Thursday, October 31, 2013
What's In It Any Way?
Sometimes folks just don't "get it" when we try to share our culture. Sure, they love the biscuits and sweet tea. However, when you look closer, you'll notice they are eating Pillsbury Biscuits and have Sweet and Low in their tea. They just don't know any better, as my Auntie would say. And, they wonder why it's just not the same at home as what they experienced down here.
They want the light fluffy biscuits and the heavy rich pound cake, but cannot imagine using that much butter (as in real dairy rich cream butter). They liked the collard greens, even after they stopped holding their nose. However, once again find the idea of even discussing something called "fat back" repulsive. And, when told that is the "secret" ingredient, they turn a lighter color of the dish.
Now if someone served them Head Cheese, that was down right cruel. Just hope your guests said they enjoyed it and left it at that. The best answer to, "What's in this?" is "Just a mix of meats in an aspic." Feel free to describe "aspic", however, this is one recipe you only want to share with the most repulsive guest.
The Chicken Fried Steak is awfully confusing to them. Where's the chicken? And, OMG, fresh Craklins (aka Pork Rinds) - fried pig skins, seriously? They will probably never be able to purchase another snack bag of Pork Rinds again.
And, why can't they find the tender little Butter Beans we served them? Those thick starchy Lima Beans just don't cut it. Once, again, do we have to add bacon to everything?
Then there is the southern dish that has been bastardized by the Kraft Food company. Those taken in by this awful fake will be ignorant for life unless they are enlightened by the real thing. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the blue box (aka Mac and Cheese) should be called on the carpet for impersonating a fine southern delight. Real authentic Macaroni and Cheese is a thick casserole style dish that consists of pasta, lots of cheese, eggs, and butter. After being cooked, the firm consistency can be cut in blocks and served warm or cold to the eagerly waiting family member or guests.
Yes, you can find copies of some of these fine old dishes in restaurants up there. However, both the inability to serve a dish without a flourish of presentation or, worse yet, allegiance to the true recipe or use of all of the ingredients, will cause a failure to produce the real thing by even the best chefs, that generations down here enjoy everyday.
But, then if it isn't worth doing it right, disappointment will follow. Honestly, I really don't care. Call us hicks or scoundrels, rednecks or good ol' boys, but don't think you can pretty up our food or God forbid make it healthy. As Mammy said, "It ain't fittin'... it ain't fittin'. It jes' ain't fittin'... It ain't fittin'".