Although travel is not recommended for the holidays this year with COVID-19 case numbers at a record high in Tennessee, there are still plenty of ways to send a taste of Tennessee to loved ones, or have the flavors you crave packaged up and delivered right to your doorstep.
There are options for sweet and savory lovers alike, from of course, fiery Nashville hot chicken from Hattie B’s or Peg Leg Porker’s iconic dry-rubbed ribs to pecan pies from meat-and-three mainstay Arnold’s Country Kitchen and chewy chocolate treats from Goo-Goo Clusters.
This list also includes specialties outside Nashville, like crispy fried pies from Knoxville-based Dale’s and slabs of Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous world-famous ribs shipped from Memphis.
Can’t decide? Made in TN offers gift boxes that feature items from several restaurants and Nashville-based food businesses including Goo Goo, Loveless Cafe, Olive and Sinclair, and more.
All of the below items mentioned are shipped via Goldbelly, which helps restaurants and small producers share their specialty items nationwide.
Big Shake’s Hot Chicken: Nashville-style hot chicken is having a serious moment right now around the world, and right here in Franklin, chef Shawn Davis (nickname: chef Big Shake) does it right. His original recipe fried chicken stands on its own, but when seasoned with his proprietary blend of hot herbs and spices, it’s a top contender in the city where fiery fowl began. It’s available with no heat, mildly spicy (crybaby) or hot (rambo), and when teamed up with mac and cheese, green beans and cornbread, it’s a true taste of the South. A Nashville hot chicken family meal serves 4-6 people, just choose a suitable heat level for the fam. Order online.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken: No conversation about the best Nashville-style hot chicken is complete without a nod to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Founded in Midtown Nashville in 2012 by Nick Bishop and his son, Nick Jr., Hattie B’s is renowned nationally for its authentic Nashville hot chicken. The fast-casual eatery, with locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Las Vegas, serves-up hot chicken with varying levels of heat from Southern (no heat), mild, medium and hot to damn hot and the daredevil’s dream — “shut the cluck up”. So what makes Hattie B’s Hot Chicken a beloved favorite? For starters, they use the best chicken available. For each Goldbelly kit, free-range, humanely-raised chicken is brined, hand-breaded and fried to perfection. All you need to do is crisp it up in your oven, give it a dip and sprinkle on their signature seasonings. Order online.
Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous: The Memphis-based spot ships slabs of ribs, pork shoulder, sauces, and even BBQ nacho kits nationwide. Order online.
Other Savory Foods
Blackberry Farm: A taste of the farm gift box ($249)from the iconic destination in the foothills of East Tennessee includes a little of everything — from seasonal cheeses and tomato-brined okra to sauces, biscuits, a ball cap, and a cookbook. Smaller tastes include individual options like aged pimento cheese, a Blackberry Farm bacon collection, and an array of their signature jams. Order online.
Loveless Cafe: Ship the world-famous biscuits, ham, and classic Southern sides and make a Christmas morning of it. Order online.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen: Choose from a classic Southern pecan pie, chess, chocolate chess, or spicy chocolate pie. Throw it in your own pie plate and it’s almost like being right there in Grandma’s dining room (well, you know, if your Grandma had an iconic James Beard American Classics Award.) Order online.
Christie Cookie Co.: Nashville’s hometown cookie company ships a range of flavors in packages of ten in a variety of decorative Nashville tins. Choose from classic chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia, or mix up your own custom tin. Order online.
Colts Chocolate: The Nashville based company most known for its candy ships its chocolate marshmallows, gooey butter bars, fudge pies, and much more for shipping nationwide via Goldbelly. Order online.
Dale’s Fried Pies: Knoxville’s fried pie destination offers handheld pies (even heart-shaped ones) in sweet and savory flavors, from classic apple or banana Nutella to hand pies filled with mac and cheese. Order online.
Goo Goo Cluster: In operation since 1912, Goo Goo carries the title of America’s first combination candy bar — as opposed to simply a piece of chocolate. Today, all of American can get a box of the famed chewy, nutty chocolate clusters (or bars or a whole cluster cake) delivered right to their doorstep. Order online.