Bojangles' Biscuits

On my first birthday my family moved from Boston to South Carolina. Throughout my childhood, I thought of myself as “from the north” even though I had traveled above the Mason-Dixon line fewer than five times. Most of my grade school classmates only considered someone to be from the South if her grandparents had attended our high school or if he shared his last name with an antebellum plantation. 

Grandmothers’ cooking looms large in the lives of southern children. My mother’s mother served a baked potato to her father, who had emigrated from Ireland, at almost every dinner until he died at the age of one hundred and four. My father’s mother, whose grandfather emigrated from Italy to work in the granite quarries of New England, specialized in pasta. I didn’t have southern recipes passed down for generations, but I was able to buy into southern food culture through the myriad fast food restaurants that populate the South.

When I went away to college, I pinpointed eating at Bojangles’ as what it meant to be home. I made it a tradition to eat a Bojangles’ biscuit in the Charlotte airport before I flew back to school. I would often tell my friends from New England about Southern food, but I quickly became uncomfortable serving as an ambassador from the South. I was far from a representative sample, and I knew I had significant differences from what I considered a prototypical Southerner. My affiliation with Southern culture came in a to-go box from a franchised restaurant. 

Place(s): Boston,South Carolina

– Veronica Brown

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant