The corn bread recipe I posted this morning reveals me as a true Northerner. Why? Because there’s sugar in it. No self-respecteding Southerner would ever admit to putting sugar in his corn bread, something I’m going to have to work on if I’m to continue living here (the admitting I mean).
What can I say, I like sweet corn bread. I used to buy it in thick sheet cake-like slabs from a Whole Foods near where the missus and I once lived in Chicago. Spring mornings I’d boil up a pot of Jasmine tea, grab a wide-mouthed jar of Tupelo honey, and go truly nuts on an all-flower breakfast. I remember I used to go to the gym an awful lot in those days…
Despite (mostly Southern) purist claims that great societies have crumbled sugaring their corn bread, a lot more goes on down here than you’d think. Southern bakers are notorious for sneaking in a pinch or two in the privacy of their own kitchens when no one’s looking. Not only is a little sugar or molasses a perfect compliment to corn meal, sugar molecules cling to water, adding moisture to the bread.
One of the things I love so much about the Southern corn bread attitude is that while they decry sugar as an abomination, a pollution of the pure flavor of corn, they rarely spare the bacon drippings. This recipe of course has both in abundance, because a good idea, let’s face it, is a good idea.