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Restaurants in Arkansas, United States

Arkansas: Traditional Southern dishes

A traditional Southern meal is deep fried chicken, field peas, mashed potatoes, cornbread, sweet tea and a dessert that could be a pie (sweet potato, pecan and peach are traditional southern pies), or a cobbler (peach, blackberry or mixed berry are traditional cobblers).

Some other foods commonly associated with the South are mint juleps, pecan pie, country ham, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, grits, buttermilk biscuits, especially with gravy or sorghum, pimento cheese, sweet tea, pit barbecue, catfish, fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, bread pudding, okra, butter beans, pinto beans, turnip, collard, or mustard greens, and black eyed peas. A common snack food, in season, is boiled peanuts.

Fried chicken is among the region's best-known exports, though pork is also an integral a part of the cuisine, with Virginia ham being one renowned form. Barbecue is understood to be pork in the eastern South and beef in the western South, unless specified as some other meat, and there are many regional "cookoff" competitions. A traditional holiday get-together featuring whole hog barbecue is known in Virginia and the Carolinas as a "pig pickin'." Green beans are often flavored with bacon and salt pork, biscuits served with ham often accompany breakfast, and ham with red-eye gravy or country gravy is a common dinner dish. A bit of fatback is added to many vegetable dishes, especially greens, for flavoring.

It is not uncommon for a traditional southern meal to consist of only vegetables with no meat dish at all, although meat or meat products are often used in the cooking process. "Beans and Greens," which consists of either white or brown beans alongside a "mess" of greens has always been popular in most parts of the South. Turnip greens are generally prepared mixed with diced turnips and a piece of fatback. It is often said that Southerners tend to cook down their vegetables a little longer and/or use more seasoning than other Americans, but it often depends on the cook.

 


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