Can You Name These Soul Food Dishes?

By: Kennita Leon
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

If you know anything about the history of "soul food, you'll know that the phrase wasn't very well known until the 1960s. It was a time when civil rights movements were popular and Black nationalists found their voices and wanted to keep their traditions, legacy and culture alive. So when terms like "soul music," "soul sister (and brother)" popped up, it was only a matter of time until the word "soul" was put in front of the word "food."

While soul food uses many recipes used by slaves, it is also food that has been cooked by African Americans living in the southern states, where slavery was more common. This kind of cuisine, while basic, is special because it is made with love, feeling and of course, lots and lots of flavors. It doesn't need fancy ingredients like foie gras, but instead uses staples that can be found in almost any home, such as beans, greens, fish and chicken.

What we want to test today is whether you know enough about soul food to name all of the items we've included in this quiz. Were you the one watching your grandmother toil over a pot of gumbo or jambalaya? Or were you too busy playing outside to correctly identify some red beans if we showed you a picture of them? Let's find out how well you know your soul food. 

Owing its name to its cooking style rather than ingredients, chicken fried steak contains no chicken. Instead, it is a breaded, fried steak.

Made using both pork and beef, hot link sausages are just that, hot. Additional ingredients include spices, red pepper, flakes, cayenne pepper and paprika.

Believed to have been adopted by early German settlers in the United States, there are a few variations to the potato salad.

Crackling bread is made simply with cornmeal and crackling; crackling is a popular southern snack of fried pork rinds.

Inherited from Native Americans, creamed corn may be home-made or store-bought. It is sometimes referred to as soup due to its partially pureed state.

Essentially, the back fat of a pig, fatback, is used to produce sausages, bacon, pork rinds and sometimes as part of a meal along with vegetables.

A dish most popular in Louisiana, red beans and rice was traditionally served on Mondays. The beans were prepared using leftover meat from Sunday.

Despite its name being derived from the Bantu word for 'okra,' gumbo can be made without it. Gumbo is commonly made using a dark roux as a substitute for okra, vegetables and seafood.

Also known as butter beans due to their buttery texture, lima beans were first exported to the United States from Lima, Peru.

A well-liked dish among slaves during the American Civil War, Southern fried chicken is prepared by frying coated, seasoned pieces of chicken.

Despite being tedious to make, caramel cakes are a highly praised delicacy. A moist yellow cake is smothered with a rich caramel frosting to create this classic.

A dish quite similar to gumbo, jambalaya originated in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is prepared in the same manner as gumbo but without the use of a thickener.

The favorite southern platter of fried fish is prepared worldwide. It is especially popular in Great Britain where it is served with fries, or chips, as they call them.

An ordinary staple for many, sweet potatoes are used in many southern soul food dishes, the most popular of which is candied sweet potato.

When in peak season between October and February, turnips are often combined with chunks of meat to create turnip greens; only the leaves of the turnip are used.

Originating in the southern United States, grits are a type of porridge made from boiling ground corn.

A primary source of distinct flavor in collard greens, beans and a few other southern dishes, the ham hock is made entirely of skin and ligaments and is found above the foot of a pig.

A common holiday dish, pecan pies are made using pecans, a nut native to the Southern United States. Additional ingredients include sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla.

With a long history tracing back to West Africa and slavery, red drink is considered "liquid soul." Originally made using hibiscus petals, the drink is now made using powders, such as Kool-Aid.

A sweet delicacy, candied yams are made using garnet yams or sweet potatoes. They are sliced, bathed in a mixture of sugar and spices and then baked.

Not to be confused with what is known as a cookie, biscuits are baked products of flour and baking soda.

Also known as pork jowl, hog jowl is smoked pork cheeks. It is sometimes prepared as bacon or stewed with beans and greens.

Mustard greens, like turnip greens, is prepared by combining the leaves of the mustard plant with meat bits and seasonings.

A special at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, sweet potato pie made its first appearance in American kitchens during the colonial period.

A Sunday special not only of African-Americans but Caribbean residents as well, macaroni and cheese is a baked pie of macaroni, cheese and milk.

Often served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, peach cobblers are baked, crusted dishes with a peach filling.

Primarily a side-dish, hushpuppies accompany seafood and other fried foods. They are made by deep-frying balls of cornmeal batter.

The external wall of a pig's stomach, hog maw is prepared by stewing, frying or baking. It is traditionally believed to affect prosperity; thus, it is eaten on New Year's Day.

A cake made from cornmeal, hoecakes owe their name to their original form of preparation; being baked on the blade of a hoe.

Cornbread is used widely to refer to any leavened bread made using cornmeal. It is deemed the foundation of Southern cuisine.

Once a delicacy in the United States, pig feet or pig trotters are best prepared by slow cooking to achieve tenderness.

As the name would suggest, pork ribs are the ribs of a pig. They are prepared by baking or grilling and are served in many restaurants.

Collards are short, leafy plants similar to kale and broccoli. In Southern cuisine, they are often prepared with onion, garlic, oil and meat.

A must-have item on the Thanksgiving dinner menu, turkey is enjoyed for its tender, healthier meat.

Hoppin' John, is a southern dish of black-eyed peas, rice and various veggies. It's a great lighter addition to a heavy Thanksgiving meal! Leave out any meat and it's vegetarian-friendly for those who prefer not to partake in turkey.

Chitterlings are made from the small intestines of pigs. Their consumption dates back to the slavery period where they were fed to the slaves.

Commonly known as ladies' fingers, okra is a thickener and main ingredient of the soul food dish, gumbo. It is the seed pod of the okra plant.

Considered unpalatable to some, chicken liver is rich in iron and can be prepared tastily. It can be battered, deep-fried and used as pate fillings.

A main ingredient in many soul food meals, black-eyed peas or goat peas were first cultivated in West Africa.

Formally used to refer only to the tail of an ox, oxtail is now used when speaking of the tail of cattle. Because of its gelatin-rich composition, it is often used in soups and stews.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes