Learning to love southern food

I’ve caught a bug, a country bug.

As a native southern California girl, I grew up exposed to various cultures and music, but I could never get into country-pop artists like Taylor Swift and Shania Twain, until recently. Now, here I am blasting Luke Bryan while sipping on the fabulous sweet tea that my roommate made, craving a cold brew on a Friday night and looking for buttermilk baked chicken recipes – a healthier alternative to buttermilk fried chicken.

Buttermilk fried chicken.  – Photo courtesy of Flickr

Buttermilk fried chicken. – Photo courtesy of Flickr

If you are from the south, I apologize for my lack of knowledge. I understand that these foods are not incredibly country, but I am willing to learn the ways and become country-cultured.

Some of my favorite southern treat recipes come from some of my favorite bloggers, although some of them might be a little more Southern California, but they’ll get you rocking your cowboy boots and blaring some country tunes as you fill your college kitchen with good eats.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and one of my favorites, the Pioneer Woman, has the best recipe for homemade drop biscuits and gravy to start your morning off right.

For lunch, the only thing I can say about Eat Yourself Skinny’s The Best Turkey Chili You’ll Ever Taste is, “Man! I feel like a woman.”

When it comes to snacks, I don’t have a clue what people snack out in the south. My thoughts immediately venture to old country westerns, so I think of chewing tobacco, beef jerky and cans of peaches – or maybe that’s just a throwback to the movie “Holes” with Shia Labeouf. Either way, my favorite trail mix, Slow Cooker Monday Granola by 52 Kitchen Adventures, has a southern feel.

What appetizers do people in the south eat? In honor of savory southern hors d’oeuvres here is another Jalapeño Popper recipe by Deep Dish South – I might be obsessed with bacon, cheese and flaming hot peppers. Learn to love it.

While my quest for buttermilk baked chicken is still underway, I found a fabulously crispy recipe for buttermilk-fried chicken by the Brown Eyed Baker. What caught my eye about this recipe in particular was her intro before actually talking about the importance of fried chicken when she was doing her undergraduate studies – props to her because now I am sharing her treasured recipe with a bunch of college kids.

Finally we get to dessert. There is nothing more country to me than Peach Cobbler and when made correctly, the cobbler should melt in your mouth with vanilla ice cream melting on top of it – just thinking about it makes my mouth water. This decadent peach cobbler recipe from My Baking Addiction won’t disappoint.

I’m probably missing some key southern treats and elements, but don’t fret ! I’m working on my knowledge – that’s what cookbooks are for. At the moment I’m trying to separate creole from bayou and Texas from Kentucky. I have much to learn but at least the journey is tasty.

Alegra Hueso is a sophomore majoring in creative writing.  Her column “In Love With the Edible” runs on Wednesdays in print and Fridays online.