Did you know that tomorrow, October 11, is Southern Food Heritage Day? With Coca-Cola as perhaps the most famous culinary creation of the American South, we had to join in the celebration this Throwback Thursday (#TBT). So take a look through our images of classic food traditions and contemporary reimaginings - and then perhaps share a recipe of your own!


1959 coke + peanuts ad

This 1959 ad features Coke and peanuts, a classic Southern combination. But how did that tradition begin? Food historian Rick McDaniel explores its history here.

1962 tv tray

This TV tray from 1962 highlights a popular Southern spread of the era, including ham with pineapple and cherry, a jello mold with peaches, and of course an ice-cold bottle of Coke. Check out our own recipe for Coca-Cola baked ham and pineapple!

1978 burger ad

There's nothing like barbecue and burgers, as this 1978 ad highlights with its nine different varieties. If you're looking for more creative cooking variations, try our six slow-cooker recipes for fall, seven savory grill recipes, or six sensational Coke cakes.

1992 fried chicken ad

Fried chicken has long been a Southern staple, as this ad from 1992 highlights. Read up on chef Hugh Acheson's thoughts on fried chicken and the new south, or try out a healthy take on this comfort food with chef Art Smith's "unfried" chicken.

2001 October calendar page

This country store illustration might look vintage, with its classic Coke cooler and wooden cracker barrel, but it's actually from a 2001 calendar. These days, most Southerners hear the phrase "cracker barrel" and immediately think of the restaurant - which struck gold in 1997 with their invention of the double chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake. Read up on the history of Cracker Barrel's most famous dessert here.