From soups to barbecues to seafood, almost any dish found in the deep South has plenty of spices. The deep South is known for a long list of foods that are as seasoned and colorful as those who reside there. It is believed that the tradition of cooking with these spices in the deep South first became popular during the times of slavery when slaves wanted to improve the flavor of their meager rations.
Soul Food Spices
Soul food is one of the most appreciated cuisines in the deep South. This name refers to the fact that it is made soulfully. Spicy dishes, such as gumbo, collard greens and sweet potatoes, are considered soul food. Salt pork is a common seasoning used when preparing soul food. Spices, such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sassafras, garlic powder, vinegar and paprika, are also key ingredients to many soul food dishes.
Cajun spices are also traditional ingredients in many deep South dishes. These spices are bold in flavor and give an extra kick to the taste of many deep South foods. In Louisiana, jambalaya and various shrimp dishes are commonly seasoned with cajun spices. These include chili powder, ground clove, thyme, basil, onion powder, and fresh ground black or white pepper.
Some of the most well-known recipes from the deep South are seasoned with Creole spices. These include catfish, shrimp, chicken and a wide variety of other meat dishes. The ingredients of Creole spice mixes include cayenne pepper, allspice, black pepper, celery salt and sweet paprika.
Barbecue spices are also commonly used in the deep South. These may be used in preparing ribs, steaks, chicken or pork chops. Some prefer to use a dry rub barbecue seasoning while others like to smother the meats in thick, spicy sauce. The main ingredients used for barbecue spices are paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, brown sugar, black pepper and chili powder. These spices give barbecue dishes a spicy and a sweet flavor enjoyed all over the deep South.
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