You can take okra out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of okra. This late summer vegetable has been a favorite among Southerners for ages, but still remains rather underrated for most everyone else. This probably has something to do with the texture, which we admit can be a tad off-putting for the uninitiated – its ooey, gooey center is unique, that’s for sure! But once you learn how to best prepare this little summery gem, you’ll begin to see this uniqueness for what it is – a real asset to the dishes it graces. Gumbo just wouldn’t be complete without its rich thickness, and no barbeque anywhere should be served up without a side of fried okra. So here are some classic recipes to get you started, with a little more Southern fare thrown in for good measure. Come on, does anyone ever really get tired of good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. We didn’t think so. Enjoy it, Y’all!