Sides, Sweets, And Sips For A Perfect Barbecue

Posted on: 15 January 2016

If you're in charge of planning your next company picnic or family reunion, why not celebrate with an old-school Southern barbecue? Traditional barbecue food is a beloved American classic that has something for every palette. Following are just seven of the many delectable delights likely to be featured by top-quality event caterers that specialize in Southern cuisine.  

Sweet Tea

Southern-style sweet tea quenches thirst and perfectly complements all traditional barbecue fare. Be sure to let your caterer know that you want the tea prepared in authentic Southern style -- there's a delicious difference that you don't have to be southern to understand and appreciate. As Dolly Parton's character in 'Steel Magnolias' stated, sweet tea is the house wine of the South.

Summer Punch

Summer punch is another beverage staple of summer barbecues. For the adult punch bowl, consider a classic Sangria made with fruit, red wine, sparkling wine, and club soda. A traditional fruit punch will make children happy -- both versions should be served ice cold, particularly if the day is warm.

Corn Casserole

Corn casserole crafted with creamy cheddar cheese is a classic barbecue side dish. Bacon adds extra, over-the-top decadence to corn casseroles, but if your main barbecue dish is served with a particularly sweet honey-based sauce, you might want to consider asking your caterer to go light on the bacon in the casserole.


Cornbread made with fresh sweet corn is another popular southern barbecue side dish. Different recipes exist, but they all have the same basic bones -- always insist that the best available stone-ground corn bread be used, for instance, and that buttermilk be used rather than plain milk.

Potato Salad

A barbecue isn't a barbecue without a good potato salad. As with other barbecue-friendly foods, the old ways are still the best. Tell you caterer that you want a traditional potato salad crafted with old-fashioned russet potatoes, real mayonnaise, and sliced boiled eggs.

Peach and Plum Salad

Because standard barbecue staples can be rich and filling, be sure to include at least one dish that provides significant sweetness and light. Fruit salads fit this bill perfectly, and peaches and plums are symbolic Southern fruits that combine perfectly with one another. Watermelon-based salads are also a good option because melons are light, sweet, and serve as palette cleansers.

Banana Pudding

Every good barbecue ends with at least a small serving of classic banana pudding. This sweet treat consists of creamy vanilla pudding over slices of ripe banana and topped with freshly whipped cream and a vanilla wafer.

Talk to various caterers in your area, like Bassett Caterers, to see what traditional barbecue selections they have to offer for your next event.


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