Sense of Place: Southern Flavors and Ingredients

We only have a few regions left on our culinary survey of the United States, and Southerners will be quick to point out that we've been saving one the best for last. And they'd be right! The foods that come from the southern states are truly the embodiment of comfort and home-cooking. Let's start with what goes into these delicious dishes...

One of the most amazing things about southern cooking is the ability to use the same basic ingredients to make an entire arsenal of foods. For example, there are probably more variations for southern cornbread in existence than a person could hope to make in a life time, but each one is better than the last!

Here's a sampling of what Southerner's traditionally had to work with:

Fruits:
Peaches
Oranges
Strawberries

Vegetables and Starches:
Corn
Hominy
Rice
Black-eyed Peas
Collard Greens
Okra
Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes
Tomatoes

Meat and Seafood:
Pork (the whole thing!)
Chicken
Crab
Shrimp
Small Wild Game

Extras:
Bourbon
Mint
Buttermilk
Pecans
Peanuts
Chocolate

What else do you have to add?

Related: Seasonal In the South: A Guide to Field Peas from Atlanta

(Images: Flickr members skyseeker, House of Sims, and The Bitten Word licensed under Creative Commons)