North Carolina has been my home for the past 20 years and I could never explain in words the beauty of this place. If you were born in the South, this list will hit close to home because these are all things we love to eat. People around the country should be thankful for the creations North Carolina has brought to them.
Included in this list are some very awesome food inventions born in North Carolina. For people who have yet to explore this impressive state, here is a list of 11 things that the rest of the country should thank North Carolina for:
I know you would assume Texas Pete was created in Texas, but you were wrong, (it’s okay, I was too). Maybe that’s why our parents taught us that assumptions are bad. This spicy treat that people around the country put on any and everything was born here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Without the work of Thad Garner in 1929, people would not have 3 bottles in their houses just waiting to be tossed on some eggs. There are countless other things that people tend to throw this stuff on but that would require an entire article in and of itself.
Now, I know that y’all love pickles, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t get excited when they get a sandwich and there is a pickle on the side. This company is the best-selling brand of pickles in the Southeast – everyone knows their label.
In 1926 in Mt. Olive, North Carolina, (I know they thought hard about that name, right?) this company put their mark on the pickle world. It is extremely important that people know that these bad boys were born and *pickled* here in the beautiful Tarheel state.
Anyone who has ever set foot in the south has heard of magical bubbly drink. This hybrid soda is a mix between cola and cherry and after your first sip, your life will be forever changed. People from the North might think it is a little dramatic to say that a soda could change your life but down here in the South, we believe that Cheerwine can heal all. It has been with us since 1917 when a Salisbury family hit the jackpot in their basement. (Is a Cook Out tray even a true Cook Out tray without a large Cheerwine?)
On July 6, 1977, something was brought to the South that would revolutionize the French fry and fried chicken forever. As for the fried chicken, a tailgate is not complete without the fried chicken and mac and cheese from Bojangles’. Sweet tea runs through our veins here in the Southern US and nothing goes with fried chicken and biscuits like Bojangle’s sweet tea. Being a Charlotte native, I take pride that the tastiest piece of Southern history was founded in my hometown.
5. Cook Out
Cook Out is a staple of any broke college student’s diet. Where else can you get a bacon cheeseburger with a side of french fries AND chicken nuggets with a large Cheerwine (see how it’s all connected here?) for $4.99? The answer is nowhere. With a menu that is as long as the Bible, Cook Out can satisfy any craving.
Founded in Greensboro, North Carolina, Cook Out has quickly established itself as a huge chain throughout the Southeast and been saving drunk souls since 1989.
In 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, one man created a single dozen of glazed donuts. Everyone has their own personal preference, but let’s be real, that kreme-filled donut with chocolate icing on top is the real deal. Stores are opening up all over the country now (Boone just got one so YAY) and they are even expanding to Canada. If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy one of these heavenly rings, I would HIGHLY recommend them.
This booming fast food chain gives Bojangles’ a run for their money when it comes to the French fry king. Hardee’s is very famous for their curly fries and everyone’s favorite type of fries are curly. Founded in Greenville, North Carolina in 1960, this chain has taken over the country one thick burger at a time.
A century-long debate was born in 1896 in a drug store located in New Bern, North Carolina. This is one of the most popular soda brands that our country has been blessed with. Most of America has been faced with the decision between Coke or Pepsi, which would you choose?
Lance crackers are the divine orange crackers with smooth peanut butter on the inside that will leave your mouth watering. In 1913 in Charlotte, North Carolina, a man took 500 pounds of unwanted peanuts and turned them into these yummy snacks. This also led to the iconic “I’ve got Lance in my pants.”
10. Harris Teeter
In 1949, the very first Harris Teeter was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a Charlotte native, Harris Teeter is the go-to grocery store anytime I’m on the East Coast. The quality and customer service are top notch which make this a happy place to spend your grocery budget. They are known for their local connections that bring each store organic and locally grown produce (go local).
11. Golden Corral
Did someone way “all you can eat?” Well, in 1973, the founders of this buffet sure did when they opened the first Golden Corral in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Located from Alaska to Florida, this buffet has many traditional options that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters.
I know, your mind is currently spinning because of all this information I just dropped on you, but it had to be done. Now, every time you bite into that pickle or dump a whole bottle of Texas Pete on your dish of choice, Carolina will be on your mind. So on behalf of all North Carolinians out there, you’re welcome.