The term poke sallet is an old Southern term for the cooked young leaves of the poke weed. Sallet comes from Middle English and refers to a mess (another Old or Middle English term) of greens cooked until tender. The term Polk Salad is a gentrified way of referring to poke sallet, and I'm afraid it reflects our inferiority complex when it comes to standing up for our Southern terminology. We are not making a mush of Polk Salad; actually, we are being true to our English ancestors who settled here a long time ago.
Some folks around here always add a little molasses and fatback to the water when they cook their poke sallet. That's the traditional way.
Don't you just love Tony Joe White's song Poke Sallet Annie?
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