"Southern food is a mosaic. A constellation of culinary influences came together over the last 300 years to give us defining pleasures like skillet fried chicken, cornbread, cheese grits, collards in porky potlikker, and caramel cake. This was a cuisine built on Native American acumen, colonialism and the spice trade, adaptive farming in fertile soil, and on the sheer resilience of Africans sold or born into the horrors of slavery. The food of the region constantly evolves, its repertoire extending far beyond the Antebellum pantry. A constant influx of immigrants makes the South their home. Newcomers adapt regional standards to their tastes; their foods become indelible to our collective identity."And so, to determine the very best 38 places in the region, Addison pulled in 13 foodie heavy hitters to analyze the best in the South's 12 states. There's Jennifer V. Cole, the former deputy editor of Southern Living. There's author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journery, Ronni Lundy. Not to mention Atlanta Magazine restaurant critic Jennifer Zyman, and, of course, Addison himself.
John Hodgman is a world renowned comedian known for his work on the Daily Show, his writings in New York Times Magazine, and as the pleated khaki "PC" in Apple's famous Mac vs. PC commercials.
Hodgman is also an internet-renowned jurist. As the host of the Judge John Hodgman program (and NYT column), the eponymous host tackles life's hard truths with unflinching certainty and convincingly circuitous logic. Recent highlights include: Dragons, Diet Mountain Dew, visors as hats, and 'The West Wing' fandom.
As an unquestioned authority, the Judge has also been repeatedly dragged into the pop culture debate over whether hot dogs are sandwiches. As far back as 2013, Hodgman was parsing the finer details of sandwich construction to come to a conclusion. Though at one time he was in the 'Yes' camp, by 2014 Hodgman convinced himself of his errant ways and entered into a vicious feud with Sporkful host Dan Pashman.
Well today, when we posted a photo of the hot dog taco that was procured on a recent North Charleston taco crawl to Twitter, someone called in Judge Hodgman for a ruling. We didn't think there would be much of a debate, but Hodgman deemed the issue novel enough to render judgment.
Not a sandwich. Definitely a gross taco. https://t.co/2vto2ZLDQx— John Hodgman (@hodgman) March 22, 2017
In an exclusive follow-up with City Paper contributor Eric Doksa, who documented last week's taco crawl, we discovered that the hot dog taco ordered at Tiki Taco on Rivers Avenue is not actually on the menu. Doksa: "They have hot dogs and they have tacos. We requested they put a hot dog in a tortilla." According to Doksa, the order was made as a tribute to Robert Donovan, the tireless photographer of last year's local hot dog crawl and investigative reporter examining the status of hot dogs as sandwiches.