These two meats are truly a delicacy in the south. They have a lot in common seeing as how they are both heavily salted (A method of preservation), both are pork products, they are prepared the same way, and both have been a staple of Southern Tables due to their being so inexpensive and readily available. Fatback, in particular, became very popular on Southern tables during the great depression as it was often the only cut of meat that could be afforded by hungry families.
Either cut of meat can be found used as seasoning in a pot of beans, which is then torn or cut into small pieces and added back to the pot to eat along with the beans once they are fully cooked.
Fatback is a traditional dish served for New Year’s Eve in the South where we have our celebratory meal of Fatback, Greens, and Black Eyed peas, a meal believed to bring luck and wealth in the new year. Greens and black eyed peas (or field peas) received their cherished status when Northern Troops marched through our lands and took charge of all other crops and livestock as provisions for their troops, leaving greens and peas behind because they were believed to be fit only for the animals.
Most Southern or “Soul Food” restaurants in the south boast these meats on the menu. I always order Country Ham whenever we go to one of our beloved Cracker Barrel restaurants. They serve it with biscuits and fries or choices of country vegetables.
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