Spoon bread is usually made in a casserole with cornmeal as the main ingredient. Although named a "bread", spoon bread is closer in consistency and taste to many savory puddings, such as Yorkshire Pudding. Due to the technique of making spoon bread, it could also be considered a cornmeal souffle'.
Prior to last summer, I had never had or heard of spoon bread. Many consider this dish indigenous to southern culture. That may explain why a New Yorker would find this dish unique.
"The dish [spoonbread] existed long before it was in print. It is a soft often soufflelike starchy pudding made of cornmeal. One traditional Carolina Low County version is Awendaw (or Owendaw), named for an Indian settlement outside of Charleston and assuredly of the native cuisine. Sarah Rutledge published the first recipe for it in her 1847 collection. She also gave directions for a "Corn Spoonbread," but the spoon refers to the technique."
Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie, Bill Neal [Knopf:New York] 1990
Here is Sarah Rutledge's orginial 1847 recipe:
Corn Spoon Bread
One pint of corn flour; boil half to a mush; add, when nearly cold, two eggs, a table-spoonful of butter and a gill of milk, and then the remaining half of flour. Bake on a griddle, or grease a pan and drop in spoonfuls."
---Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge  (p. 28)
My daughter has been begging me to make this recipe for months (the more modern version). Ironically, I spotted a recipe for spoon bread on a Sargento shredded cheese bag. It simplifies the recipe by utilizing a corn bread mix. The mix makes the bread a bit more “cakey”, less pudding like. However, I still served it with a spoon and my kids gobbled it up. I served it with baked chicken breasts and chili garlic broccoli.
Three Corn and Cheddar Spoon Bread
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 8 oz. can of creamed corn
1 8oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 package Jiffy cornbread mix
1 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp. melted butter
1.Beat eggs in medium bowl. Add 1 cup of cheese, creamed corn, whole kernel corn, muffin mix, sour cream and melted butter, mix until thoroughly combine.
2. Pour mixture into greased 2 –quart baking dish (I made mine in a bread pan, since my casserole dish went missing in our latest move).
3. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until center is set.
4. Serve warm.