login | Register

Retail Canned and Frozen Ready - to - Serve Southern Products

Company's Coming!
Retail canned and frozen ready - to - serve Southern products

by Ron Williams
October 2001

(ring - ring) "Hello?"

"Honeybunch, you 'member that band we met that wuz playin' at that club down in Jackson? Y'know, "Cathead and the Hog Farmers?" You 'member we told then to drop by anytime they came round these parts? "They called just now - they's 'bout 10 miles ways from here, hungry, and gonna stay with us fer a few days. Honeybunch? Honeybunch? Aw, hell, Honeybunch!!! Shee - eet!, just heat up sumthin' from the pantry - open some cans and start cookin' - Honeybunch?? Aw, c'mon, don't make me sleep on the sofa!"

Put Porter Wagoner on the turntable, and spin "Company's Coming" for the way it's supposed to be. Us Southerners pride ourselves on homecooking, but most times there just ain't time! So we turn, like everyone else, to our purveyors of ready - to - serve, heat 'n' eat products.

Fortunately, we have some pretty fair canned goods and frozen food available. I do get a bit concerned how they make the "artificial flavor" to get the South's favorite seasoning: smoked pigmeat. I don't even want to think about that! (Actually, I picture these white lab - coated scientists working in the laboratory with this finely dressed barbequed whole hog on the examining table.)

OK, here's my picks and comments:

Glory Foods: Glory cans right fine greens - turnip, mustard, and collard. If you can find their FROZEN collard greens (they're packed in a 9" by 6" box), these are superb and rival the best homemade! All Glory products are good tastin' out of the can. And to think they're based in Columbus, Ohio! There is quite a bit of crossover between Midwest cooking and Southern.

Allen Canning Company: My favorite for some personal reasons. Allen is based out of a little town, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, which is home to a lot of my kin. My grandfather sold produce to them, and my parents and I lived only a mile from their corporate office back in the early '50's. Their most beloved product is "Kentucky Wonder Style Italian Green Beans." They come close to tasting like "Kentucky Wonders" pole beans if you cook a bit of smoked ham hock with them. Also, their brand "Trappey" blackeyed peas with jalapeno is great. They are also a good brand for greens, along with their brand of spinach, "Popeye!"

Bush's (Knoxville, TN) has many products, but their canned crowder peas are my favorite. Likewise, Lucks's for their authentic Great Northern (white) beans. Just add cornbread and raw onion.

Margaret Holmes (McCall Foods, Effingham, SC) has the delicious "White Acre Peas" the most creamy of field peas. McCall is the home of Sunshine brand of Pickled Peaches, a true Southern icon. They are an essential part of any holiday's relish tray.

Another true classic is Ranch Style Original Texas Beans (Ranch Style Products, Fort Worth, TX). These are the authentic side dish for barbequed beef brisket.

The prettiest can - and rare Southern Wild Green is canned by the small Monticello Canning Co out of Crossville, TN: "Betty Ann Creecy Greens" (dry land cress). Get some - but never, NEVER open the can. These are awful! Cresses, like poke and dock have to be picked fresh and cooked. (I'll do a column on "Wild Greens" in the spring - Ron) Great can, though.

"Bread and Butter Jalapeno Peppers" - By Gawd, Yes! Endorsed by Chuck Yeager, no less - I've only seen these on the shelves in Texas. Absolutely wonderful! They can be ordered on the 'Net: www.PepperTraders.com. Worth it.

Lastly, from Luverne, Alabama, there is Sister Schubert's Yeast Rolls in your frozen foods case. "Sis" ain't no Nun (see her picture at www.ssrolls.com), but her rolls are heavenly.

** The actual band was The Consort from Minneapolis, MN. Back in 1981. Sandra and I have maintained contact with a couple of members through the years, primarily the lead singer, Andrea Nikpay. They showed up on our doorstep two months after we saw and talked to them in Nashville, and stayed a week! I wouldn't trade that experience for the world!

related tags

South Carolina,

Currently there are 3 comments. Leave one now!

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.
Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.