The South has not shortage of comfort foods to call its own, but just don’t make the mistake of linking fried chicken and waffles to the region. As Maria Godoy reports for NPR’s The Salt, many Southerners balk at the association made in a previous story about the health risks of soul food. One commenter said, “This is a Yankee-fied interpretation of a southern staple.”

So is fried chicken and waffles really not a Southern creation? For clarification, Godoy turned to an authority on the South’s cuisine: John T. Edge. The frequent New York Times contributor and Southern Foodways Alliance director explains that fried chicken and waffles is indeed a Southern dish; it’s just “once or twice removed from the South” as a favorite among “expatriate, African-American Southerners.”  

While both coasts can be credited for popularizing the dish, Edge says its origins span various regions and may go back as f Thomas Jefferson, who first brought the waffle iron to the U.S. from France.

[via NPR’s The Salt]