While at the John Blue Cotton Festival last weekend in North Carolina, I discovered the southern collard sandwich in all its glory. Have any of you ever heard of such a thing? Being from the South, I was surprised that I had never once come across a collard sandwich-it was totally foreign to me.
Prior to the festival, my boyfriend had been talking about this sandwich for months. According to him, it’s all the rage in southern N.C. I would have to say that he was right because the line to get a collard sandwich stretched across the fair grounds with up to an hour wait. Let me tell you right now, this sandwich was worth the wait. It was absolutely delicious and I guarantee that if you haven’t had an actual collard sandwich, you’ve never experienced anything like it.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this sandwich was its simplicity. It was comprised of cornbread, collard greens, fat back, and hot peppers. On their own, each of these ingredients is a fine southern delecacy. But, the genius of the sandwich is that it combined each of these elements so that they could be experienced altogther in one bite. Also, the cornbread was not your average run of the mill, soft cornbread. This was FRIED cornbread and oh boy was it heavenly! It was fried to a perfect crisp and provided a crunchy contrast to the tender collard greens (which are in season during colder months). It gave the sandwich a unique twist that completely won me over. I’m gonna have to try frying my own cornbread very soon!
I haven’t yet attempted to make my own version of this dish, but as soon as I come up with a vegetarian friendly, equally delicious recipe, I will post it right away. Until then, let me know if you have any good recipes for a collard sandwich or fried cornbread. I’d be interested to hear if any of our readers have experience with this simple southern snack.
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