A Taste of the South
Here at the Liberty CVB and Chamber, we strive to share our amazing county with people around the world, and we really do love it here. Some of us grew up in this area, while others moved here later in life, but we can all agree we’re happy to have ended up in Liberty County Georgia!
We decided to take some time this week to not only let you all get to know our county a bit better, but also get to know our staff. To that end, we’ve included a list of our favorite Southern dishes, and some local restaurants where you can go to sample them!
We surveyed the office and gathered a list of all our favorite Southern dishes. Enjoy, y’all!
Macaroni and Cheese is a Southern staple, and you can find it almost anywhere. We eat it at home, in restaurants, at church, school and every family reunion. Everyone has their own recipe, some adding vegetables or cream, but the traditional version keeps it simple. Cheese, milk, eggs and noodles all baked to perfection. The best part? You can throw a little ham in there (or even a hotdog) and have a whole meal in one dish!
Casseroles are a time-honored tradition here in the South, and the green bean casserole is one almost everyone knows how to make. This usually includes cheese, onion, Ritz crackers, beans, butter, chicken stock and a can of cream of mushroom soup, but the variations are endless. However it’s made, green bean casserole finds itself on the menu at a variety of events. Those of you who are unfamiliar with this part of the country may not know this, but we even deliver casseroles to sick or grieving households. It’s a tradition as old as the casserole, and we’re proud of how we all try to take care of one another.
Speaking of how much we love casseroles…
You can’t go wrong with fresh local sweet potatoes. Throw some in a dish, and you have another traditional Southern dish we all love. Almost all recipes involve brown and white sugars, sweet potatoes, butter, vanilla, milk, eggs, flour, pecans and butter. This dish also comes with a debate as old as the recipe. Some insist that it’s incomplete without mini marshmallows in the mix, while others demand they be avoided lest you ruin perfectly good potatoes. In our opinion, you’ll just have to visit and try it both ways. Then you can decide for yourself which side you’re on!
It’s a common joke (thanks in part to certain celebrity chefs) that Southerners love all things fried and butter-soaked. While that’s not necessarily true, we have to admit that some things DO just taste better after they’re battered and fried. Fried chicken is not only one of the most well-known Southern foods, it’s also one of the most well-loved. Almost every restaurant in the area serves it in one form or another, and no one can truly call themselves a Southern cook if they’ve never made it. It may not be healthy, but it sure is tasty!
Speaking of frying foods that used to be healthy…
The stereotype we mentioned above isn’t completely unfounded, but at least we’re eating our vegetables! Fried okra is quick, easy and ridiculously tasty. Battered and fried like the chicken above, it’s crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Even people who don’t like it stewed or sautéed will still dig into a pile of freshly fried okra, savoring every bite-sized piece. It’s the perfect side for almost any meal.
Barbeque, or BBQ, isn’t just food in the South, it’s an experience. Just the smell of good BBQ conjures images of sporting events, backyard gatherings, fundraisers, family reunions and so much more. We Southerners tend to gather around a smoker, and we can all agree that good barbeque is one of our traditions. Depending on the meat you choose, you can get it sliced, chopped or pulled, on the bone or off it and covered in whatever sweet or savory sauce you love. Everyone has their own special recipe, and the possibilities are endless. We encourage you to try it all!
Some of the ladies here at the CVB and Chamber had a tough time choosing their favorites, and these are some honorable mentions that were tossed around in the discussion. You can find these two dishes at many of our local restaurants, but Izola’s Country Kitchen and Margie’s Southern Cooking are likely to serve both when the season allows.
Honestly, any fruit in a cobbler is going to taste amazing, but peach cobbler holds a special place in the hearts of Georgians. Peaches are a local crop and our state fruit, so it’s no surprise that peach cobbler makes its way onto tables in most restaurants and homes. You can almost guarantee you’ll see it on the menu during the summer, when our local Hinesville Farmers Market has plenty for sale!
Squash – Casserole or Fried
Photo by David Lat
Squash is another local crop we love to fit into our diet, and we eat it in a variety of ways. The two most common recipes in the area are similar to two above. We often eat squash casserole, which is made in a similar style as the green bean casserole Andrea loves, but we leave out the cream of mushroom soup, and many put sour cream in it to provide that creamy texture every casserole needs. And of course we eat it fried. Golden brown and crispy, it sort of resembles homemade potato chips if they’re thinly sliced, but they’re much healthier!
Whether you’re a Southern food expert or trying our Southern hospitality for the first time, you’re sure to find plenty of phenomenal food to enjoy here in Liberty County. Come #exploreliberty and try it for yourself! Once you fall in love with our food, stop by the Hinesville Farmers Market to pick up some ingredients to take home with you!
Meagan Upole – Creative and Content Coordinator at the Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each writes about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.