Nitty Grits

On Sunday, January 6th, 2013 the Southern Food and Beverage Museum launched Nitty Grits with an expansive entry on King Cake in celebration of 12th Night and the start of the official King Cake and Carnival season.

At this moment, Nitty Grits is by no means complete; new entries will continue to be entered and more details will be added to existing entries. Contact if you would like to get involved and contribute content.

Nitty Grits is the international culinary dictionary from the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. It is the most expansive and inclusive dictionary/thesaurus, which includes the most multi-language translations of food names from around the world. It includes the vernacular as well as scientific terms. Have a look around at the beta site,

Nitty Grits is based on the work of Suzy Oakes, who authored the culinary dictionary, Suzy’s work, compiled as a labor of love, contained over 64,000 entries and was an organic, growing site, which was the definitive on-line culinary dictionary. Her work was halted by her untimely death in 2011. Upon learning of her illness, Suzy, in her generosity offered her work to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. We are honored to carry on the work that Suzy started. It is an incredible body of work and a useful tool for anyone eating, buying food, and learning about the food of the world. As was Suzy’s practice, we plan for this to be an organic work that will continue to develop.

SoFAB has named its version of the international culinary dictionary Nitty Grits. The name is a reference to American South, which is a part of the mission of the museum. It also is a reference to the phrase “nitty gritty” or the complete set of facts. We hope that this will be our motto in continuing Suzy’s work. It also allows to continue as a legacy site without there being any confusion. received technical support from Jane Skinner. She will be maintaining the legacy site.

Some friends of Suzy’s recently made a book of her favorite recipes, which they are now selling with all proceeds to go to the Suzy Oakes Trust. The details are on

SoFAB is grateful to Suzy and her husband, Stephen O’Rahilly, and to Jane Skinner, for their generosity and continued cooperation. We hope that this generosity of spirit will continue its legacy in Nitty Grits.


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