July 6, 2015

NCFOOD is the North Carolina Folklife Institute’s blog exploring our state’s traditional cooking and foodways. Every highway and byway in the state is a potential jumping off point for a food adventure, whether discovering the Restaurante Rosa de Saron in Sampson County or the Pakse Café in Greensboro.

You’ll find stories and personal experiences about farmers and food artisans, local recipes, and great traditional eateries -- a celebration of the rich and diverse food traditions of North Carolina. Celebrate the magic that happens when many cultures come together around a common table.

Egg Rolls and Mi Quang

Linda Pham's fresh egg rolls Photo: Anna Scott

by Anna Scott (edited by Tat'yana Bedan) Linda Pham and her son Thanh (or “T” for short) moved to Whiteville, North Carolina from Da Nang on the south central coast of Vietnam almost 20 years ago. She is now an owner of a successful nail business downtown. Pham is Buddhist and attends a temple in Wilmington. She cooks traditional Vietnamese food, usually on Sundays, her only day off of work, and cooks big meals … [Read more...]

A Blueberry Ramble in Burgaw

Blueberry Festival merchandise. Saturday, June 20, 2015. Photo: Leanne E. Smith.

by Leanne E. Smith At the 12th annual N.C. Blueberry Festival in Burgaw, NC on June 20, 2015, the temperature at 9 a.m. was above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index of nearly ninety—but it’s worth a few hours of southeastern North Carolina humidity on the third Saturday in June for a morning stroll through the big blueberry bake sale. About thirty miles north of Wilmington, the festival centers around the … [Read more...]

Starving for Food or Fellowship

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim If you ever find yourself starving for food or fellowship in North Carolina, find a church that's hosting a dinner on the grounds, otherwise known as a potluck or covered-dish supper. You won't leave hungry. I came across a bound index card collection of recipes compiled by the women of Wilmington's Grace United Methodist Church that were served for their Taste and Tell luncheon in … [Read more...]

Keeping Wild Foods in Our Culinary Culture

One of several entries made with artichokes, the cake won the category of fruits, nuts, and vegetation.

by Ray Linville Is cooking with wild foods out of place in today’s modern society? Because it’s so old-fashioned, I was surprised by how many kids had entered the Wild Food Cooking Contest in Richmond County.  It’s the event of the spring in Ellerbe, NC, when youth and adults show off their skills for cooking deer, moose, rabbit, beaver, squirrel, and other wild game. After the judges have scored each entry, … [Read more...]

Red Rooster: Something to Crow About in Stokes County

Red Rooster Grill. Photos by Malinda Fillingim.

by Malinda Fillingim Back in 1977, my senior year in high school, I worked at Hicks Pharmacy in  Walnut Cove, NC. I knew what ailed everyone and what medicines they took to help cure those ails. But, as an added bonus when they were short staffed, I also got to help out at the in-house snack bar/diner known as Red Rooster Grill. I didn't know anything about being a waitress, but I knew how to handle one … [Read more...]

Conrad & Hinkle. Service with a smile.

Painting by Dempsey Essick. Photos Courtesy Conrad and Hinkle.

by Evan Hatch Lexington, North Carolina is rightfully praised for its contributions to the North Carolina Barbecue tradition. Lexington style is a well know contender for the best barbecue in North Carolina, indeed the entire south. Much ink and blood have spilled over the years in an effort to establish the reigning barbecue king in North Carolina. The effort has proved futile. And it often overshadows other … [Read more...]

A (Wet) Day on the Farm-Greenlands Farm

Photo by Malinda Fillingim.

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim There’s no place better to be than on a North Carolina farm, even on a rainy day. That’s how I felt about my recent visit to the 18-acre Greenlands Organic Farm in Bolivia, right off Midway Road in Brunswick County, NC. The rain did not damper my appreciation for the petting zoo animals, the wonderful aromas from multiple homemade goods within the farm-store, and the locally … [Read more...]

Durham Hub Farm

The barn at the Durham Hub Farm.

by Laura Fieselman April 14, 2015 It’s a balmy Friday afternoon at 2:30. There’s a rooster crowing, a nest of baby bunnies in the strawberry patch, and apple trees and school buses in the distance. The outdoor education students studying orienteering have just left. This is the Hub Farm of Durham Public Schools, a 30-acre school-system farm and network of wooded trails. Here, students, teachers, and the … [Read more...]

Official NC Food Festivals in May 2015

strawberries

by Deborah Miller It’s not like we don’t have anything good to eat around here. We arise food. We talk about food. We read about food. We drive miles out of the way for a “food” experience. What choice did North Carolina have but to honor and designate some long-existing events as“Official State Food Festivals?” April was mighty busy with festivals honoring food and wine in North Carolina. Just consider the NC … [Read more...]

Pruning Peach Orchards: A Lifetime Skill and Dedication

Twigs of blossoms just pruned from peach trees make a perfect spring centerpiece.

by Ray Linville Nothing says spring like the arrival of flower blossoms, particularly in the Sandhills and eastern North Carolina with blooms on acres and acres of peach trees. Many in North Carolina believe that our state’s peaches are the best (they’re right) and that peaches are native to the South (they’re wrong). Cultivated in China for more than 3,000 years, peaches arrived in the Americas in 1571 … [Read more...]