Posted under Cuisine
Maurice’s BBQ is famous for its refusal to take down the flag (a costly stance), but it also once sold books defending slavery, seeking to educate its customers [thus freeing Southerners from guilt]. Now, were I in the same position I likely wouldn’t defend slavery in the restaurants (though there’s nothing inherently immoral about it provided a society treats its slaves well), but my point is culture war books were sold with the Southern cuisine. Select music and videos (e.g. “Gone With the Wind” and perhaps “Braveheart”) could be added too. Where is the Olde South today? Most of it stops in at a BBQ joint at least a few times a year. A local Greek restaurant has a map of Greece on its wall, and a group of Vietnamese has declared its presence with a restaurant of its own. These are culturally important.
There’s one demon in particular I’d like to slay though: unhealthy Southern food. The philosophy of New Orleans chefs is “anything worth doing is worth overdoing”, and that might extend to the South as a whole. However, I wish this spirit were moderated by health concerns. I can think right off of Low Country dishes that are as healthy as what one finds in a Whole Foods without sacrificing the taste. It’s certainly possible to gather them up, and an enlightened Southern restaurant would promote good health for its patrons (e.g. fewer fried foods and no soft drinks).
You’ll note I’m not naming any particular foods. I might undertake something like this one day, though I’d love for another to develop something similar using his own ingenuity. If done right this could use recommendations from those who’ve come before, such as the League of the South, and greatly magnify their impact.
To be clear, I’m thinking of a New Olde South: cutting edge with a foundation on the old. Politically this means the latest ideas, such as those reflected by the A3P (e.g. prudent environmentalism and no classical liberalism); technologically this means a nice looking, modern store that’s even ahead of the brand stores (abandoned rural general store style is a miss). The usual left-wing health food store product line would be carried too, e.g. no Styrofoam. An enlightened Southerner might hunt and fish, but he also keeps up the environment, albeit without falling for the global warming scam.
Side note: Ralf Nader’s father, Nathra, ran a restaurant where he discussed politics – promoted his views. And many political figures have run book stores – Mao comes to mind.
Also see: “The Food Issue“.