Welcome to the South, Gwyneth

BlogHer Original Post

Gwyneth Paltrow apparently just finished filming a movie in Nashville, TN. She was recently quoted as saying, "I was so bad with the food and alcohol in Nashville. If you saw me naked compared to what I looked like when I did 'Iron Man 2,' when I was exercising every day -- I'll get it back together, but I've never eaten so much fried food and white flour in my life, ever. Oh, God."

French Fries and Ketchup

Well Gwyneth, I'll pass on the seeing you naked part, although that was a very kind offer. As a native Tennessean and a gal who has spent my entire life living in either Tennessee or North Carolina, at first I thought I should be offended by her remark. Then I realized that no one was probably holding a gun to her head and forcing her to eat fried foods, white flour, and drink alcohol while she was in our state. We may have a bad diet, but we are fairly well known for not being that rude. And truly, I bet you'd have to mainline lard to make that body of hers look pudgy.

I passed on being offended and decided to embrace Gwyneth's observation about my state. Truly, we southerners do have our own unique way of enjoying the earth's bounty. And mostly, we do dip it in white flour and fry it up. You can't possibly think about the south without thinking about fried chicken. I would venture to say that a sizable portion of our school children here do not even realize chicken can be served any other way.

But we don't stop at chicken. Get near a body of water and you will find that anything that can be reeled in or snagged in a net can be deep fried. Fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams -- you name it, and we will fry it. And serve it with a side of fried potatoes and fried hush puppies.

Want an appetizer? How about fried mushrooms, fried cheese, fried green tomatoes or even fried dill pickles? For a side dish, we can provide fried okra or fried carrots.

If we can't figure out how to bread it and fry it, we will just add enough fat to the pan to fry it that way -- we are particularly fond of doing our greens that way. Yes, anything that has some nutritional value in it, we can eliminate by frying. We are very thorough.

But where we really excel is in the dessert arena. Here we have learned how to deep fry Oreos, candy bars, moon pies and even Twinkies.

It's a cholesterol fest every day in the south. But, you don't have to eat that way. I can't even remember the last time I ate something fried. But those foods sure are good in moderation.

Moderation is what we don't have much of around here. So here's my tip. Travel to the south sometime and enjoy some of our delicious fried delicacies. There are so many I didn't list and some you don't even want to know about. But come, enjoy, just like Gwyneth, and then go back home to your nutritionally sound diets.

And if you're looking for a career path for your son or daughter, our area could use a few good cardiologists.

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