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When it comes to our Southern Delicacy features, I must say that I have tried almost all of them! Today’s, however, I sadly have never had the pleasure of tasting. If a muffuletta tastes as good as it looks, though, I’m in for a treat whenever it is that I can sink my teeth into one!

Look at all that melted cheese – YUM!

Muffuletta photos from Robyn Lee via Serious Eats and Celebration Generation (including a recipe!)

The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular submarine-style sandwich that was created in New Orleans (using muffuletta bread, of course!). A traditional style muffuletta consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and layered with marinated olive salad (homemade is best!), capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese and provolone. WHEW!

The original muffuletta was born at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Sicilian farmers selling their produce at the nearby farmers’ market would come in for lunch and order some salami, ham, cheese, olive salad, and either long braided Italian bread or a round muffuletta loaf. Tradition had the farmers eating everything separately while sitting on crates and balancing their meals on their knees — not the easiest set-up. Seeing their daily struggle, Central Grocery’s owner suggested cutting the bread and putting everything on it like a sandwich. The farmers found that the thicker Italian bread proved too hard to bite, so the softer round muffuletta loaf won out. Soon the farmers came to merely ask for a “muffuletta” for their lunch, and a NOLA classic had arrived!

Mini muffulettas from Southern Living; mini muffuletta crostinis from Thrifty Foods; muffuletta bites from Rhubarb and Honey; and muffuletta squares from Three Many Cooks

They may not be identical to the original, but we think these mini variations are just the cutest, and perfect for a wedding cocktail hour! Have y’all ever had a muffuleta? I’m dying to try one!

What’s your favorite Southern Delicacy? I’d have to go with beignets!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kimberly reply

    Thanks for including my muffaletta bites in your round-up! I adore the muffaletta sandwich … and I think I may be making those muffaletta squares soon!

  2. avatar Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration from The Graceful Host and Old South Studios – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] New Orleans delicacies like mini muffulettas were […]

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Y’all already learned in a previous Southern Delicacy column that I am a big fan of the big hair bow, but did you know that growing up I did competitive gymnastics, too? We traveled a lot around the Southeast for meets, and my mom always tried to build in fun stops along the way. One of the stops we made when in Atlanta was a very famous landmark restaurant: The Varsity!

For those of you not familiar with The Varsity, its downtown location is the world’s largest drive-in (or World’s Largest Drive-In, I suppose, since it does hold the official title!). Opened in 1928, it sits on more than two acres and can accommodate 600 cars and over eight hundred people inside. On Georgia Tech football gamedays, up to 30,000 people visit The Varsity. Holy cow!!

My favorite part of visiting was the vintage decor and nostalgic “What’ll ya have” greeting from servers. A visit to The Varsity will definitely send you back in time!

Vue Photography

Ready for a few numbers? Every day, The Varsity goes through two miles of hot dogs, a ton of onions, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 5000 fried pies (peach and apple), and 300 gallons of made-from-scratch chili. The original owner, Frank Gordy, insisted on fresh ingredients, and three to six deliveries per day is still routine. According to The Varsity’s website, when asked what he did with leftovers, he responded: “We don’t have any.” Love that!

Something else fun involving numbers: The Varsity has always managed its extensive drive-in business by numbering cars and employing “car hops,” or “curb men.” These fellows sang and danced while reciting the menu (awesome!), and some even used their time at The Varsity to launch a career in Hollywood!

Finally, my favorite fact about The Varsity has to be that it has its own lingo. A few of my personal favorites: the Naked Dog (a plain hot dog in a bun), Walk a Dog (a hot dog to go) and the Mary Brown Steak (a plain hamburger without a bun). Take that, In-N-Out!

Tell me: Have you ever been to The Varsity? Ever considered serving their goodies at your wedding like our cute couple above? They do cater!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lauren Stone reply

    OMG! This is me and my now husband, Ryals. I would like to go on record and say that he was the one who initially suggested having a late night Varsity snack at our wedding and it was a huge hit! Check out Vue’s photo album on their website!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Hi Lauren! That is SO awesome! Y’all looked fabulous at your wedding! :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Have any of y’all seen the show GCB? I’m obsessed! It’s my new guilty pleasure – over the top, a bit campy, and completely fabulous. And, it’s based in the South! Holla! Y’all know I love big Southern hair, and this show is full of it!

The ladies of GCB have yet to sample chicken and waffles on screen, but I’ll bet it’s only a matter of time, as this sweet and savory bite is a Southern staple! On that note, oh heavens, please someone keep me from licking this computer screen! Seriously, the mini cones?? I think Emily’s mini food obsession is rubbing off on me!

A little history: Chicken and waffles is a soul food dish that combines delicious waffles with (usually) fried chicken. The waffle is usually drizzled with butter and/or syrup, which only adds to the deliciousness factor (and, yes, the calorie count). The exact origin of this semi-crazy combination is unknown, but according to one story, it actually has deep roots, dating from the 1790’s, when Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron home from France. The combo of chicken and waffles started appearing in cookbooks shortly thereafter.

A Bryan Photo via Southern Weddings (food by Cru Catering), Diana M. Lott, Ingalls Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings, Jessica Lorren, last two by Vitalic Photo via Style Me Pretty

No matter where this tradition started, we Southerners have embraced it! According to my secret Northerner source (shh, it might be Miss Emily), this Southern delicacy is particularly baffling to our counterparts up North. I’m not sure what to tell her except that perhaps it’s in our genes!

On a final note, I am personally so excited to see this delicacy being served at Southern fetes. We all know I’m a bit of a tradition freak, so seeing couples serving this truly Southern combo to their guests has me tickled pink. Because chicken and waffles is such a flexible dish, it’s perfect for almost every wedding event, from cocktail hour to a midnight snack to a going away brunch the next morning. We also love the idea of printing your grandmother’s waffle recipe on a muslin bag and sending it home with your guests as a homespun favor!

Tell me: Do you love chicken and waffles? What’s your favorite Southern food? Will you be serving a Southern delicacy at your wedding?

Psst… hungry for more?
Our Southern fixin’s Pinterest board
Black-eyed peas
Benne wafers

Jessica Lorren and Cru Catering are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Brit {Colure Weddings} reply

    You’re right Emily!

    Sincerely, a completely baffled northerner. ;)

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Too funny! I’m sure there are some Northern foods that would completely us Southerners! It’s all fair in the end! ; )

  2. avatar Sarah K reply

    We had chicken and waffles at our wedding day-after send-off brunch. Most of my husband’s people had never tried it and now they are obsessed. SOOOOO yummy!

  3. avatar Vanessa {vanilla and rose} reply

    There’s very little on here that surprises me when it comes to Southern food! I’m from the North but my father was born and raised in Alabama so I’ve been exposed to Southern style and food most of my life but ladies you got me on this one! What?! This is definitely an interesting combination!

  4. avatar Jennifer reply

    Don’t know if you noticed the detail in the home kitchen when all thoses chicken wings were served last week, there was an in counter fryer. How did I not know this existed. Love GCB!

  5. avatar Natalia reply

    Chicken and waffles – YUM! It was a must-have on our “breakfast for dinner” rehearsal dinner.

    Oh my goodness – I looove GCB!! Completely hysterical.

  6. avatar Wedding Food – Comfort, Your Style « thehighlifesuite reply

    […] Yogurt Parfait from Pinterest, Pancake Bar from Green Wedding Shoes, Chicken and Waffles from Southern Weddings Magazine & Pinterest, Bacon Waffle w/ Fried Chicken, Gravy & a Fried Green Tomato from Pinterest, […]

  7. avatar Grass Fed reply

    Even when I was a kid, I love eating chicken and waffles. But I haven’t tried to have them simultaneously. This is a great southern delicacy that I am very excited to try.

  8. avatar LJ reply

    We served brunch for our wedding reception. The chicken and waffles were a hit!

  9. avatar Shawna reply

    Your photos are so beautiful.

  10. avatar Kimberly reply


  11. avatar diamondscatering reply

    Fantabulous piece of work. Thank you for sharing this information about Creative Catering Ideas.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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