preparing greens in skillet for poke salad

Poke Salad: A Traditional Southern Delicacy

Food is a part of every culture, and each culture has its own unique dishes. The Southern United States is no exception.

For example, Poke salad is a traditional Southern dish that is made with greens and plants that are native to the Southern United States.

Poke salad is also a dish that is steeped in the history and culture of the region and is enjoyed by many people in the Southern United States.

greens, tomatoes, onions, and bacon for poke salad

What is Poke Salad?

Poke salad is a traditional Southern dish made with a variety of fresh vegetables and typically served with a protein such as chicken or shrimp. Not to mention, it’s a healthy option that is packed with nutrients and flavor.

The salad is made with a variety of greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and pokeweed. The greens are boiled, then chopped, and mixed with a dressing made of vinegar, oil, and spices. Poke salad is often served with cornbread or biscuits

Poke salad is a healthy and delicious option for any meal and is perfect for a light lunch or a side dish at dinner. It is also a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables, as well as a good dose of protein.

The History of Poke Salad

Poke salad is a traditional Southern dish that is often made with greens that are foraged from the wild. The word poke comes from the Choctaw word for “salad” or “greens”.

Poke salad has been a part of Southern cuisine for centuries, and it is believed to have originated with the Native American tribes who inhabited the region.

The first recorded mention of poke salad was in a cookbook published in 1866, which included a recipe for “Poke and Milk”.

The dish gained popularity during the Reconstruction era, when many Southerners were looking for ways to stretch their food budget .

Poke salad was a cheap and filling way to feed a family, and it could be made with whatever greens were available. Poke salad became a staple of Southern cooking, and it is still enjoyed today.

It can be made with any type of green, but the most popular varieties are collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens.

Poke salad is typically served with a vinegar-based dressing, but some folks prefer to eat it with a mayonnaise-based dressing or even ranch dressing.

No matter how you make it, poke salad is a delicious and nutritious dish that is a cherished part of Southern culture.

Why Poke Salad is a Traditional Southern Delicacy

Poke salad is a traditional Southern delicacy for a number of reasons. First, it is a dish that can be made with ingredients that are readily available in the South.

Pokeweed, for instance, is a plant that is common in Southern states. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and has large, oval-shaped leaves.

The plant has small, greenish-white flowers that grow in clusters. The fruit of the pokeweed is a small, blackberry-like berry.

Pokeweed has a long history of being used as a food source by Native Americans and early settlers. The young leaves and shoots of the plant can be cooked and eaten as a green. The berries of the plant can be made into jelly or wine.

Pokeweed is considered a delicacy in the southern United States. It is often used in salads or as a side dish.

The young leaves and shoots of the pokeweed plant are edible and have a slightly peppery flavor, but the plant can also be poisonous if not properly prepared.

The young leaves and shoots of pokeweed can be boiled and eaten as a green, similar to spinach, but the plant becomes more poisonous as it matures.

The poison in pokeweed is primarily in the root, stem, and berries, so it is important to cook pokeweed properly in order to remove these toxins.

To do so, boiling pokeweed in several changes of water is recommended.

Once the water used to boil pokeweed turns from green to clear, the plant is safe to consume.

Additionally, poke salad has a long history in Southern cuisine. It is a dish that was brought over by African slaves and has been passed down through generations.

The combination of the salty bacon, the tangy vinegar, and the sweet cornbread makes for a dish that is sure to please any palate.

And, finally, poke salad is a dish that is relatively easy to make. So, if you’re looking for a traditional Southern dish that is delicious and easy to prepare, then look no further than poke salad.

American pokeweed with black berries

Is pokeweed and poke salad the same thing?

A lot of people tend to think that pokeweed and poke salad are the same thing, when in fact they are two completely different things.

Pokeweed is a plant that is found in damp, shady areas and can grow up to ten feet tall.

The pokeweed plant has large, dark green leaves and produces clusters of small, white flowers. The berries of the pokeweed plant are small, black, and poisonous. The pokeweed plant is not used for food.

Poke salad, on the other hand, is a dish that is made from the young leaves of the pokeweed plant.

The leaves are boiled for several minutes, then drained and chopped. The chopped leaves are then mixed with other ingredients, such as onions, bacon, vinegar, and sugar.

Poke salad is a traditional Southern dish that is often served at family gatherings and potluck dinners.

How to Make Poke Salad

Pokeweed can be cooked in a variety of ways, but the most popular method is to simmer the greens in bacon fat or ham hocks.

Here is a traditional Southern recipe for Poke Salad:


  • 1 pound of fresh pokeweed greens
  • 1/4 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the pokeweed as instructed above.
  2. Rinse the greens thoroughly in cold water and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it reaches desired crispness.
  4. Add onion and cook until softened.
  5. Add pokeweed and vinegar and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot with cornbread or biscuits.

There are a few different ways to make poke salad. Once the greens are cooked, they are then chopped up and mixed with other vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and celery.

Some people also like to add a bit of bacon to their poke salad for extra flavor. Once the greens and vegetables are chopped and mixed together, the poke salad is then ready to be served.

It can be served cold or hot, depending on your preference. If you are serving it cold, you may want to add a bit of dressing or vinegar to the salad to give it some extra flavor.

If you are serving it hot, you can simply top it with a bit of butter or olive oil. Poke salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a number of different ways.

Poke salad is a traditional southern dish that is not only delicious but nutritious as well. It is made with fresh, leafy greens and can be served either cooked or raw.

Poke salad is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, and it is also a low-calorie, low-fat option for those looking for a healthy meal.

Whether you are a Southern chef or just looking for a new, healthy recipe to try, poke salad is a great choice.