The 2022 Giveaway Shamrock Tour will take place in the Southeast. The base location will be announced soon, but for now let's find out what we will be eating on this tour.
The people of Appalachia have lived off the land for centuries. They’ve been “eating local" out of necessity, not because of a culinary trend like you see in most of the country. Most of the famous southern foods were foods of poverty, dating back to the early days of America when settlers and slaves scrounged for what they could to sustain their families. These days, many of these foods are considered comfort foods and are popular in home kitchens and restaurants throughout the region.
Cornbread, pinto beans and turnip greens, home-grown vegetables, biscuits and gravy, stews, game like rabbit and venison, chicken and dumplings, apple desserts… The list of Southern and Appalachian foods goes on. Here are a few of the staples.
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We are giving away an all-expenses paid trip to one lucky winner and two of their friends to create a southern Appalachian Shamrock Tour® alongside the RoadRUNNER team. You’ll get to ride the routes, stop for photos, eat in fantastic restaurants, and help create a story that will be featured in an upcoming RoadRUNNER issue.
Beans & Greens
You haven’t experienced Southern food until you’ve had a bowl of pinto beans and turnip greens. Back in the day, dried beans and fresh turnip greens were as little as five cents a pound, making them easily accessible to anyone who didn’t grow their own. Both are typically boiled with a little animal fat and served with vinegar, fresh onion slices, and hot cornbread.
Corn is plentiful in the South, and many versions of cornmeal breads exist. Corn cakes are flat pancake-like cornbread rounds served with lunch or dinner. Cornbread typically comes in a cake-like shape, cut into squares or wedges for serving. Traditional cornbread is not sweet, but many people add sugar to make them more dessert-like. Cornbreads are perfect for sopping up juicy stews or a bowl of beans and greens.
This simple dish (chicken broth and biscuit dough) is a staple of southern Appalachian homesteads. Fancy it up with chunks of chicken, vegetables, and herbs for a gourmet Southern bowl of comfort.
Back in the day, desperation pies came about due to limited availability of ingredients. Want to make a lemon pie but have no lemons? Replace lemon juice with vinegar. You get the idea. Vinegar pies, bean pies, and tomato pies are the most common variations but there are many other desperation pies that are still popular in the South.
Old-Fashioned Stack Cakes
What used to be served as a wedding cake is now a common accompaniment to holidays and celebrations in the mountain towns of the South. Single thin layers of vanilla cake are stacked with apple butter, dried apples, and walnuts in between, and finally topped with powdered sugar. These cakes are hard to find in restaurants.
Biscuits and Gravy
Starting your morning with a freshly baked biscuit and sausage gravy is a sign that the day ahead is going to be long and strenuous—or it could be a sign that you love a homestyle Southern breakfast. Biscuits and gravy can be served with a side of breakfast meats and eggs.
Garden Veggie Pickles
If it comes from the garden or farm, then there’s a high likelihood that it’s been made into a pickle. This is a common way to preserve food for the winter months, and it creates a tasty snack. Pickled okra, beans, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, and even eggs and bologna for those who want to get a little more adventurous. Garden veggie pickles are great alongside a BLT sandwich.
No matter what you decide to eat in the South, chances are your belly will thank you.
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