Since moving to the South, I’ve drawn up a whole new list of favorite foods. Like last-meal favorite. Delicious and soul-satisfying items such as collard greens, skillet cornbread and caramel cake.
But I managed to stir up a tempest the other day when I admitted on Facebook that biscuits have never really done it for me. The thought occurred when I was eating breakfast at Pastries A Go Go – the Decatur restaurant famous for its biscuits, which I have tried once or twice, but always eschew in favor of toast. I find them too rich and too crumbly, neither what I want for the casing of a breakfast sandwich nor as a vehicle for jam.
I had a reverse “Green Eggs and Ham” moment. I realized that I didn’t like the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits my kids crave, and I never cared for the vaunted lard biscuits served with Watershed’s fried chicken. As far as biscuits with sausage cream gravy go, I … can’t. That is something I’ll never be able to face in the morning.
I do appreciate beaten biscuits served with thinly sliced country ham and butter — love them in fact, but that’s because they’re appropriately dense and crusted for sandwich duty.
But to me, regular biscuits always taste like shortening, even if they’re made with pure butter, cream or lard. I would eat a soft yeast roll or a wedge of cornbread any day. If eggs are on the menu, then toast is a must.
The response to this brief post was astounding, with 50 comments appearing in short order. Some jokingly threatened to unfriend me. But soon others were coming clean with the iconic foods they also didn’t like, such as sweet potatoes, pimento cheese, boiled peanuts and grits.
Nathalie Dupree, who wrote a book on biscuits, diplomatically suggested that I perhaps hadn’t ever tried a good one. I have, and they’re not for me.
For the rest of the day — at work, at the gym, walking around the neighborhood, people kept coming up to me, incredulous.
Is anyone with me?
- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog