Thursday, July 8, 2010

Southerners and Northerners, what's on your shelf?

Tom Hanchett, the curator of the Levine Museum of the New South, needs your help with an interesting project. The museum is making some changes to the permanent exhibit, Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers to reflect the old and new cultures that call Charlotte home. One feature will be a grocery store shelf with the favorite foods of the various groups that live here.

As a dedicated food searcher, Hanchett has the Latino, Vietnamese and Indian/Pakistani groups covered. But he'd like suggestions for the Northern and Southern products.

He has some ideas, but he'd love more. Here are the categories, with the ideas he already has:

Soft drinks: Southern - Cheerwine. Northern - Dr. Brown's?

Potato chips/snacks: Southern - pork rinds. Northern - ?

Canned vegetable or fruit: Southern - black-eyed peas or collard greens. Northern - ?

Hot sauce or other sauce: Southern - Texas Pete. Northern - Buffalo wing sauce?

Cookies: Southern - ? Northern - Tastykakes.

Spices: Southern - Barbecue dry rub? Northern - ?

Flour/rice/grains: Southern - grits (what brand?) Northern - ?

Post your suggestions in the comments and I'll let Tom know to watch for them. Personally, I'd think the cookie list is missing a Moon Pie and a black-and-white cookie.


Ken Allen said...

Somewhere on the Southern shelf there needs to be a can of sardines, a bag of Martha White flour, a loaf of white bread (Bost, Bunny or Sunbeam), a can of Rumford Baking Powder, a box of Nilla Vanilla wafers, a bag of Dixie Crystals sugar. And all the perishable goods need to be stored in a Kelvinator (a brand of refrigerator made by the Rambler car company that was less expensive than GM-made Frigidaire).

Anonymous said...

Northern potato chips: Utz or Herr's.

Anonymous said...

What about Duke's Mayonnaise?

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to think what was essential to northern (Italian) cooking versus Southern cooking. The one key ingredient, obviously, was garlic. Lots of garlic!

Alison said...

Northerners' stuff:

soft drink: Vernor's ginger ale
snack: Utz or Charles potato chips
instead of grits? Cream of Wheat--makes all the Southerners' stomachs lurch!

Don't forget the maple syrup, either. The real stuff, not Mrs. Butterworth's.

Anonymous said...

Southern cookies: Ginger snaps ofcourse!

Anonymous said...

I am from Charlotte but my wife is from Upstate NY. Here are our choices.

Soft Drinks - Sun Drop
Potato Chips/Snacks - Lance Crackers
Spices - ButtRub

Soft Drinks - Squirt
Potato Chips/Snacks - Utz or Martins
Canned Vege - Pickled Tomatoes
Spices - Vingear
Flour/Rice/Grains - Barley

beth davis said...

Don't forget the cornbread mix! Gotta have it to go with the pinto beans and collards!
Saltine Crackers to go with the sardines......and a can of Vienna Sausages, just in case.
At Christmas, you have to have an A&P Fruitcake....which you can still find online.

Anonymous said...

The North says…

Soft drinks: PEPSI

Potato chips/snacks: Troyer Farm Chips

Hot sauce or other sauce: Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Flour/rice/grains: Quaker grits and cornmeal

Mayo of Miracle Whip: Miracle Whip
Sugar: Domino

Anonymous said...

No one mentioned bagels! You could hardly get a bagel in N.C. until the late 80s. And I don't think sardines are exclusively Southern. My Manhattan-raised Dad loved them. Northern cooking is not exclusively Italian. The Jewish and German influence is huge, too. The Irish were big, too, but they weren't big eaters.

Phil Fowler said...

breakfast meat;Neeses Liver Pudding
Cookies; ginger snaps
grits brand; Old School
don't forget canned peaches
soft drink; Mountain Dew

Raif Hollister said...

Ruth's pimento cheese, Duke's mayonnaise, Texas Pete hot sauce, Mt. Olive pickles, RC Cola, Lance snack crackers (the orange kind w/ peanut butter), Neese's sausage, Neese's livermush, Bost bread, House Autry fish breader...

Anonymous said...

Northerners: kielbassa, pierogies, kraut, chip-chopped ham... (10 points to any yinzers out there playing "name that hometown"!)

Anonymous said...

From Western PA:

Marshmallow creme, in order to make a "Fluffernutter".

Genessee beer

Wise potato chips

Ketchup...on everything

Broasted chicken

Anonymous said...

This shouldn't be a brand-based presentation, and "northern" should be defined to mean "anything that the rest of American uses as common".

Thus, non-Southern influx to use include any instant oatmeal to rival grits, root beer to rival Cheerwine, apples rather than peaches, unsweetend iced tea rather than 'sweet tea'. While Carolinans eat that gross ketchup-laced coleslaw, the tastier coleslaw is white and sweet; also Carolina BBQ pales in comparison to BBQ beef or the use of non-catfish as a meal entree.

Anonymous said...

North (really Midwest): Faygo Pop (yes, I said pop, not soda)

Anonymous said...

Remember the buttermilk for homemade buttermilk biscuits and moon pies! (all of course on the southern list)

Anonymous said...

Moon Pies and buttermilk for biscuits!

Anonymous said...

Northern Snack: Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips

Influences besides Italian - Polish/Lithuanian - pierogies, potato pancakes, square pizza.

Anonymous said...

From a native Charlottean: Moon Pie, RC Cola, Duke's Mayo, Texas Pete hot sauce, Ruth's pimento cheese, Lance snack crackers (ToastChee are the orange kind w/ peanut butter, think they are also known as "nabs" toward the mountains), Neese's livermush, fried okra, salt and pepper catfish, buttermilk biscuits with stewed tomatoes and okra, and... by the way pinto beans-with-collards-and-cornbread IS an entree!

Anonymous said...

I love Southern cooking, and I have lived here nearly 30 years. I love grits and collards, which are staples in my diet.

But ...

A few northern things you probably would not see on a southern shelf:

Pickled pig's feet (actually they do taste surprisingly *interesting*)

Barbecue sauce (the thick, spicy, ketchupy stuff)

Seasoned bread crumbs


Bottled antipasto stuff, like marinated eggplant

Schlitz beer

A bottle of green olives

Anonymous said...

The food examples seem to suggest that "North" really means "New York and New England" -- there's not much representation of the Midwest here...

So, some midwestern suggestions:
Canned veggie- sauerkraut
soda--ale 8, or just calling all brown fizzie soda pop "coke"
sauce -- montgomery inn bbq sauce, or french's yellow mustard
and i second the suggestion of Schlitz.

Angie said...

Southern: Fried Livermush, gravy biscuits, grits (make them thick), pinto beans and cornbread (as a meal),fried squash or okra, moonpies, any kind of cobbler, cheerwine, sundrop, coleslaw (made with Dukes mayo and dixie crystals sugar),chopped pork BBQ.

Susan said...

I'm originally from Louisiana, so...

Soft drink: Lipton tea bags

Potato Chips: Zapps

Canned good: I never ate canned peas (well, only English peas in a can) before I got married and moved. My family grew and put up their veggies. Nothing beats fresh purple hull peas from the garden.

Hot sauce: Texas Pete's is a joke; if you want to do hot, look to Louisiana. Tabasco is real hot sauce. But I do prefer Louisiana brand hot sauce with my fried catfish and homemade fries.

Cookies: Is there really a Southern cookie? I think I'll vote cobbler for a Southern dessert.

Spices: Tony Chachere's.

Flour/grains/rice: Rice is a south Louisiana staple.

Also add in Community Coffee. And catfish and hush puppies.

Anonymous said...

Dukes Mayo, please

Anonymous said...

It would be a cool symbolic thing for the museum to include:

-- North: Liverwurst

-- South: Livermush

They are truly different products, but actually, they taste very similar. And ... I think they both taste great!

Anonymous said...

another vote for a pack of nabs!

Anonymous said...

you can't forget the marshmallow fluff and the coffee syrup
and cape cod potato chips
soda a& E (root beer or cream soda)

Anonymous said...

Northern drink;
Manhattan Special

Don't forget the the White Castle burgers, Mallomars, Italian Ice, seeded hard rolls, zeppole...
omg, I'm getting hungry!

carolina colleges said...

To represent the Appalachian influence on Charlotte, you need to include some sourwood honey, some greasy cut short beans, some creasy greens. From the Piedmont you need to include Moravian sugar cookies and moravian ginger snaps. A significant Southern food is Claxton Fruitcakes from Claxton, GA, the closest to the ones mama made.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Tea - Tetley brand. Peach Cobbler or blackberry pie made fresh (which requires lard or SnowDrift). Brunswick stew. Hushpuppies. Duke's. Fried chicken ingredients (no Shake n Bake). Home-canned green beans. Yams. Banana pudding (Nillas, vanilla pudding, chiquita bananas).

Anonymous said...

I definitely think Cape Cod potato chips are a must, for the Northern display.

(Great chips, even the reduced fat ones are outstanding. ...)

The nice irony is that Cape Cod potato chips are actually owned by Charlotte's Lance Inc.

North meets South in potato chips.

Anonymous said...

Alison, just so you'll know, I am a Charlotte native who grew up on Charles Chips (they used to be delivered to your door) and cream of wheat.

My mom was a Charlotte native, too, but I attribute the cream of wheat (a tasty winter morning breakfast!) to her mom, my New England born-and-bred grandmother.

Leslie said...

Here is what I grew up with in Southern Ohio and in my opinion is quite Northern:
Soft drinks: Pepsi
Potato chips/snacks: Mike Sells
canned veggie: stewed tomatoes or Northern beans
hot sauce or other sauce: Lea and Perrin's worcestershire
cookies: fig newtons or oatmeal raisin
spices: garlic powder, Italian seasoning
flour/rice/grain:cream of wheat (cocoa wheats if I was lucky!)

Anonymous said...

I love both Northern and Southern food. Pulled pork and Philly cheese steak. Utz chips and Cheerwine.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

From someone who's lived in the North twice and the South twice, some "Northern" foods:

Soft drink - birch beer; Snacks/chips - pretzels; meat products - scrapple (northern version of livermush); grains - bagels

PS - Tastykake is not a cookie! (would be more analogous to Southern Little Debbies)

Anonymous said...

Some New England favorites: Canned goods: B&M baked beans, B&M brown bread,Snow's clam chowder.

Beverages: Polar Orange Dry, Narragansett beer.

Chips: State Line Potato chips

Crackers and snacks: Drake's Devil Dogs; Table Talk pies;Vermont Common crackers.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Potato chips/snacks: Northern - bagel chips

Canned vegetable or fruit: Northern - cannoli beans

Cookies: Southern - Moonpies, Lance's peanut butter cookies

Spices: Northern - red paprika

Flour/rice/grains: Northern - ditalini pasta

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anonymous, ' Pepsi was first made in North Carolina. It is in no way, shape or form a "northern" drink,' but if you had lived anywhere away from here, you would know that Northerners (including Midwesterners) like Pepsi better than Coke in terms of national drinks (prior to the internet sales of local drinks).

Southern: Krispy Kreme
Northern: Dunkin' Donuts

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anonymous, ' Pepsi was first made in North Carolina. It is in no way, shape or form a "northern" drink,' but if you had lived anywhere away from here, you would know that Northerners (including Midwesterners) like Pepsi better than Coke in terms of national drinks (prior to the internet sales of local drinks).

Southern: Krispy Kreme
Northern: Dunkin' Donuts

Anonymous said...

Dukes mayo is terrible - Southerner

Majordad said...

Stone ground Grits and don't forget cornmeal from a local mill such as "Old School" in Albemarle.

RC Cola. Blenheim Ginger Ale. And, I am astonished that no one has mentioned Pepsi.

Anonymous said...

Hot sauce = Frank's Hot Sauce for Northerners. It's not water like Texas Pee.

Vernor's ginger ale for northerners too. Faygo pop is good too as is marshmellow Fluff.

I am from up north and my wife is southern.

Genny Cream Ale for beer (PJ O'Reily's in Ballantyne has it).

I love Lance crackers - they are the best.

Regardin Pepsi: It may be a NC born drink but there is only 1 place in the entire country where it outsells Coke and that is Buffalo, NY.

Anonymous said...

Gee whiz..if I had lived any where away from here? My family home place in North Carolina has been in our family since 1790, but I've spent the better part of three decades in the USAF. I've lived in 10 states and 3 foreign countries. Neither the prevalence of something in a place or the popularity of it there make it from that place. Coke is the most popular soft drink in the world. When I lived in the midwest and the northeast Coke dominated the market. According to Guinness: "largest global brand in the world based on sales." Either way, Pepsi still isn't a "northern" soft drink. Just like my son born in Italy is not Italian and my son born in Germany is not German.

Anonymous said...

You can't have a Southern pot luck without banana pudding, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, pound cake, mustard-flavored potato salad, buttermilk biscuits, sliced ham, fried chicken, black-eyed peas ....
I'm getting hungry!

VanderQ said...

Soft drinks: Southern - RC Cola, Coca-Cola

Potato chips/snacks: Southern- Lance crackers, pork rinds

Canned vegetable or fruit: Southern - Okra, Chow-Chow, peaches

Hot sauce or other sauce: Southern - Scott's BBQ sauce; Duke's Mayo and JFG mayo

Cookies: Southern - Moonpies

Spices: Southern - File powder, dried Vidalia onions

Flour/rice/grains: Southern - Nora Mill grits; rice

Anonymous said...

North- Buffalo wings, real maple syrup (from the tree), Hoffman hot dogs, salt potatos, deep dish pizza... yum yum!

Anonymous said...

Duke's mayo is garbage. JFG is the only way to go.

North South, Black White. Good Lord, don't you people have anything else to fight about?

Kathleen Purvis said...

Who's fighting, Anonymous 8:24? Actually, I've been happy about how polite and good-humored this exchange has been so far. Thanks, all, for getting into the spirit and sharing so many suggestions. Curator Tom should be pleased.

Anonymous said...

Anything Utz makes is trash. You got to love Cheez Doodles and BBQ Fritos though. North Carolina Barbeque is garbage too. Texas and Kansas City is where to go for Barbeque. This trash you people pull off of hogs I wouldn't feed to pigs.

Anonymous said...

I spent my first 18 years in Massachusetts. No offense, but your Northern list is off- VERY off. Try this for starters.

Drink: Snapple
Potato chips: Cape Cod Potato Chips
Canned vegetable or fruit: Cranberries!
Hot Sauce: Tabasco?
Cookies: Tastykakes? Never heard of them! Try Oreos
Spices: Paprika and Cinnamon
Flour/rice/grains: Oatmeal

Anonymous said...

And by the way..Cape Cod Potato Chips might be owned by Lance now..but they are as Northern as you get. Manufactured 10 minutes from my childhood home. Can't count how many tours I've been chips at the end :)

Alison said...

Kathleen, I was pleased, too at the generally good-natured responses. It's a nice change! (Too bad the respondant directly after you had to be an exception.)

If re-votes are allowed, I might want to change my Charles Chips to Mike Sells!

Oh, and another soft drink that I think is Northern is Barq's root beer (not sure, since I don't drink rb). I'll second the B&M baked beans, too.

Anybody here still eating Pierre's ice cream??

Anonymous said...

A "coke" means any soft drink in the south-- "pop" is northern.
While there are regional drinks like Cheerwine... The entire south would agree that both Coca-Cola and Pepsi are "southern."

The official drink of the south is of course "sweet tea." Isn't it funny that even northern McDonald's are now selling it?!!

Let me second the votes for:
- Bananna puddin'
- pimento cheese
- Krispy Kreme originals
- Lance crackers

Southern wedding food:
- cheese straws
- "vegetable salad" sandwiches with the crust cut off

What's a southern church picnic without:
- fried chicken
- "country" ham biscuits
- homemade pickles

Southern diner food:
- chicken fried steak
- biscuits with sausage gravy
- "fried" seafood

Betsy said...

Some "Tri-State" (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) thoughts:

Soda: Manhattan Special, Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge (or any flavor), Dr. Brown's.

Potato chips/snacks: Utz, Snyder's of Hanover, Time Out "Party Mix" (old school).

Canned vegetable or fruit: mandarin oranges, button mushrooms, water chestnuts

Hot sauce or other sauce: Northerners mostly defer to Southern brands like Tabasco, but don't forget Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce (crucial for Bloody Marys) and also, more recently, Dinosaur BBQ of Syracuse's bbq sauces.

Cookies: Entenmann's, Drakes, Linden's (chocolate chip cookies, 3 to a pack)

Spices: this isn't "tri state" but Cincinatti chili mix!

Flour/rice/grains: Jiffy cornbread, Maypo

Anonymous said...

Northerners--cornmeal mush for breakfast? (Or later in the day, the savory version, polenta?)
How about haluski & halupki? All of the above, of course, the result of immigration, but a part of my Yankee childhood nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Doughnuts: South - Krispy Kreme North - Dunkin Doughnuts

Anonymous said...

Budwine soft drink

Anonymous said...

Lexington house bbq

Anonymous said...

jeez why are people so defensive!
I do have to say that Lexington House BBQ is the best in the country and they have the awards to back it up.
Some folks just have too many anger issues. Get a grip rude peeps!

PS Don't know if you have heard or not but black people and white people well we get along!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ranch Style beans in the South..

wonder if they make frito pie in the North

Anonymous said...

Middleswarth potato chips are the best from the North!!!

Johnny Hanlon said...

I'm A CharlestoniAn And Can Tell U That You Know Nothing Of My Region And Our Cooking. Ketchup Based Coleslaw, Never Had It. As For Our Barbeque, It's World Renown And Our Mustard Based sauce Is Sold The World Over. Next Time, Do Some Research B4 You spew Diarrhea Out Of Ur Mouth.

Kathleen Purvis said...

Thank you for your feedback, Johnny, even if it is four years after the original conversation.

Anonymous said...

I am the product of a mixed marriage. Dad was a d*mned Yankee & Mom was a Southern belle. So, I'm familiar with both cuisines.

Northern Snack: Cracker Jack's or Charles Potato Chips! Chicagoans prefer Jay's Chips!

Canned Vegie: Green Beans or Sauerkraut(as if nothing else exists)!

Southern Cookie: A Moon Pie!

Southern BBQ: MEMPHIS WET! Dry rub is for sissies! The North is more into Beef ribs than pork & they like a much thicker sauce!

Where the South wants grits, the North prefers hash browns!

In the South, you get a corn muffin or cornbread. In the North, they add sugar & turn it into something vile!

Last, but not least, in the South you get sweet tea. In the North, you get a cloudy & often bitter iced tea. If you ever venture to Canada, they make great sweet tea in British Columbia! You'd swear you were in the Southern Appalachians -- NOT the Canadian Rockies!

Anonymous said...

Learn to properly construct sentences. There's no reason to type like an eight year old. (unless you are eight)