As a creature of habit, who sometimes remains brand loyal due to her mother's influence, I had never tried any of Glory Foods. Hadn't heard of them either, until a public relations person representing Glory Foods contacted me about reviewing the products. And actually, I never see them on the shelves of local gorcery stores because no stores near me carry Glory Foods. Ingles, which are completely out of my way, in Jonesborough and Boone's Creek, carry Glory Foods products.
After reading that the company is based in Ohio (I have an Ohio connection via my in-laws' roots) and that the founders established it to reflect many generations of Southern cooking traditions, that hooked me. But there were two other componenets that truly piqued my curiosty and sold me on the company's story and made me want to try its products: First, glory has a spiritual connotation that its founder, William F. "Bill" Williams thought would elevate the product in the cosumer's mind.
And then second, Glory Foods invests in its community's future by attracing young African-Americans to the hospitality and culinary arts fields. Williams established scholarships supporting minority students, as well as other programs to encourage their efforts.
The other thing that resonated with me was how Glory Foods donates thousands of products to food banks each year and that they supported relief efforts to Haiti in 2010 after Tomas destroyed so many homes and lives. One of the things I'm involved with locally is our university's food pantry. I haven't mentioned it previously on the blog because it doesn't so much fit the scope of Potlikkery.
Since February I've worked with a committee to establish a food pantry on campus servings students, staff, and faculty. This is unusual because most unicersity and college food pantries limit their service to students only. But at East Tennessee State University, we recognize that staff and faculty are food insecure as well. Many of our staff work one or two jobs on top of the ones they have with the university. Our faculty include adjunct or "contingent faculty," who easily qualify for food stamps. Our permanent faculty are the second lowest paid in the USA. I make about $20K less than I should because salaries at ETSU are inequitable JUST across the state. So food pantries and food banks are very dear to me. And Bucky's Food Pantry opens officially this fall, but we've unoffically provided food and other matierials to our population almost as soon after the committe was formed.
A huge gift basket of Glory Foods arrived and we're trying everything a bit at a time. It included two kinds of cornbread mix, vidalia onion hot sauce, and a mess of canned goods.
So we started off trying the White cornbread mix and the skillet corn. And we added that to dinner one night of red smashed potatoes and rare bison steak. Can't say I'd ever had skillet corn before. But maybe I had and just didn't realize it.
I've looked for recipes, and it seems faily simple to replicate. Take your fresh ear of corn, shave it off the cob, and heat it in a skillet along with butter, salt, pepper, and a bit of flour. We thought the Glory Food skillet corn tasted slightly smoky or peppery, not like black pepper, but a bell pepper.
The cornbread was awesome. Totally. But, I admit, I cheated and did something to it no real "southerner" would do. I added sugar to it. Southern cornbread isn't sweet. Though I was born in the mountain south, my mother was born in Baltimore, and that explains why I prefer a sweet cornbread. That's how she served it in our home. And that's how I like it. We all have our quirks, regardless of their origins. In my mountain south home, cornbread must be sweet.
Let me remind you that I received these samples of Glory Foods from a publicist representing the company, so that you're aware that this narrative of my experience with them complies with the new FTC regulations.