For born-and-bred Portlanders, the red-hot cultural divide that comes with the classic Southern cornbread is probably unfamiliar. Is it meant to be fried in bacon fat or baked in butter? Skillet or dish? As Portland has some significant distance from the Mason-Dixon line, locals craving a slice with their plate of Southern fare are blissfully absolved from the controversy.
For years, Portland’s restaurant scene has cozied up to Southern culinary tradition, stacking and smothering biscuits of all sorts and catering to barbecue enthusiasts from Texas to the Carolinas. Cornbread is the unsung hero of most soul food staples—the crumby, sometimes sweet, sometimes savory side dish that a half rack of ribs demands. This map runs the gamut of cornbread variety, featuring well-loved options from each pocket of the South alongside the outlandish interpretations that only Portlanders could create. Yes, a cornbread waffle made the cut. Eaters can peruse our Southern food map for a broader look at the region.Read More