Little Grocery Treats from the South
I was recently down in Nashville, TN visiting my one of my best friends, Susan. Now Susan is probably the most southern gal—I mean lady, who I know. She grew up in Greensboro, NC, and if there was any era that she fit into the best, it would definitely be back in the times where she could wear a large antebellum gown.
While I was visiting her, I had to take advantage of not only the southern ingredients available, but also all the great dishes that Susan makes. I may have grown up in the South as well, but truth be known…I was raised by Yankees. Although my parents greatly appreciated southern food, they didn’t have the upbringing to cook all the locally loved dishes and pass them down to me. So Susan and I made several yummy southern meals to help make up for it.
Before I left, I requested that we make a stop at the market so that I could pick up some items that I can’t get up here in New York (I know, I know…within blocks of me I have excellent Italian groceries, a English market, and a myriad of other food shops; but southern food just doesn’t quite make the cut yet). So we headed to the Harris Teeter where Susan helped me pick out some staple items. A couple of them I grew up with, but most were items that she has known and loved from her childhood in the Carolina’s. Here is what I got:
Mrs. Fearnow’s Delicious Brunswick Stew – Susan raved about this stuff stating that even one of her friends who is a chef eats this stew instead of making it because it’s just that good. This stew is made in Virginia and you can buy it here.
Carolina Treet’s Original Cooking Barbecue Sauce – This BBQ sauce is brought to us from North Carolina—Wilmington to be exact. Susan loves this sauce saying that it is really unique. Surprisingly I learned that it isn’t made with any tomato products. Mmm…quite intriguing! You can buy this sauce here.
Harris She-Crab Soup – Like Campbell’s soup, this is a condensed soup that you mix with a can’s worth of milk and heat. However, unlike Campbell’s soup, this is a really nice and rich treat brought to us originally from South Carolina. You can buy this soup here.
Dale’s Steak Seasoning – This is actually an Alabama specialty—something that I grew up with in Birmingham. It’s name suggests that it’s just for steak, but my family loved using it for chicken. Just marinate your chicken in this super strong seasoning for a little while, and you are sure to have a super yummy meal! You can buy it by the case here.
Thomas Gourmet Foods’ Castle Sauce – This sauce is the perfect companion to those of you who like to add hot sauce to everything. It has a spiciness to it but with more well-rounded and balanced flavors. The consistency is also thicker so it goes well on sandwiches. This product is from Greensboro, NC, and you can order some here.
Quaker Old Fashioned Grits – Now Susan cringed when I bought this exclaiming that real grits is the yellow hominy that her mother sends her from North Carolina. However, this is what I grew up with and everyone else I know down in Alabama. No southern breakfast is complete without a side of grits. Serve with butter and salt. If you really want to treat yourself, add cheddar cheese! You can buy this here. Please do not get the instant grits!
Durkee Famous Sauce – I don’t even know how to describe this. It’s sort of like mayonnaise but with a vinegary edge and a tang that is of its own right. We didn’t have this in Alabama, but I remember this being a staple in Susan’s family’s kitchen when I would visit them in NC over the summertime. It’s the perfect companion to sandwich’s, nicely replacing both mayonnaise and mustard and providing something a little bit more special. You can buy this sauce here.