Clearly we cannot get enough of Southern cooking! That fact might be pretty obvious by this point… Yes, we absolutely did listen to some country music during our months in the test kitchen and of course during our travels to Nashville. We enjoyed our time in Nashville so much that we just had to bring the flavor to Southern California, with our own twist of course.
There’s a lot to love about Nashville and the South, let’s count down a few of our favorite things, treats and a few fun facts about Tennessee. Grab your cowboy boots and some sweet tea.
1) A bird’s eye or aerial view is necessary to really take this gem in. But, we love the peace sign that adorns a corner of the Nashville International Airport. We get it, airports aren’t usually on the top of the list. But the 400 foot wide peace sign is the standout. Most people wouldn’t even know it was there. Various theories are floating around locally regarding the geoglyph’s origin story. Although not of a mystical or other worldly origin, the peace sign was created by a groundsman. He dutifully (on his own accord) mowed around the peace sign for 14 years. The world could definitely use more of such positivity. Riverside county right here in Southern California is home to another spectacular geoglyph referred to as The Blythe Intaglios or Blythe Geoglyphs.
2) Any guess as to what Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Morgan Freeman, Megan Fox, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner and Johnny Knoxville all have in common? Well other than being famous musicians, actors and television personalities. All of these artists are originally from the great state of Tennessee. Two of the musicians on this list have a family connection. Any guesses? Your first hint is a wrecking ball and your second hint is Dollywood… Did you figure it out yet? Ok, the answer is that Dolly Parton is none other than Miley Cyrus’ Godmother. Tina Turner has fans around the world and holds the impressive record of being the first artist in the United Kingdom to have seven consecutive decades of a top 40 hit. Now that’s something to sing about, she proudly has 35.
3) You actually aren’t imagining the sheer amount of trees and green when exploring the state. Tennessee is known for having the most species of trees in the entire country. There are approximately 200 different species of trees throughout the state. That might not sound like a lot but wrap your head around this fact from Google. There are, “More than 8 billion live trees are estimated to be growing in Tennessee forests, over 1,200 trees for every person living in the State.” Impressive now isn’t it?
4) The top selling candy in Tennessee are, Tootsie Roll Pops, they love them so much that according to Google, Tennesseans gobble up approximately 55,627 pounds of Tootsie Roll Pops, that is not a typo. On their website, Tootsie.com states the beloved candy, “…was the first lollipop providing an embedded candy “prize” and that it’s “the world’s number #1-selling candy-filled lollipop”. So, Tennesseans aren’t alone in their Tootsie Roll Pop obsession. This favorite treat’s original five-flavor mix includes, Chocolate, Cherry, Orange, Grape and Raspberry. The second most popular candy enjoyed in TN is salt water taffy or taffy. Salt water taffy has been enjoyed in the United States since the 1880’s and originated in Atlantic city, and the New Jersey area of the Jersey Shore. The third most popular candy in the state are Skittles! It’s a rumor that all Skittle colors taste the same, it simply isn’t true. The original Skittle colors are, purple, yellow, green, orange, and red. Can you taste the rainbow yet? If you want to learn more history and facts about the rainbow candy check out this article before your next trivia night.
5) From the candy shop to the courthouse, here are a few laws on the books in Tennessee that made us do a double take. One cannot sell hollow logs nor fish with a lasso according to the Morgan County News. You might also want to think twice about going exploring or getting friendly with the neighbors. In Tennessee you have to have permission to set foot on someone’s property and it’s also illegal to not leave after being told to do so. One unusual thing you are allowed to do in Tennessee though is to carry a machete, we aren’t too sure about that one.
6) We end this list with a fun fact that makes sense for Music City. Most states have one state song. But as you may know they take music very seriously in Tennessee. So, they actually have 10 state songs, cause clearly one song was not enough to express their love and pride of their home state.