Be careful with the food. There are regulations now that you can't take certain things on plane...
I'd go with the souvenir. I'm not from the South, so can't suggest anything (hopefully other people will), but souvenir will be a good memory (while food will be just gone in no time :) ).
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."
"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."
"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."