Don't get me wrong, I am the first to admit that the word "fried" and the word "sugar" are very popular in the Southern cooking lexicon.
But I think it is big stretch to say that beignets are the Ultimate Southern Food. They are not.
They are a regional Southern food, I'll give you that. But go into any restaurant in Kentucky, Tennessee, or North Carolina and try to order them. No go.
Cornbread? Yep. Barbecue? Of course. And most of the other items on your bracket would be on any respected Southern menu.
I'm a big fan of beignets myself. I even voted for them in the regional part of your food bracket. But I also voted for Fried Chicken (which lost to Country Fried Steak), for Mac and Cheese (which lost to Cornbread), and for Shrimp & Grits (which lost to Hoppin' John).
Before you say I'm bitter (cause I'm not), let's just admit that at least those items that beat my votes are quintessentially Southern, no matter which region you live in.
I do question your voting system, though. And your title. If something is "Ultimate," then it better represent. By that I mean that you should be able to walk into any Southern watering hole and say: "Hey, ya'll! What's a beignet?" and get a good answer.
You know and I know that it's just a fancy doughnut, but even doughnuts aren't super-Southern unless they have Krispy Kreme stamped on their box (look it up - they are based in N.C.).
No, you can't please everyone all the time. But I suspect your chart topper won't please anyone most of the time.
A Disgruntled Southerner