The royals do have a tendency to accept and encourage foods from the colonies, e.g. chutney from India, tea from China (but from all over, now), other spices from India and Indonesia, sugar and rum from the Caribbean...almost all being a lasting legacy of the British East India Company (never mind how they took the art of capitalism to its most evil extremes).

But thanks for the history of Tabasco. Having grown up in the MS Delta, southern Louisiana was the only place we considered as "Southern" as ourselves.

Speaking of Southern foods, travel to the Philippines sometime. There at the stores and on the streets, you'll find boiled peanuts, chitlins, frogs legs, RC Cola, catfish...so many of the foods I grew up with.

I saw two Creole restaurants in Manila. At one, I saw mustard greens sautéed with bacon and onions on the menu, and I was SO excited - I hadn't had it for thirty years since my mother had made it for me in the Delta. My wife told me no, don't get it. I said, "But, but, but..." but I listened to her. The next day, she took me to the local palengke (open-air market) near our house in Quezon City, and we bought mustasa and sebuyas (mustard greens and onions) and bacon. She cooked it for me later that morning, and I'm not ashamed to say I shed a few tears of happiness.

Lastly, you being a food fan and history nerd, I've got a personal theory you might like. Consider the great majorities of what each culture considers a delicacy in the world, whether it's bird's nest soup, shark fin soup, chitlins, escargot...the examples are endless. My theory is that these became delicacies because at some point, a mom and dad were looking at their children who were starving, and wanted to feed them...but who wants to eat snails or pig intestines? So they cooked them anyway and told their children (in their respective languages), "Hey - these are Really Good Delicacies! They're special! We're so happy we can share it with you!" And so when the children got older, they did the same for their children, and so began the traditions of, say, eating a bowl of softened sticks glued together with bird vomit as a valued delicacy.

Just a thought. And great article!

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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