Episode 1: What is Southern?

by Tanner Latham

I believe that okra symbolizes the ever-evolving definition of the South. It is Southern to the core, but as a non-native plant, okra had to become Southern. In my search for an answer to the question, "What is Southern?" I talk to my grandmother about her fried okra, the Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the former editor-in-chief of Southern Living magazine, and a Korean-born pop singer-turned-chef who fries okra in tempura batter at her Southern barbecue joint in Atlanta.


John Floyd, former Southern Living editor-in-chief

Velma Latham, maker of fine fried okra

Ma Ma's fried okra in the cast iron skillet

Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee, chefs and owners at Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta

Spicy Korean pork sandwich, black eyed pea salad, green tomato kimchi, and cucumber and radish salad  at Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta.

Sauces, Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta