We're just going to say it: hush puppies are the best thing to ever happen to cornmeal. If you like cornbread, you'll love hush puppies because they're even better -- and we say that as huge cornbread fans. Hush puppies, which are a gift from the South (like so many of our other favorite foods) are a lot like the Italian's arancini -- only instead of risotto, they're made with corn.

Even if you're not into deep-frying, you'll want to give these hush puppy recipes a try. (We promise, they're worth the effort -- and oil.) While you can never go wrong with your standard cornmeal recipe, we've found some exciting variations with cilantro and squash that have to be tried.

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  • Jalapeno Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2011/03/okie-dokie-smokehouses-jalapeno-hushpuppies-red-slaw.html" target="_blank">Jalapeno Hush Puppies recipe</a> by A Spicy Perspective</strong>

  • Goat Cheese Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.heatherchristo.com/cooks/2012/07/16/goat-cheese-hushpuppies/" target="_blank">Goat Cheese Hush Puppies recipe</a> by Heather Christo</strong>

  • Hush Puppies With Green Zebra Tomato Jam

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/hush-puppies-with-green-z_n_1058498.html" target="_blank">Hush Puppies with Green Zebra Tomato Jam recipe</a></strong>

  • Sweet Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/2013/06/hush-puppies.html" target="_blank">Sweet Hush Puppies recipe</a> by Mandy's Recipe Box</strong>

  • Cheddar Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://pocketchangegourmet.com/cheddar-hush-puppies/" target="_blank">Cheddar Hush Puppies recipe</a> by Pocket Change Gourmet</strong>

  • Squash Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://spicysouthernkitchen.com/squash-puppies/" target="_blank">Squash Hush Puppies recipe</a> by Spicy Southern Kitchen</strong>

  • Cilantro Hush Puppies

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.beardandbonnet.com/cilantro-hush-puppies-gluten-free/" target="_blank">Cilantro Hush Puppies recipe</a> by Beard & Bonnet</strong>