The Southern United States has a distinct cuisine that draws heavily on influences of the various groups that have inhabited the area. The most notable influences come from African-American, Native American, Irish, French, and Spanish cuisines. Soul food, Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex are types of Southern recipes and cuisine. In more recent history, elements of Southern recipes have spread north, having an effect on the development of all the varieties of American cuisine.
Native Americans also introduced the first Southerners to many vegetables still familiar on southern tables and in Southern recipes. Squash, pumpkin, many types of beans, tomatoes (though these were considered poisonous in the beginning), many types of peppers and sassafras all came to the settlers via the native tribes. Some fruits were available in the area. Muscadines, blackberries, raspberries, and many other wild berries were part of settlers' diets when they were available.
The tradition of most popular cooking was brought to the area by colonists from France and Spain. Traditional barbecue is well-known all around the world. If mention details, in cooking it pork or beef are most common, but goat and chicken are also seen. Sauces vary regionally, tending to be thinner towards the east. Also worth mentioning the dish Chitterlings (better known as "chit'lins") which is fried small intestine of a hog.
Deep fat frying, cooked down greens and vegetables, puddings, and grilling can all be traced back to slave roots. Foods that became part of the Southern diet from African-American heritage include: okra, eggplant, sesame seeds, sorghum, and some melons.
A king cake (sometimes rendered as kingcake) is a type of cake associated with Carnival traditions. It is popular in this season in the area of the United States which celebrates Carnival ranging from Mobile, Alabama to South-Western Louisiana, centered on New Orleans. The cakes have a small trinket inside, and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations.
The good idea is to taste Fudge Swirl Bars. They are made with two batters, one with chocolate and the other with cream cheese. Ingredients include butter, chocolate, eggs, pecans or walnuts, vanilla, and cream cheese.
Cajun cuisine originates from the French-speaking Acadian or "Cajun" immigrants in Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine - locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation is simple. An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, skillet cornbread, or some other grain dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available.
Most African American recipes and diets consisted of greens and various vegetables. Stews were common and rice was a familiar staple to them. At way stations in the West Indies, those people on their way to becoming slaves picked up various new ideas about spices and flavoring. Eventually employed in the kitchens of Southern plantations, the slaves passed on their way of cooking to the families they served. Southern recipes and cooking, including traditional dishes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, casseroles, cookies among others are very popular and worth of trying.