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Give Some Love to The Classic Biscuits at Places to Eat in Gulf Shores

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Take this fact to heart: you’re bound to find biscuits on the menus of different places to eat in Gulf Shores, AL. Whether as an appetizer or a side, this baked good has been part of Southern tables for so long, it’s safe to say many local diners – and restaurant owners – might as well consider it part of their lives.

Truth be told, the biscuit is also a significant piece of Southern history and culture. Here are a few facts about the classic foodstuff; knowing them might make you appreciate it more.

Unfamiliar beginnings

The term biscuit comes from the French words “bis” and “cuit”, meaning “twice” and “cooked.” These referred to the flat cakes eaten by soldiers and sailors, which had to be put back in ovens after being removed from their containers.

Dry and hard, this biscuit was nothing like the sweet, fluffy southern biscuits of today. The invention of modern baking powder in 1843 changed that.

Southern roots

Light and feathery biscuits originated in the American South. In the mid-1800s, they were considered a delicacy – a specialty served only on Sundays for lunch or dinner.

Even as rolled biscuits became a meal staple, Southern folk created more varieties. These include the sweet potato biscuit, which was easier to make because the vegetable was easier to procure in the region than flour.

There, too, was the beaten biscuit. Hard but durable, these were easy to carry in one’s lunch pail or pocket. Its popularity, however, had an end date. As the Southern Reader’s Nelda Hill says it:

It took hours and considerable muscle to beat enough air into the flour, lard and milk to make the dough rise in the oven. Once slavery was abolished, the practice died.

On the wings of fried chicken

Curiously, the southern biscuit became popular outside the region thanks to a Southern icon one would associate with a different regional dish.

Colonel Harland David Sanders – the founder and face of KFC – introduced the entire United States to southern biscuits in 1952, when he opened his first fast food restaurant.

Nowadays, because of it’s so well-known, the biscuit might seem commonplace, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Next time you visit places to eat in Gulf Shores, think twice about glancing past it on the menu.


The Southern History of Biscuits. SouthernLiving.com.

Biscuits: A short history. FoodReference.com.

The rising popularity of biscuits. SouthernReader.com.