The Sweet And Salty Southern Snack You Need To Know About

Every state seems to have a food, snack, or drink for which they are known. Chicago, for example, is known for its deep dish pizza. Maine, on the other hand, is known for lobster rolls, and places like Portland are known for Voodoo Donuts. All offer a taste of the culture and atmosphere that makes each location unique.

Southern food encompasses more than just a state, however, as it represents a mix of locales that have been defining southern classic foods for centuries. Things like chicken fried steak, fried chicken, red beans and rice, and jambalaya are all considered southern dishes, per Southern Living

Southern cooking recipes have especially taken off on TikTok, with many creators posting homemade dishes with directions for viewers to try at home. While nolacookingwithjenn from Louisiana has 19 million likes on her southern meals, Fireman123 from North Carolina has 14.1 million likes on his. Saveur says dishes like okra, collards, biscuits, tomato pie, pecan cream pie, and hush puppies — just to name a few more — taste "original sin" when done in the south. In other words, they are one of a kind. The list of southern meals could go on and on and we don't want to make you too hungry before getting to the good part!

Besides meals, though, there is a particular snack that is known in the south that you may have never thought to try before. Business Insider says there are plenty of myths as to why southerners love this unexpected concoction so much, but does one really need an explanation when it comes to a mix of salty and sweet?

This southern combination will satisfy your sweet and salty cravings

The interesting combination of peanuts and Coca-Cola is not so curious to those living below the Mason-Dixon line, per Business Insider. You read that right. Those two are apparently a match made in heaven. Southerners like to add peanuts into their bottles of Coke and enjoy the salty and sweet mix.

There are a couple ideas of how this snack came to be. One theory from Spoon University says the concoction can be dated back to the 1920s, when farmers were busy at work. Apparently, in order to drink and eat at the same time (and avoid touching things with dirty hands), they would toss some peanuts into a Coke. Now that's a great way to stay hydrated!

The Southern Living Tik Tok account confirms this theory. First, you take a few tips of your Coca-Cola to make some room and toss in the peanuts. The peanuts will still be hard even after finishing the Coke. The video adds that the workers did in fact have dirty hands, meaning this was the most "logical option they could think of." 

So Yummy even goes on to say that the snack was "a prototype fast-food for the 20th century South." Well, it can't get much faster than that. Once the peanuts started hitting convenient stores, there was no going back to just one or the other. But remember, real Coke is the only option, not diet. Think you want to give it a try?

If Cola-Cola and peanuts aren't for you, try these instead

While there aren't many unique snacks such as peanuts and Coca-Cola, there are still other popular southern snacks that work for any party. Food & Wine lists many like pimento cheese, cardamom-cheddar straws, hush puppies, skillet corn bread, and chocolate-peanut butter moon pies.

So, what are these snacks? Pimento cheese is a cheddar cheese-filled dip that works for chips, meats, and veggies. All you need to make it is mayonnaise, small Vidalia onions, hot sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, and diced pimientos. Simply combine the first three ingredients in a food processor, then add cheese and pimientos. Refrigerate for one hour — or until firm — and enjoy (via Food & Wine).

If you like cheese, then cardamom-cheddar straws are the snacks for you! Combine ground cardamom, flour, and salt in a mixer and pulse. Once mixed, add in butter and pulse until pea-sized. Then add in your cheese and milk. You'll be left with a cheesy dough that just needs to be rolled out, brushed in an egg wash, and baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (via Food & Wine).

But what to take when you want the sweet more than salty? Chocolate-peanut butter moon pies, of course! These creamy chocolate and peanut butter snacks offer a ton of sweetness in just one bite. Start by making a dough using the usual butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Once you bake the dough at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, add peanut butter, marshmallows, and melted chocolate (via Food & Wine). There you have it — sweet and salty options for all food lovers!