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“What goes with cornbread?” This is a question I often hear from people who aren’t familiar with this traditional American food. If you’re not American, you can forgive yourself for not knowing what cornbread is.
Perhaps you have eaten it once, but you didn’t realize it was cornbread. Don’t worry as I’ll give you the rundown on this tasty treat, as well as the different ways to enjoy it.
What is cornbread?
Let’s start by focusing first on cornbread. This is a food that can be traced back even before the discovery of the New World. The native Americans used to make cornbread with basic ingredients such as cornmeal, water, cooking fat, and salt.
It should be noted that the early cornbread recipes were not sweet at all. It was only by the beginning of the 20th century when sugar became affordable and accessible. Bakers then added it to cornbread, and the latter became sweet.
It was also during that time when other ingredients like sunflower seeds, berries, and nuts were incorporated in cornbread recipes.
Even the color of cornbread is different today than it was centuries ago. The traditional cornbread is colored white while the cornbread we know today is yellow, thanks to the use of corn powder.
How should cornbread taste and look like?
Most traditionalists would scoff at sweet cornbread, though. They say that cornbread should not be sweet at all. I guess it’s a matter of preference. I am okay with adding a minimal amount of sugar, as long as it won’t make the cornbread noticeably sweet.
As for the appearance, I prefer cornbread to be shaped like muffins.
What goes well with cornbread?
So what dishes or foods go well with cornbread? I listed them some of them below:
Any Southerner will tell you that cornbread is best served with southern BBQ. The smoky flavor of southern BBQ just goes well with cornbread. This combination makes for a good weeknight meal, and a delicious one that your family will love.
Imagine this—it’s a cold morning, and you wake up to the smell of a hot, rich soup served with cornbread. The latter becomes the perfect side dish to the soup.
For many people around the world, a soup and cornbread combo is the perfect comfort food during the chilly winter months.
The cornbread serves as the base for this yummy treat. Layered with meat, corn, salsa, and then topped with fontina cheese or its substitutes, taco casserole with cornbread can be a great snack or even midweek dinner.
It doesn’t have to be a special occasion for you to enjoy roast chicken stuffed with cornbread. Moist and tasty roast chicken stuffed with cornbread loaded with apple bits and nuts.
In fact, roast chicken with cornbread stuffing is a popular alternative to the standard turkey during Thanksgiving.
Glazed ribs paired with dark leafy greens and cornbread make a fantastic combination. The flavors complement each other very well. And the colors look good on any plate.
Another traditional snack for Southerners is cornbread and milk. In fact, many people who grew up in the south swear they can have a huge glass of milk with cornbread for dinner.
Some people like to add some salt to crumbled cornbread before they pour in the milk. Others replace milk with buttermilk.
Just like the other foods listed in this list, beans complement cornbread well. Beans and cornbread are a staple food combination in the southern part of the United States.
My friend who’s from Memphis would pour beans into a pot, boil them for an hour, and then eat it with cornbread.
Fried potatoes with cornbread may be carbohydrate overload for many people, but this combination can be a very filling snack or breakfast.
In the South, fried potatoes aren’t deep fried. Instead, the potatoes are skillet fried. Sure, it’s not that healthy but how can you resist cornbread with pan fried potatoes and topped with a big pat of butter?
Beef stew served with cornbread is another favorite of many Americans. I know some friends who can’t eat beef stew without crumbling cornbread into it. I, for one, love beef stew because it is not only delicious but also healthy with its green beans and carrots.
Rounding out our list is good ole cabbage. Some people like fried cabbage; others like it boiled or steamed. I don’t have any preferences, as long as I eat hot buttered cornbread with cabbage.
What are the health benefits of eating cornbread?
Not only is cornbread versatile; it is also healthy.
The basic ingredient of cornbread, corn meal, is a whole grain food that is fiber-rich. It not only helps in promoting regular bowel movement, but also lowers blood sugar levels.
Cornbread is also rich in essential amino acids, or the protein building blocks that promote cellular growth and good organ function.
And didn’t I tell you that cornbread is delicious?
As you can see, cornbread is one of the most versatile foods out there. It can be paired with practically every dish. In fact, my 5-year old niece says cornbread tastes good with just about anything! And I couldn’t agree with her more!