama, coleslaw is served on the side of virtually everything. It was only a matter of time until these two worlds met in one delectable, hand-held package.

A slawdog is simply a hot dog topped with a scoop of tangy coleslaw. The sharp snap of the vinegar is a nice compliment to the frankfurter. It gives a brighter, fresher taste to this all-American favorite.

Kool-Aid Pickles

Pickles soaked in Kool-Aid is as much a part of the visual landscape of the Deep South as the flavor palate. Those who’re old enough may recall seeing dill pickles soaking in cherry Kool-Aid on gas station counters, similar to pickled eggs in certain old-fashioned bars.

Kool-aid pickles are a neat treat as they soak up the dye from this sugary brine. Bright red pickles are beyond novel and can make for a nice decorative platter.

It doesn’t have to be cherry Kool-Aid, either. You can soak your pickles in whatever flavor you like! Experiment with different colors and make yourself a dill pickle bouquet.

Cantaloupe And Black Pepper

Combining savory spices with sweet, succulent fruits isn’t as crazy as it sounds. A lot of folks add a dash of salt to their watermelon. Ditto that for tomatoes, which are also a fruit, keep in mind.

A dash of cracked pepper on some fresh, juicy cantaloupe is like the gourmet equivalent of this. It’s not just Southerners, either. Cracked pepper and fresh cantaloupe is also a popular dish in the Mediterranean.

If you’re looking for an even more elaborate way to experience this delicacy, top your cantaloupe with some oil and vinegar along with the black pepper.

Coca-Cola and Peanuts

It’s not that uncommon to enjoy some salted peanuts with some kind of frosty beverage. Southerners have just decided to eliminate a step and bring all of their favorite things together!

To try peanuts and Coca-Cola simply take a long gulp to make some room, preferably in a glass bottle. You’ll likely have enough room to fit a small bag of peanuts in the bottle.

Coca-cola and peanuts together isn’t exclusive to the South. It’s also been found in Minnesota, Oregon, and Maine, which should help put your mind at ease if you’re feeling skeptical after some of the other combos we’ve mentioned.

Fruit And Hot Sauce

Are you beginning to notice a pattern with some of these weird Southern foods? People in the South seem to have a passion for putting things together that normally do not fit. A spicy fruit salad might seem like one of these unlikely hybrids at first glance.

Many Central and South American countries blend sweet, sticky fruits with some kind of spice. Same is true of many equatorial countries. Just think of chili mangoes on a stick, for one example.

This Southern dish is pretty similar to chili mangoes, actually. This traditional Texan dish blends ripe mangoes, papaya, and pineapple with some kind of thick hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot is a regional favorite.) Then top the whole thing off Tajin, which is a mixture of seasoning salt and dehydrated lime.

Hopefully, some of these combinations won’t seem so strange now that you’re more familiar with Southern cuisine. So much of authentic Southern culture never gets broadcast. Those who’ve never been down South don’t know the heaven of side-of-the-road BBQ shacks or crawfish boils.

If you want even more Southern food combinations, you can see more over here.

Want Even More Weird News?

Seeing the same old headlines day after day gets dull as a butter knife. That’s not even to mention dis-spiriting and often enraging.

Why not pick up your day with something unique and uplifting? Whether you’re looking for weird Southern food or strange YouTube channels, you’ll find something to blow your mind and brighten your day.

Weirdomatic is the place where all weird things come to life through the amazing world of photographs – a corner of our wild imagination or the whimsical face of the reality?


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