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The 16 Southern Snacks You Need to Know About

02/25/2014 11:44 am ET | Updated Apr 27, 2014
  • Thrillist Everything worth caring about in food, drink, and travel

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Our nation is full of great regional snacks, but in the South, snacking is a way of life, just like driving pickup trucks and calling Sprite "Coke." Below the Mason-Dixon, it's believed that if vegetables have to be eaten, they should be deep-fried. It's a place where a pure sugar candy's a midday snack. From chocolate-covered cookie sandwiches to the spiciest kettle-cooked chips, these are the snacks worth traveling south for.

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CREDIT: Moonpie

MoonPie
What it is: A layer of marshmallow sandwiched between two chocolate-covered graham cracker cookies
What's the deal: Before fancy bakers got ahold of the s'more, folks in Chattanooga, TN took the campfire snack in the opposite direction and made it even more down-home. The original double-decker cookie was created for Appalachian miners who didn't have enough time for a full lunch break. This was clearly a better time to be snacking if chocolate and marshmallow were considered the answer to a workforce's lunch needs. Except for the whole black lung thing.

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RC Cola
What it is: A cola-flavored soda from Columbus, GA
What's the deal: Fittingly, Georgia's other soda was created after a bitter fight over the price of Coca-Cola syrup. It played an important role as the other half of coal miners' MoonPie lunches, ensuring the Appalachian workforce was as healthy as could be. It's available everywhere, but in the South it thrives.

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Roman Candy
What it is: A pulled taffy native to New Orleans
What's the deal: While Atlantic City is stuck peddling its saltwater taffy, New Orleans gets to sell ocean water-free taffy from a horse-drawn carriage and remind America why it's the better taffy/casino city. Roman Candy Co. has been making and selling chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla taffy by the stick from this old-timey contraption since 1915, and the price is actually the $.75 painted on its side.

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CREDIT: Wickles

Wickles
What they are: A brand of spicy pickles from a tiny company in Dadeville, AL
What's the deal: Seattle and Brooklyn may have pickle storefronts, but Trey and Will Sims' 70-year-old family pickle recipe has the lockdown on pickle-curious tastebuds in 'Bama. The secret formula for the "wickedly delicious" pickle combines all the usual ingredients -- vinegar, garlic, and sugar -- with some mysterious spices for a truly uncool cucumber.

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