Do you say “Yuck!” or “Yum!” when you think of eating wet peanuts?

Boiled peanut / South Carolina State Library

If you said “Yum!” you probably come from one of the states where people see boiled peanuts as a tasty snack to take to a ballgame or fishing pond: the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of…

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David Mitchell felt ‘awe’ on seeing ‘The Matrix Resurrections’

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix Resurrections” / Warner and HBO Max

How do screenwriters feel when they hear actors speak their words on a big screen? David Mitchell, co-writer of The Matrix Resurrections, wrote after its premiere:

“There’s a surreal joy a writer feels upon watching a skilled actor deliver lines they wrote months ago. The joy contains a puppet-master’s ego…

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Curious about fried green tomatoes? Try a BLT.

Batter mix from Whistlestopcafe.com

You can’t expect an unbiased view of a Southern favorite like fried green tomatoes from a New Jersey native. I see fat red Jersey tomatoes — bought from the back of a farmer’s truck — as nature’s most perfect food.

But I’ve…

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Is pimiento cheese ‘the paste of the South’ or ‘the caviar of the South’?

Pimiento cheese / Duke’s Kitchen

It depends on whom you ask. Historians call homemade pimiento cheese — a mayonnaise-based sharp cheddar spread or dip — “the paste of the South,” perhaps because its low cost has helped to sustain residents in…

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Janice Harayda

Janice Harayda

Critic, novelist, award-winning journalist. Former book columnist for Glamour and book editor of The Plain Dealer.