From fried chicken to scuppernongs and homemade ice cream, Southern writers are at their best depicting summer food scenes.
In 1992, “Fried Green Tomatoes” premiered at the Cobb Galleria Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. Fans of the movie started showing up at Irondale Cafe to taste the fried green tomatoes, and The Birmingham News ran a photo of a couple of the cooks holding baskets of green tomatoes with the caption: “Seen the movie? Now taste the title.” Current Owner Jim Dolan estimates the cafe serves about 600-800 slices of fried green tomatoes, paired with a remoulade dipping sauce, each day.
Mix egg and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix flour, cornmeal and salt in a shallow dish. Working in batches, dip tomato slices into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into dish. Coat with flour mixture. Fry in hot bacon drippings (375 degrees F) in a large heavy skillet until browned, turning once with tongs. Don’t crowd the skillet when frying green tomatoes. Keep them in a single layer, with plenty of space in between slices. If too many are put in the pan, the oil temperature will be lowered and the food will absorb the grease rather than be seared by it, resulting soggy tomatoes. Transfer to a colander to drain. Serves 6.
2 quarts mayo
4 oz. Ketchup 4 oz. Creole mustard
2 oz. chopped fresh parsley
2 oz. cayenne pepper
2 oz. lemon juice2 oz. horseradish
2 oz. fresh chopped garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 1/2 Tbsp celery salt
1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 2 minutes. Makes over two quarts.
Fried green tomatoes photo by Judy Baxter, Old Shoe Woman on Flickr.