You might have noticed us declaring our love for Southern food from the rooftops, err, this blog, for the past month as part of our as part of our A to Z Guide to Southern Food Right Now, our handbook that celebrates the tastemakers, trends, and recipes that define our culture right now. We've shared our favorite moments from the prettiest pie to ever grace your eyeballs to the anatomy of the perfect tomato sandwich.
We laughed, we cried, we argued about beer, we trended nationally on Twitter. We even put a hashtag on the cover. What now, Vogue? We could go on, but we thought it would be fitting to close with 25 reasons why the South lays claim to the best darn food in the world.
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1. We're home to the best seafood you'll ever eat. No contest. Shrimp, crab, fish, you name it, we've got the freshest, most delicious you'll find anywhere.
2. Some of the country's most dynamic urban farms call the South home. Demolishing stereotypes and building communities.
3. We love craft beer, and we've got a thing or two we want to say about it.
4. Steak and wine? Meh. We're into champagne and fried chicken.
5. We have the longest growing seasons in the country, perfect for backyard gardening.
6. We're into chefs you haven't even heard of yet. You will. Just wait.
7. We know the best cocktail garnishes are soaked in bourbon.
8. We aren't afraid to make our own hot sauce.
9. We benefit from the legacy of Southern food champions like John Egerton.
10. We're generous with helpings and generally everything else. Did you see we're giving away a cooler, a grill, a cookbook, and another grill?
11. We're home to one of the cutest couples this side of anywhere.
12. We're discerning when it comes to kitchen gadgets. Here are the ones we think are worthy of space in your kitchen.
13. We're professional okra slime-busters. Who you gonna call?
14. Now that you mention it, we were into small-batch distilling before it was cool too.
15. Roadside stands? We've got the best ones there are.
16. We may not have invented pie, but we revolutionized it. This is the prettiest pie you'll ever make.
18. But we did invent the veggie plate. Here are our favorites.
17. We consider it a moral obligation to have a cooler at the ready filled with brews, pimiento cheese and pickled shrimp. We know how to make sure it all get's where it needs to go too.
18. We aren't too proud to say that white bread is wonderful.
19. Give us some sugar, we'll give you magic.
20. We are the Picassos of summer produce...
21. ...and the McGyvers of Duke's Mayonnaise. Think outside the jar.
22. Our tomato sandwich brings all the boys (and girls) to the yard.
23. This is how we cool off.
24. We can appreciate a really great cozie.
25. Cooking great food is in our blood. It's what we do. And nobody does it quite like our readers. We're proud to know y'all.
But let's not end the conversation here. Southern food rules because it respects tradition, but reflects our present. We want to know what you're cooking, who you're loving and where you're eating. Keep tagging your posts, tweets and Instagrams with #SouthernFoodNow, and we'll do the same.