Hearty, warm, welcoming, and a bit of spice — country cooking brings out the best in food and a broad smile to those sharing it. This June, celebrate National Country Cooking Month and enjoy traditional southern comfort foods that conjure up memories of past cookouts.From grandpa’s gumbo and grits, to mom’s biscuits and gravy, to your own modern twist on a peach cobbler — savor the flavor with delicious country recipes while watching the summer sunset.
National Country Cooking Month - History
Grits became a state food
Georgia designated grits as the state's official prepared food.
Origins of chicken-fried steak
The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest mention of the term "chicken-fried steak" came from a restaurant advertisement in the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper.
The term "cobbler's" first mentioned
It may be related to the archaic word "cobeler," meaning “wooden bowl."
Gumbo means more than a food dish
Gumbo is often used as a metaphor for the mix of cultures that exist in southern Louisiana, including people of French, Spanish, and African descent. Living together within a fairly small area fostered an environment that created new traditions and cuisine.
National Country Cooking Month Activities
1. Make it personal
Put your own spin on traditional recipes. Get your favorite country cooking or heirloom recipe — and update it with your personal cooking methods for new and exciting tastes.
2. Make a recipe book
Write favorite recipes down and make a small booklet just for yourself. At your next gathering, see what new recipes you “accidentally” created.
3. Host a cookout outdoors
Break out the grill, smoker, or just cook over an open fire. Step outside and add your own delectable aromas to nature’s already sweet smells.
5 Facts That Will Get You Cooking Country Style
1. Gumbo has versatile origins
Gumbo is usually called a Cajun dish, but there are both Cajun and Creole varieties. Cajun refers to a group of people of French descent who migrated to Louisiana in the 18th century. Creole can refer to both people of mixed descent and those of French or Spanish descent born in the New World.
2. Cornbread is older than our country
Native Americans were using ground maize as a dietary staple for thousands of years before European explorers arrived on the continent. These settlers learned recipes and techniques for cooking with maize from various Native American tribes.
3. Grits have a capital
St. George, South Carolina claims to be the “Grits Capital of the World." The town annually consumes more pounds of grits per capita than anyplace else.
4. Peach cobbler is an American twist on an English dish
Cobblers originated in the American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so they covered the filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings — fitted together.
5. Biscuits and gravy were created due to tough circumstances
This simple meal emerged as a distinct regional dish after the Revolutionary War when stocks of foodstuffs were in short supply.
Why We Love National Country Cooking Month
A. Country cooking is hearty
Cornbread. Chicken fried steak. Biscuits and gravy. Country cooking offers wholesome and filling dishes that leave everyone satisfied.
B. Country cooking is personal
Though country cooking certainly follows recipes, almost every dish has a personal twist. Country cooking has a habit of being unique to the server, and in this “tradition," you’ll find a pleasant surprise in every meal.
C. Country cooking loves the outdoors
Whether it’s barbecuing or just cooking over an open fire, country cooking is an event that embraces the outdoors. Enjoy as you fire up your meals among family and friends.