March Madness has taken over the Southern Weddings office! Even though not everyone at SW considers herself a sports aficionado (ahem), we do live in the middle of Tobacco Road, and thought we should celebrate in style. Southern Weddings style, that is. Welcome to the 2014 Mason-Dixon Madness — a Southern food tournament!
Basketball mavens, we are not (at least not all of us), but everyone was more than willing to dress up in their favorite college colors and get outside on the courts last week for a little school spirit photo shoot. Since our office is located in the heart of ACC country, we had representation from all three schools in the Triangle (Emily = Duke; Morgan and Abbie = NC State; Lara, Grace, Nicole, and Kristin = UNC), along with some love for Big 12 Red River rivals, Texas and Oklahoma (Lisa and Meredith, respectively).
Admittedly, I am a bit biased, but I do think that this shade of blue is mighty pretty, and doesn’t Grace make the best SW mascot/Carolina cheerleader?
(It only took two tries to build this spirit pyramid!)
As the resident SW college basketball fan in the office, I boxed everyone out (lingo I learned from watching countless hours of games with KPW) for the chance to write these posts and to hang on the goal while we were taking pictures. Don’t worry, we all contributed to the cast of food and drink characters you see below, debating the relative qualities of Southern favorites at length to determine the rankings. We even learned a few things about one another in the process! Any guesses as to who fought hard for mac and cheese to make it deep into the tournament, or which gal is quite partial to pastries and rooted for beignets over pralines? (My sweet grandmama makes the best pecan pralines in Dixie, so it definitely wasn’t me.)
Our tournament begins with 64 of the best and brightest Southern favorites, divided by course so that pecan pie doesn’t go head-to-head with fried chicken in the first round. Each week, y’all will get the chance to weigh in on your favorite Southern delicacies until we whittle things down to the championship match-up on April 7th!
Will there be some upsets in the first round? How far will boiled peanuts and red velvet cake make it? It all depends on you, dear readers. P.S. Not familiar with some of these Southern gems? Check out our past Southern Delicacy columns or call your grandmama! Get educated, maybe have a taste test at home with your beau, and then pick your preferences from their head-to-head match-ups! First-round voting will be open until March 12, when we’ll set the winners up for the round of 32!
Feel free to print your own bracket (download it here), fill in your favorites, and see if you can pick the ultimate winner of the Mason-Dixon Madness. In full disclosure, I already have my favorite and I know I will be devastated if it goes out in the first round.
Invite your beau and your best friend to join in the fun and help us decide what will ultimately be named the best bite or beverage in Dixie! Take a break from wedding planning and spend some quality time with your favorite people debating the finer points of Southern cuisine. I’m betting you might learn a fun fact or two about your friends and family in the process. May the best food (or drink) win!
(RSS readers – click through to see the embedded poll!)
P.P.S. We owe big THANK YOUS to our significant others for their insight and input into the rankings and final 64 contestants, with a special shout-out to Taylor for spending an entire evening with Nicole debating the merits of foods–from collard greens to coconut cake–to make sure that the final field was fair and balanced!