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The first thing a Southerner will ask when somebody walks into the house is, “Are y’all thirsty? Y’all hungry?” Now, probably it has something to do with how dirt poor many parts of the South were at one point or another in history. Offering their guests a meal was a Southerner’s way of sharing as much as they could even if they didn’t have much in the bank. Putting out a big, ample spread is a point of pride for every Southern hostess: that’s her way of letting her guests know they’ll be taken care of, and they don’t need to hold back. That’s why our meals tend to be served family style, with bowls on the table full of corn, slaw, fried okra, sweet potatoes, beans, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.