Monday, October 08, 2012
Over the years I've heard of a lot of crazy recipes from the South. My father's favorite pie is a green grape pie - you pick the grapes when they're still green and bitter and make a custard style pie with them. It looks horrible, but tastes oddly delicious. I think many of the weird Southern recipes out there were derived from necessity more than anything... I can imagine some old farm wife opening the pantry to see what's there and just throwing something random together with whatever she happened to have at the time. During the depression, I can only imagine the strange concoctions that were created from hungry despair. Those old timers wasted nothing and made something from anything and everything that was available. Maybe it's the recession talking, but I feel that's actually kind of trendy these days as well... isn't that really what the whole farm-to-table craze is based on?
Last week in Houston I had lunch at a new restaurant called Underbelly that is touted as one of the best farm-to-table dining experiences in the city. I'm not sure if I felt like they really brought the farm to the table, but I did get a taste of something so damn delicious it made me moan out loud right there at the table - Vinegar Pie. Just the name itself sounded horrible and they admitted to not selling very many, but being the bold and solid eater that I am, I'm so glad I didn't let the name deter me from ordering it. I'll agree - just the thought of vinegar gives me an immediate puss-face, but this pie was absolute magic. Salty, briny, sweet, creamy. Mmmmm. I imagine the old plump farm wife that created this recipe for her grumpy old man got a nice slap on the ass after digging into his first slice.