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Southern Staples Go Gourmet

Global ethnic cuisines are devoured everywhere -but at the latest Fancy Food Show-we also (finally) sampled southern traditional staples for modern tastebuds- that weren't BBQ (something).

                                                                    PIMENTO CHEESE

Our decidedly 'Yankee' maternal heritage ADORES pimento cheese...which is a southern classic. From Red Clay Gourmet-RTE Pimento Cheese (flavors) in snack size portions-none of that growth hormone or artificial preservatives used..
Assorted spiced flavors----add some heat.
Callie's Pimento Cheese-hailing from Charleston SC-founded in 2005 by Callie Moorey...tempting tops for their bisquits...
Pimento Cheese gets crispy-smart idea...Lillie's Q (Greenville SC) turns the southern classic into a snack. Factoid No. 34 Pimento Cheese Kettle Chips refs the iconic Masters golf tournament-founded in 1934-where pimento cheese sandwich is an "honored classic."

Callie's first launch-the traditional southern biscuit-the kind we grew up on-doughy crumbly buttery deliciousness...(not the English style cookie aka biscuit). In flavors-like Pimento Cheese (of course) and yummy buttermilk and new sweet potato,

Maison Dixie Biscuits gets a special mention-at the FANCY FOOD show-this DC based company was featured in the Incubator Alley.


Effie's Nutcakes-are an ideal size for snacking (solo) or for cheese boards, and how we all eat now-small plate grazing- dessert and/or appetizer  worthy canapés

A masterful hybrid of two favorites-cookies + biscuits-EFFIE's truly homemade " ___cakes" are available in a multi-tasking, slightly sweet  Pecan nutcake version - made from the offerings of the Southern hickory other authentic ingredients= stone ground whole wheat, butter, brown sugar, wildflower honey, water, kosher salt and baking soda.
Paired with jam, cheese (like crumbled blue cheese) or what we did in about a minute's prep time-crumble up 2 in a parfait glass-topped with Greek yogurt and cut-up fresh strawberries + blue/black berries (tis the season) ...the Pecan nutcakes can also be pressed into a pie pan for an easy no bake shell for cheesecake (or see below-for insta-pecan pie).
FYI: The company--founded by two High School gal pals--started when the prized New-England-y/Nova Scotia 4th generation family recipe for oatcakes sold out-locally and then hit the trade show jackpot-  earning a SOFI Gold Medal in 2013 at the Specialty Food Shows.
Widely available-including online

San Saba TX  (Hill country-central part) bills itself as the "pecan capital of the world..."
It just might be-and it's home to the San Saba River Pecan Company. PICTuRED: their SOFI Medal Winning Pecan Pie In-A Jar filling...will surely reduce the time/labor part out of making that Thanksgiving meal staple. Available online $14.95---and in a chocolate flavor too.


Belmont Peanuts-from Virginia come in loads of flavors including 'hot' spicy and savory samples-joining the popular sea salt variety that can disappear before you know it.
One of the most interesting products we saw at the Fancy Food Show first didn't totally grab our eyeballs-till we literally sampled the merchandise.
PIZOOTZ (Hebrew slang for awesome) is co-founded by a former Virginia living now closed  Ford assembly plant worker  (F-150s)-who got patented (!!!) a way to infuse premium Virginia peanuts (and now California almonds) with added real ingredient flavors-without roasting-or adding 'messy hands' powder -plus free-of oils too (less than healthy potentially!!!),  AND NO artificial flavors, colors, MSG or trans fats either. These tasty bites are not steamed either it's a nifty water-pressure-bake process. Arguably genius! Gluten + Lactose free/Kosher/Vegan/Vegetarian/Non-GMO. TASTY-uniquely so.

Regional honeys really do have different flavor profiles-a result of the native flowers that the bees pollinate. AR's Hot Southern Honey by Ames Russel-uses honey sourced from Appalachian hives and then is made in Richmond, Virginia. A distinct blend of area wildflowers and clover honeys-plus natural flavors = a sweet vanilla-caramel-then black peppery taste. The new to us Bourbon Barrel Aged Hot Southern Honey -is for real-aged 3 months in bourbon soaked American oak barrels. No surprise-these honeys are easily added to classic BBQ and southern dishes (recipes).