No one eats like Southerners. Whether you're from the South or not determines if that's a good or bad characteristic. Food isn't just sustenance, but an excuse to come together with family and friends. Moving (somewhat) north for college to DC, I've come to find how little is known about southern eating. So listen up, northerners, it's time to get educated. 

1. Biscuits

biscuits, bread, dough, scone, sweet, pastry, flour
Virginia Dodenhoff

Biscuits are more than just a dinner roll or a senseless carb, they are a way of life. Their golden brown exterior protects the flakey, buttery interior. Best with homemade jam and a Paula Dean-sized portion of butter, they are on the table for every meal in a southern household. 

Living in DC is great and all, but I (and most southerners, I feel) would probably trade it for a decent chicken and biscuit with grape jelly. 

2. Chicken and Waffles

chicken, meat, pork, sauce, beef, barbecue, vegetable
Emily Robinson

Crispy fried chicken over a fluffy Belgium waffle drizzled with maple syrup = food coma. This combo seems suspect, but the mix of sugar and salt is classic in southern cooking. Taking root in the ATL, chicken and waffles are a common thread between Usher and Corey Smith (and you, potentially). There is still a debate on what time of day this meal is for, but hey, I choose not to discriminate. 

3. Grits

vegetable, dairy product, rice
Parsa Lotfi

Not going to lie, I had to google what grits were made of (corn, by the way), but this mysterious creamed concoction is a breakfast staple in any southern household. Basically, grits are like oatmeal, but are ten times less healthy than oatmeal. But they go with literally everything—cheese and salt, or sugar and fruit—whatever fits your fancy.  

4. Boiled Peanuts

Yes, these are hot soggy peanuts. And yes, that sounds questionable, but boiled peanuts are a southern road stop delicacy. Salty or cajun flavored (my personal favorite), these will 100% become an addiction once you eat them. You've been warned. Boiled peanuts might also explain why southerners have such big families. 

5. BBQ

meat, bread, chicken, vegetable, cheese
Kelly McAdam

A classic BBQ is not hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill. That is child's play compared to the ribs, brisket, and pulled pork you will find in the South. BBQ is a religious event, spending over a day prepping and smoking the meat to fall-off-the-bone perfection.

6. Sweet Tea 

ice, lemonade, juice, iced tea, lemon, tea, cocktail, sweet
Claire Waggoner

Not hot tea. Not iced tea with Splenda. Just plain black tea with enough sugar to cancel out any health benefits the tea might've otherwise given you. It is best served with ice in a mason jar. Also referred to as liquid crack, sweet tea is just hands down addictive and is more iconic to the South than cosmos are in Sex and the City.  

Sweet tea is so important to the South that on April Fool's day in 2003, four Georgia state representatives proposed a bill to make it illegal for a restaurant to not have sweet tea on the menu (I'm almost as bitter as northern iced tea it didn't pass). 

7. Queso 

Christin Urso

WHY DO NORTHERNERS NOT KNOW WHAT THIS IS? IT IS NOT JUST CHEESE DIP, IT IS QUESO AND SO DIFFERENT. Cheese dip is Meek Mill, Queso is Drake, and the winner is clear. 

Orange or white cheese with peppers and jalapeños mixed in, queso is its own food group in the southern diet, in the sub-group of Tex-Mex. Dip with tortillas and chips, drizzle on tacos, or straight up drink it (there's no shame).