So you think Georgia foods, and what is the one thing that comes to mind immediately? Peaches, exactly. But you would be doing Georgia a great disservice if you only thought of its delicacy in that respect (though I could make a case for peaches being better than anything New England would throw your way). While peaches are a staple, don’t forget that Georgia is a southern state so all the excellent southern cuisine you know and love shows up on dinner tables from Atlanta to Valdosta.
In case you weren’t salivating already, here’s a couple examples to whet your appetite. Let’s start with the southern cooking hallmarks like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, or barbecue (barbecue anything really, I’m certainly not picky). Another staple of Georgian cuisine is chicken and dumplings, and how can you go wrong there? The south is known for its cornbread, but Georgia kicked it up a notch with cornbread cake. You read that right. Feel free to stop reading now and award the food title belt to Atlanta right now. For dessert, the aforementioned peaches can’t be beat except maybe by a nice pecan pie (pecans are a major export from Georgia, so this is naturally something you can find in many homes in the area).
Before I leave you to ponder how any region in the country could compete with Georgia in terms of cuisine, I just want to leave you with a recipe. This is for Brunswick Stew, a Georgian dish that looks delicious and should serve as the exclamation point for my argument regarding who’s cuisine reigns supreme.
Recipe courtesy of Jamie Deen and can be found on Food Network’s website
2 hr 10 min
Cook:1 hr 35 min
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, finely chopped
One 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes (with their juices)
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds smoked pulled pork
Half 16-ounce bag frozen corn kernels
Half 16-ounce bag frozen baby lima beans
Pinch salt and ground pepper
Hot sauce, for serving
Cornbread or soda crackers, for serving
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once melted and foamy, add the garlic and onions and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, brown sugar, cayenne, smoked pork, lima beans, corn and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook over medium-low until thick and stewey, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring on occasion.
Serve with hot sauce, cornbread or soda crackers.