Growing up in the South cultivates a love of rich, heavy, and good food. Read on, nostalgic transplants and steadfast Southerners. You might be from the South if…

1. You know the difference between a “cookout” and a “barbecue.”


Photo courtesy of Ashley’s Homemade Adventures

South of the Mason-Dixon line, barbecue means mountains of meat slathered in sauce. Throwing hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill and calling it a barbecue is just wrong. That’s a cookout.

2. July 4th means barbecue and fireworks in the backyard.

Ribs, creamed corn and deviled eggs? Yes please. Don’t forget thick slices of watermelon for dessert. Oh, and you probably set off your own fireworks, which you bought from some roadside store or at one of those white stands in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

3. Thanksgiving means turkey and dressing.

The Thanksgiving classic known to most of the country as “stuffing” has another name in the South: dressing. It’s only called stuffing if it’s stuffed inside the turkey. Otherwise, the staple is called dressing.

4. Two words: sweet tea.


Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Most Southerners that you know have been drinking sweet tea since they were tots. We’re talking about the homemade stuff, not the bottled grocery store variety. And Luzianne is definitely superior to Lipton.

5. You think that grits and biscuits are normal breakfast foods.

Pancakes and syrup are great, but nothing beats homemade biscuits. You’re probably tired of explaining that grits are not the same as oatmeal to your Northern-born friends.

6. You appreciate Waffle House’s grimy charm.


Photo courtesy of USA Today

You can’t escape this breakfast chain, so you might as well embrace it. It might not be the cleanest restaurant, but the hashbrowns—topped with cheese, chili, ham or even sausage gravy—are just too good to pass up.

7. You appreciate the importance of onions, bell peppers and celery.

After all, they form the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cooking. Try making gumbo or jambalaya without them.

8. This whole Southern food trend makes you laugh.

You’re glad that people are finally appreciating Southern food, but there’s no way you’re paying $9 for fried green tomatoes. Bless their hearts.


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Check out Southern Living’s guide to Southern food and these other bits of Southern goodness