Soul Food

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Soul Food

by John Shelton Reed
Southern Cultures, Vol. 4, No. 2: Summer 1998

"…southerners can be distinguished by what goes into their mouths and what comes out of them."

Lisa Howorth has observed that southerners can be distinguished by what goes into their mouths and what comes out of them. Many of the questions on the twice-yearly Southern Focus Poll deal with one or another of these aspects of the South. In the spring of 1995, 907 residents of the southern states and 506 other Americans were asked whether they had ever consumed a number of distinctively “southern” foods, a few nonsouthern specialties for comparison, and such nonfood comestibles as moonshine, chewing tobacco, and snuff. (The Fall 1992 poll had already asked about grits: those results were reported in the Summer¬†1995 issue of Southern Cultures.)