Originally Posted by Archibald
I am not a New Englander nor due I feel any hostility toward the south, in fact I find southern food charming in the limited doses that are required to sample all its offerings and do not judge it by the food served at Cracker Barrel.
I have to question your sweeping claim that Southern food -- "all its offerings," even -- can be sampled in "limited doses." Have you had jam cake? Molasses stack cake? Johnny cakes? Soup beans? Red-eye gravy? None seems to fit into your limited view of Southern food. Many, many traditional Southern dishes are rarely seen on restaurant menus. So if your experience is confined to that, I'd suggest that you probe a bit deeper before making such blanket statements. It's like concluding that eating at Chinese restaurants in the U.S. provides a comprehensive look at Asian cuisines.
Southern food tends to be salty, yes, partly because that was a common method of preserving meat in hot temperatures. And frying is common. But you're simultaneously condemning Southern food for having defining characteristics while claiming that it is insufficiently defined. What, then, is the standard for defining a cuisine? A daily diet made up of a wide variety of foods? Well, there go most Asian cuisines. Meals that are healthy by today's standards? So much for most traditional French and German.
It may be that Southern food is not to your taste. Honestly, much of it is not to mine. But to claim it cannot be a cuisine because it is not "refined" enough to please a modern palate strikes me as rather narrow-minded. This is food that evolved to accomodate a very specific area and way of life. That, to me, is a pretty good definition of a cuisine.