Alabama food can be aptly described as wholesome tasty food inspired by several cuisines. This South Eastern State of America has gone through many hardships including economic ones as it was thick in the midst of the Civil War that rocked the nation. The immigrants mostly English, Irish and Scots have also left their mark on the cuisine of the region. However, it is the African-American fare that marks the culinary culture of Alabama.
With the region still being dependent on agriculture to a large extent, it is the fresh vegetables which make their way into the plates. There are over a hundred indigenous dishes to choose from local Alabama fare while quite a few eateries of the region have been awarded with the James Beard and other awards for their culinary accomplishments.
The barbecue ribs, sweet potato pies and banana pudding along with the Coleslaw are dishes that make up a major part of the local Alabama food.
The apples along with blueberries and blackberries are available all throughout the state and can be detected in every salad, pie and preserve of the region. Pumpkin is another favorite of Alabama while corn bread and liquor made from corn has retained its place as the perennial favorite of the residents of Alabama.
Pork is the meat used for daily consumption while the catfish leads when it comes to fish based dishes. Desserts and sweetmeats abound in Alabama too with the fried pies and cobblers being the specialties of the region.
A number of Alabama food festivals are held throughout the year, showcasing the region's culinary bests.
History of Alabama Cuisine
Alabama style of cooking is synonymous with the famed Southern hospitality which has its roots deep into the influences left behind by the settlers. The local American Indians favored eating turkey, melons and squash which the Spanish settlers cooked their food in a deep pit barbecue style, a method still popular all across the state.
The French brought in the Cajun style of cooking which soon intermingled with the traditional African sauce made by using the wild grown berries of the region. The combination of the three have fashioned the modern day Alabama food with its typical flair and delectable taste.
Popular Food Items from Alabama Cuisine
- Hopping John- A casserole dish containing black chick peas and salted pork strips cooked with rice.
- Peanut Butter Cornbread- Bread baked with yellow corn meal and peanut butter.
- Southern Pecan Pie- A regional specialty of pecan halves baked with melted butter and molasses within a pastry shell.
- Tuskegee Soup- A traditional Southern soup containing oysters and scallions cooked in bacon fat before being boiled in chicken stock.
- Chicken Breast Smothered- Boned chicken breasts cooked in a thin gravy and smothered with an assortment of herbs.
Places Famous Serving Traditional Alabama Food
- Hunt's Steak, Seafood and Oyster Bar- Famous for its wide variety of dishes all of which contain seafood cooked in the traditional Southern style.
- Bright Star Restaurant- Popular for its multi-cuisine fare with the Cajun food being the most feted style here.
- Ashley Mac's Cahaba Heights- Serves home style Alabama food known for its distinctive style.