Down in the Deep South, there are a number of culinary commonalities between the states which can make it tricky to call out the cultural origins of a specific dish - and Georgia is no exception. Take Brunswick Stew, for example, claimed both by the Virginians and the Georgians; these days, you’ll find variations on the theme across both states as well as most locations in between. Or, consider shrimp and grits, a Southern staple, hailed by some as a Charleston, South Carolina native but wide-spread, and equally perfected, across the region. Head for Georgia’s salty coast to sample a succulent serving of Georgia wild caught shrimp heaped on creamy grits if you don’t believe us.
Then there are peaches, which make an appearance plump and juicy just off the tree, or in irresistible cobbler form. Find also gracing many a table foods like cornbread, fried chicken, biscuits, red-eye gravy and barbecue, though depending on which part of the state you’re in you might get your barbecue pork cooked over wood with a ketchup-based sauce and a side of Brunswick Stew (south), or grilled, woodless, with a more vinegary sauce (north).
Along the coast, seafood is the thing to seek out, from oysters and wild shrimp to crab and fresh flounder. In Savannah, think she-crab soup, seafood gumbo, fried catfish, spring shad, deviled crab and Low Country boil (also known as Frogmore Stew), the latter an ever-changing dish that usually begins with shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, a can of beer and a dash of Old Bay Seasoning, then develops according to what’s in season (and how much beer the cook consumes).
And when it comes time to tipple on things local, the soft drink of choice, in terms of origins anyway, is Coca Cola, a company with historic roots in Columbus, now based in Atlanta. If you’re looking for something with a little more bite, consider visiting a local winery for a taste of some unique varietals relatively uncommon in the rest of the United States, like Mataro, Tinta Cao, Nebbiolo, Petit Manseng and Touriga Nacional. There are also a number of better known varietals grown in Georgia, like Muscadine, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.