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A ‘Culinary Tour’ Through Favorite Southern Dishes Served At A Traditional Thanksgiving

44666583 – group of young friends having traditional dinner on thanksgiving day

Can you believe it’s nearly Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season? This month, we’re sharing a list of favorite southern Thanksgiving dishes, served with love and pride in homes across the region. You might say we’re taking a southern-style ‘culinary tour’ through each course of a traditional Thanksgiving holiday meal, with the must haves for each course.

Southern cooking is often called “soul food,” and that’s at leastin part because the traditional dishes of the region take the idea of home cooking and elevate it to the ultimate comfort food status. And what holiday is more about home, hearth, family and beloved friends, and traditional comforts than Thanksgiving? If you’re a foodie, the type of person that appreciates an excellent meal in a great restaurant and the occasional culinary tour to sample artisan cooking, or just aspire to eat great meals on the regular, you can’t do any better than to sample these holiday samples of southern cooking and cuisine.

Read on to learn more about the favorites, get ideas for future meals, and just get inspired to set a great meal around the table with loved ones later this month!

Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dishes

  • Main Course: Cornbread Dressing. No southern Thanksgiving is complete without the cornbread dressing. Notice that it’s “dressing” and not “stuffing.” This dish is cooked outside of the bird (which is actually safer anyway), but loses none of the flavor because it’s often prepared with chicken stock, plus a variety or herbs and spices, and cooked in a well seasoned cast iron skillet. It’s also important to note that cornbread in the south is completely different than the cornbread you’ll find in the west. Instead of sweet, chunky, yellow corn, it’s made with a finely milled white corn for a more savory, lighter bread.
  • Side Dishes: Candied Sweet Potatoes. This one is hardly a surprise, right? But for a truly homestyle southern take on the sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving, skip making the pie or mash, and prepare a candied, chopped sweet potato instead. Sweet potatoes served potluck style in simple syrup and with a bit of butter (if you prefer) are a classic, elegant, no-fuss take on the dish. (This sweet and savory side dish is far tastier than mushy potatoes topped with marshmallows that you may be familiar with.)
  • Sampler: Ambrosia. Still craving marshmallows? Whip up this classic fruit salad, made with traditional southern favorites like coconut, and filled with rich heavy cream. It definitely hits the spot if you have a sweet tooth, and is a good alternative dessert for friends and family that don’t want to eat gluten.
  • Dessert: Pecan Pie. No southern Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a rich dessert. Pumpkin and sweet potato pies are classics, but lemon meringue and pecan pie are the truly southern dessert options. Why? To get truly authentic, you MUST have a pecan pie to serve your guests. That’s because pecans are the only truly native nut tree in North America, and are still a staple in the region. Pecans taste best fresh, too.
  • Appetizer: Pimiento Cheese. This is a classic southern comfort food. You’ll find this cheese spread in refrigerators across the region, kept as a quick sandwich filling, to spread on crackers, or as a filling for celery. It’s also a staple appetizer course, served alongside other family favorites. So, what is pimiento cheese? It’s basically shredded cheddar flavored with pimiento, a sweet, succulent cherry pepper. Check out this basic recipe to learn more.

Take A Culinary Tour Through Charleston, South Carolina

Have we whet your appetite yet? Whether you’re planning to cook your own meal, or just prefer a night out with friends, we have the culinary or bar tour that is sure to inspire and make for a memorable evening!

To learn more about the best food, nightlife, and historic walking tour options, please visit us online or give us a call. We can’t wait to make great memories over a great meal with you!

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