At this point it's safe to say, I love country people, particularly country people here in Georgia. Over the past few months I've developed a particular fondness for Lagrange which I think I've written about at length. Aside from the outgoing, exceedingly friendly nature of folks in the bush, it's really the food that keeps me going back.
I'm sorry but as trini as I am, my burning desire for a good goat roti is often overshadowed by a powerful need for collard greens with pork knuckles and fatback. I've been known to quickly slip through a plate of neck bones, and any thought of oildown quickly evaporates with spoonfuls of my former mother-in-law's fried corn. Don't even get me started on the giblet gravy over dressing, the cornbread or the salmon croquettes with grits that I miss.
Yup, you'd swear I was born here.
But southern cooking has it's fair share of WTF dishes.........like chitterlings for instance. What the fuck were they thinking? Boiled pig intestines with pepper sauce. Really? I tried a bite just one time and just couldn't get the damn thing past my lips. You see it's the smell that gets you; I'm almost sure they don't taste half bad but sorry, if it smells of ram goat and wrenk poonk, I not eating it.
Take it from my experience though, sometimes it's better to eat first then ask questions. This past weekend, my plate had a few additions that gave me pause. Next to the pot with the pig ears and cabbage was another pot with a creamy white, "meat-like" substance, chopped up then boiled with onions and celery. Hog Maws I'm told, the taste and consistency reminiscent of the meat you get on pig foot souse. It was only afterwards I discovered I had been eating pigs stomach, or more specifically, the lining of the pigs stomach.
Brilliant.......who's bright idea was this?
Why are these things delicacies? Well I imagine that African slaves weren't afforded the better cuts of meat which went to their masters so they ate whatever "meat" they were allowed....ears, snout, ribs, tails, hooves and entrails. As it turns out, pig stomach isn't bad at all though I doubt I'd see any of you lining up to try a hog maw pelau anytime soon.