Some foods rile up chefs and diners more than others, ensuring a food fight of epic proportions.
Take the biscuit. Use butter, shortening or lard? Go with buttermilk or milk? Eggs or no eggs? Does the type of flour matter? Keep it simple or go over the top with improvisation?
“In the South, everyone thinks their biscuits are the best,” says Brian Wiles of Durham, North Carolina-based Rise Biscuits. “Sometimes it comes down to personal preference, but it’s always because you’re baking with pride.”
Biscuits are also proving they can headline a concept. Last year, casual dining chain Cracker Barrel joined the biscuit arena’s fast casual fray, a trend that’s been led by independents. Its first Holler & Dash in Homewood, Alabama, serves signature biscuit sandwiches, such as fried pork tenderloin with blackberry butter and fried onion straws, and country ham with red-eye aioli, kale and apple butter.
For the most part, biscuit love gets a nod for low food costs, usually around 15%. The price of improvisation depends on how far you want to take this baked good.
For example, take Chef Chris Uhrich's doughnut-biscuit hybrid, the doughscuit. Meanwhile, Chef Carrie Morey, of Callie's Hot Little Biscuits, whips up her own peppery take on the beloved country staple.
Food Fanatics' top picks for knockout biscuits:
Try the MacGregor biscuit, made with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions.
Spring for the sour cream biscuits with pimento cheese spread and spiced buckwheat honey.
Try the housemade corn biscuits, served with hot honey and local butter.
Make a point to enjoy everything bagel drop biscuits with sawmill gravy and fried eggs.
New Orleans, LA
Take a chance on the maple bacon sweet potato biscuit.
Photography by Frank Lawlor