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Empire State South

How do you describe Southern food? Pursuing that answer is as much the daydreamer's indulgence as the academic's conundrum. It’s a workman’s meal of sugarless, butter-smeared cornbread, swiped through a bowl of potlikker and crumbled into the mouth. It’s an antebellum fever dream: she-crab soup, shad stuffed with roe, and the sherry-soaked dessert called tipsy squire consumed using weighty silverware on snowy linens. And it is, of course, an unconquerable buffet of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, baked ham, candied yams, black-eyed peas, and small plastic bowls filled with peach cobbler sweet enough to give you the sugar jitters.

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