Arkansas February 18, 2019
If You Grew Up In Arkansas, You Definitely Love These 10 Classic Dishes
Whether its cornbread in milk or just a homegrown tomato sandwich, some meals were enjoyed by every Arkansan growing up. Although not all of today’s dishes are solely Arkansas-only fare, these traditional southern meals were more than likely served at the table. Let’s take a bite of these classic dishes.
1. Your morning probably started with a side of grits...
It didn't seem to matter if you actually liked the grits, they would always be there. Adding butter, jelly, or cheese was an easy way to make them tastier.
2. ...or chocolate gravy if it was a special occasion.
Holidays or an occasional Sunday could mean chocolate gravy and biscuits. The exact origin of chocolate gravy is debatable but most food historians agree that the delicious breakfast sauce originated in the Ozarks.
3. Later on in the day you may have munched on a poke salad.
Poke salad (or sallet) is a rather strange but traditional southern meal. Prepping the salad meant boiling the pokeweed leaves three or so times since the plant is quite poisonous. After that it could be tossed with vinegar or fried in bacon fat.
4. You always had homegrown tomatoes during the summertime.
Arkansas tomatoes are perfect in just about every way whether their fried green, canned for soups, or just sliced with salt. Tomato sandwiches were always kept simple with a strip or two of bacon and maybe a slather of mayo.
5. Fried bologna sandwiches were another household staple.
Bologna, or as Southern Arkansans have tastefully dubbed it, Arkansas round steak is one of those meals that everyone had growing up. If you still have a hankering for sizzled bologna, you can read about our favorite restaurant that serves it
6. Cornbread and milk were probably on the side.
You may not have gone all the way with Grandma's cornbread in buttermilk, but the pairing was always a beloved treat.
7. Fried pickles...or just about any fried vegetable was always on the table.
In 1963, Burnell "Fatman" Austin created fried pickles at The Duchess Drive-In in Atkins. However, Arkansans have been frying up their garden veggies since the dawn of time.
8. There was usually a fish fry on Fridays.
Maybe it was with your uncle's catch from that morning or just squeezing into the booth of the local catfish place but that supper was always a favorite. Hushpuppies, pickled tomatoes, and coleslaw had to be accompanying the main course, too.
9. Hunting season was always meant the tastiest of suppers.
Just about everyone at the table would have thirds of a piping hot bowl of deer chili. It's second nature to an Arkansan to dive into the deep freeze and pull out a pound of backstrap for fried tenderloin. No matter if it's deer, duck, wild turkey, heck even squirrel, an Arkansan knows how to cook it.
10. And we'll finish off with a slice of Possum Pie.
The dessert staple is a delicious arrangement of cream cheese, pecans, whipped cream, with a hidden layer of chocolate custard. Although we know it's the hidden chocolate "playing possum" in the pie, most outsiders will just stare in disbelief that anyone would order a critter for dessert.
Of course these aren’t the only meals you had growing up in Arkansas! We would love to hear your favorites, share your recipes and memories with us in the comments below!
Although it’s not a whole meal, we certainly couldn’t leave out cheese dip. Take this
cheese dip trail to sample the best cheesy bowls in the state.