A brief history of fried chicken.
Food historians seem to have contrived a story that the Scots brought fried chicken to the American South. The Scots? Yes, those same folks who contributed those other popular delicacies such as Sheep’s Head, Rumbledethumps, and of course, Haggis. Perhaps an infinite number of monkeys banging away on a typewriter could create Hamlet, but a culture stuffing oatmeal into sheep guts doesn’t one day create the most wonderful mouthful on the planet. Besides, If the Scots had invented fried chicken, Scotland would have a Colonel McSanders on every street corner.
West African cultures, on the other hand, do have a tradition of frying. African cooks understood that deep-frying meat preserved food in warm climates. Chicken, or to use the scientific term “yard-bird,” crossed into Western Civilization from Southeast Asia apparent without the need for any roads at all. Early on, chickens were often not eaten as it was believed they could predict the future since they’re the only animal that announces daybreak.
With the slave trade came many of the foods we associate with the South. Fried chicken became a common staple because the main components, hog’s lard and chicken, could be produced from table scraps in small lots. When cast iron skillets became widely available in the 19th Century, all of the pieces of great fried chicken came together.
Other chicken tenders of note:
The chicken is the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus-Rex.
In Gainesville, Georgia, it is illegal to eat fried chicken with a knife and fork.
Chicken and Waffles? Not Southern. Yankees must be stopped before inventing Chicken Omelets.
Let’s celebrate in Oxford.
HottyToddy.com recommends that y’all celebrate this great day at Gus’ World-Famous Fried Chicken, Bim Bam Burgers (just in time for Wings Wednesday) and of course, Chick-fil-A on West Jackson Avenue.
What are your favorite restaurants to eat fried chicken in Oxford?
Tim Heaton is an Ole Miss Alumnus from Southaven, Mississippi who supports The Flagship in a variety of public relations efforts. He is a contributing writer to HottyToddy.com and actively volunteers his technical, database and social media expertise to several community service organizations in his current home in Morristown, New Jersey and in his home state of Mississippi. He has been awarded over a dozen US Patents in technology and is also a published author, chef and physical fitness enthusiast.