The cuisine of the Southern United States developed in the traditionally defined American South, influenced by African, English, Scottish, Irish, French, Spanish, and Native American cuisines. Tidewater, Appalachian, Creole, Low Country, and Floribbean are examples of types of Southern cuisine.
Many elements of Southern cooking—squash, corn (and its derivatives, including grits), and deep-pit barbecuing—are borrowings from southeast American Indian tribes such as the Caddo, Choctaw, and Seminole. Sugar, flour, milk, and eggs come from Europe; the Southern fondness for fried foods is Scottish, and the old-fashioned Virginian use of ragouts comes from the West Country of England. Black-eyed peas, okra, rice, eggplant, benne (sesame) seed, sorghum, and melons, as well as most spices used in the South, are originally African.