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Alabama regional food - specialties

We have set 2012 as a year of weekly theme dinners for our family. This year we are doing the fifty states (as my fourth grader is studying the states and since this is the fifth time we've done the states unit... we are trying something different to keep our sanity). As part of our dinners, we have state trivia (capital, flag, birds and other facts), decorations (to the extent we can) and foods that are typical of the area. Our first state was Hawaii, which was fun but pretty easy.

Our next state is Alabama! Any ideas for food that is really specific to the state of Alabama??? We have all of the southern states to do at some point and would love to get some ideas other than frying everything in sight or BBQ!

Thanks all!

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  1. Boiled peanuts, peaches, pecans, grits, corn bread, collard greens, catfish and gulf shrimp come to mind when I think Alabama food.

    1. i have nothing helpful wrt alabama, but i would love to follow a series of posts with other states and especially your final menu choices for each one! i would be sure to contribute ideas when you reach my own neck of the woods, and i'm sure i'm not alone in thinking this is a very interesting exercise! you should consider posting regularly about these dinners, if it sounds like fun to you. good luck :)

      1. This is a fantastic idea Duck! Luv it. I'm fairly centrally located in Birmingham and as it happens, our local paper is promoting Alabama's latest tourism campaign. Check it out here: http://www.yearofalabamafood.com

        Some suggestions for you:
        Butter beans (we have an entire festival devoted to this Alabama favorite. Seriously.
        )White barbeque sauce served over grilled/smoked chicken (made famous in North Alabama)
        Cornbread
        Fried green tomatoes (The movie was based on The Whistlestop Cafe which is located in Bham)
        Shrimp (an homage to our fantastic gulf coast)
        Banana pudding - every 'Bama potluck get-together has banana pudding made with vanilla wafers

        Let us know how things turn out!

        1. Almost forgot, whatever you serve, it must be accompanied by sweet tea!!

          1. Great ideas for dinner - thank you so much! We might have to forgo the decorations this time but have some great Alabama trivia.

            I'll tell you how it goes.

            1. Really simple Duck. 'Bama has a definite, albeit regional signature dish. Chicken with white bbq sauce.

              White BBQ sauce was invented by Bob Gibson back in the 20's. The restaurant he founded still smokes their chickens and then dips them in the sauce before serving.

              So.....with that said hopefully you can get your hands on some smoked chicken quarters.
              Here's a white sauce recipe from Big Bob Gibsons. Not theirs but it's a good sauce none the less. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bb.... Obviously you'll need to scale it down.

              Big Bob Gibson's. http://www.bigbobgibson.com/

              Good luck and keep us abreast of how this is going.

              DT

              3 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Have to agree. Unlike sweet tea, cornbread, grits, etc. which are pretty common to the South; chicken with white barbecue sauce is uniquely Alabaman in this Yankee's experience.

                You can add to that biscuits with chocolate gravy.

                1. re: mahalan

                  Biscuits with chocolate gravy! That sounds awesome (gravy is wonderful regardless, but with chocolate..... wow)!

                  We've definitely decided on the chicken with white barbecue sauce, cornbread, greens. I'm adding biscuits with chocolate gravy to the menu!

                  1. re: mahalan

                    I agree too. All of the other stuff I had growing up in GA too but the white "barbecue" sauce on what is sometimes more grilled than smoked chicken is pretty unique to Alabama in my limited experience living here.

                2. Better late than never.... Alabama night was wonderful. We had chicken with white bbq sauce (which I actually loved), greens, corn bread and butter beans. Sweet tea to drink, which the girls loved and for dessert I did a lemon chess pie.

                  Great dinner and good trivia. We are now on to Iowa.... um corn recipes anyone?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: duck001

                    Check out loose meat sandwiches.

                    DT

                    1. re: duck001

                      i suggest breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches