General Discussion

What is cornbread where you're from? (longish)


General Discussion 26

What is cornbread where you're from? (longish)

Low Country Jon | Jan 31, 2006 11:54 AM

I grew up with two kinds of cornbread in my family. The kind my grandma (from central NC) made was disc-like, about the size of your palm, unsweetened, and fried in a big cast iron skillet. This is probably known as hoe cake to some, but in this part of the state it was always just called cornbread. The kind my mom (a transplant from the west coast) made was Jiffy mix from a box--sweet, square, and cake-like. Because of my sweet tooth, I actually preferred my mom's kind. Later, my dad took over grandma's recipe, added a little sugar, and improved it immensely in my opinion (sorry, Grandma). Anyway, I always thought of my gradma's cornbread as Southern and my mom's as Yankee, so to speak. As an adult, however, I've noticed a very wide range of what is considered cornbread, even in the South. More and more, I run into the sweet cake-like versions of cornbread in Southern restaurants. It makes me wonder if cornbread is getting sweeter because it's now risen beyond it's humble status as the food of poor folk (who maybe couldn't afford to put sugar in their cornbread). If we throw hushpuppies (or corn dodgers as some call them) into the discussion, you'll still run into people who insist they should be made without sugar, but the most prevalent kind, and the kind I prefer, is definitely on the sweet side. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts and recollections on what cornbread is/was where you are or where you grew up.

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