Trending up in the US and now in Canada is New Southern cooking. From red velvet cake to spoon bread, this trend is fueled by not only the renewed attention the South has gleaned as it rebuilds after Hurricane Katrina but also by the state of the economy. Add to these factors the excellent books by southern cooks such as Jean Anderson, Martha Foose, Virginia Willis (pictured) and Nancie McDermott that provide access to great Southern recipes and you’ve got the makings of a home cooking trend with legs.
“There’s been this enormous importance placed on California and Napa cuisine for many years, and while the South, like much of the country “lost its way” with convenience foods for many years, the South has still retained some level of living off the land,” says Virginia Willis whenI asked her to speak to the appeal of New Southern Cooking.
“I also think there is an honesty to Southern food. It’s simple country cooking, and much like simple country French or Italian, it’s a very pure cuisine with little or no waste. It all goes back to the economic hardships the South has always had.”
What do you think of when you hear the term “New Southern Cuisine”? If this term leaves you feeling baffled, you may want to try one of these recipes from the GoSouth! website and then get back to me about your impressions. Until then, I’ll just sing off with Virginia’s famous line: “Bon Appetit, Y’all!”