Store Lunch

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Store Lunch

by Jerry Leath Mills
Southern Cultures, Vol. 4, No. 1: Politics (1998)

"Throughout the rural South, men with regular business in the country -- hunters, fishermen, farmers, surveyors, and traveling agents of various trades -- traditionally enjoy a repast known as the Store Lunch."

Throughout the rural South, men with regular business in the country—hunters, fishermen, farmers, surveyors, and traveling agents of various trades—traditionally enjoy a repast known as the Store Lunch. I say “men” advisedly, for this tends to be a gender-specific ceremony seldom enjoyed by women. The beauty of this meal lies partly in its simplicity—everything needed in the way of place setting are a knife blade and a knee to balance cans on—and partly in its comprehensive nutrition, combining as it does the four major food groups: fat, sodium, sugar, and dirt. It may be eaten in the country store where it is purchased, or on the front steps thereof, or off the tailgate of a truck somewhere beside a dirt road.

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