Paul Waldman of The Washington Post had an amusing column in the Feb. 13 Post and Courier poking fun at our “need” for presidential candidates to eat our local food just like a native in order to prove that they’re “down with the people.” In it, he details Kirsten Gillibrand’s recent visit to South Carolina to eat chicken and waffles. Evidently, she didn’t do it like a native.
In order to soothe the nerves of any other presidential candidates to South Carolina, I would like to point out that “chicken and waffles” is not a Southern dish. Nobody’s grandma has painstakingly written out her famous chicken and waffles recipe in her cookbook.
You won’t find it in “Charleston Receipts.” Heck, you won’t even find it in Betty Crocker. Chicken and waffles is a Northern diner meal. You don’t have to “prove” your Southern credibility by eating chicken and waffles.
Now, we do have some native foods that you can still fall on your face for. We have chicken bog, Frogmore stew, barbecue and even chitlins. I’d pay to see Gillibrand eating chitlins. But don’t worry about properly eating chicken and waffles. They’re not from around here.
Gloria B. Jenkins