Famous Southern Foods of Charleston, SC – Fatback

Fatback is a South Carolina staple. Imagine taking about a finger length of pork about as thick as country ham bacon, with a tasty crunch on one side and a meaty, very strong smoky flavor on the other. Fatback has been a staple of southern cooking and the Carolinas since back in the colonial times, and if you’ve ever heard the terms “salt pork,” “salt bacon,” or “white bacon,” these are all synonyms for this southern delight. The meat even used to be seen used in folk medicine for sore throats! 

Fatback is pretty much as the name suggests, fat directly from a pig’s back with a little bit of skin still attached. They preserve it in salt, and down south, they fry it up and throw it in a big pot of beans, collard greens, fried corn, or even by itself as a snack. When fried on its own, fatback gives you that crunchy outer layer and a more brittle layer on the bottom that has a fantastic salty aftertaste.  

Many different restaurants in South Carolina sell this southern delicacy, and it has plenty of people coming back for more. While certainly not the most healthy snack, as it is just pure fried animal fat, it is a tasty treat that anyone visiting the south should give a try at least once.