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South Polls Soul Food BY JOHN SHELTON REED Lisa Howorth has observed that southerners can be distinguished by what goes into their mouths and what comes out of them. Many of the questions on the twice-yearly Southern Focus Poll deal with one or another of these aspects of the South. In the spring of 1995, 907 residents of the southern states and 506 other Americans were asked whether they had ever consumed a number ofdistinctively "southern" foods, a few nonsouthern specialties for comparison, and such nonfood comestibles as moonshine, chewing tobacco, and snuff. (The Fall 1992 poll had already asked about grits: those results were reported in the Summer 1995 issue oíSouthern Cultures.) The data below document some expected differences, as well as reveal some surprising nondifferences: Eat: Often South North Never or Don't Know South North Grits**265 Okra4011 Boiled peanuts155 Moon Pie154 Catfish3614 Sweet potato pie2214 Pork rind159 Fried tomatoes1612 Chitlins4 2 Moonshine1 — Chewing tobacco* * Snuff* * Vension1615 Caviar2 2 Arugula2 2 Lox2 3 Kielbasa1017 34 22 46 37 20 24 38 39 81 76 77 85 39 71 90 82 60 61 48 75 66 37 41 49 47 81 80 80 87 37 68 86 74 40 *Question was "Have you ever [chewed tobacco/dipped snuff]?" **From Fall 1992 Soudiern Focus Poll ("Often" is "a few times a month" or more). 103 The data below show patterns within the South for some of the items that show the greatest regional differences: PERCENT EVER EATEN Okra Moon Sweet Boiled KielCatfish Pie potato pie peanuts basa Southern Total788063765440 Deep South868071887228 Peripheral South768060714745 Lived in South less than 10 years597555734159 more than 10 years808056725553 aU my life838170805734 Residence at age 1 6 South828068785534 border states668263744542 non-South667945674669 Considers self southerner848269795637 does not617254664450 Nonmetropolitan787865745232 Metropolitan798162765544 White808264735343 Black717063975124 Male788365735840 Female797861785040 18-24558067665022 25-44778066735346 45-64908267825744 65+797642795231 11th grade or less697263795317 High-school graduate 778064754935 Some college818064745938 College graduate828263765455 ??4 JOHN SHELTON REED Income less than $20,000707762735432 $20,000-$39,999797662765139 $40,000-$59,999888671776046 $60,000+818458775452 Republican808462765342 Democrat797765805338 Independent808167705744 Other786863744137 Church attendance never667358644950 less than weekly828168745740 weekly808057815435 more than weekly818468825039 The Southern Focus Poll is a semiannual telephone survey conducted by the Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27 5 99-3 3 5 5. Data can be obtained for further analysis from the Institute . The Institute's survey data holdings can be searched online at: South Polls 105 ...