by Evan Hatch My parents used to live in Graham, North Carolina. The burgs of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham were cultural destinations. Only 20 minutes down the road were concerts, exotic food, funky places to drop money, a better selection of cheeses. In July, 2014, my parents moved to Whitsett, North Carolina. Only 20 miles west of Graham, but much farther from the triangle, culture needed a new destination. … [Read more...]
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.
by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim Recently, I was able to participate in a Burmese feast. Students and others brought dishes representing the rich cuisine of the Burmese people. I delighted in the best sticky rice I have ever eaten, enjoyed sugary potatoes, drank something I think was coconut based, and consumed foods with layered textures. This was not the food I grew up on, nor the food I cook in my home. There was no … [Read more...]
by Ray Linville To watch cheese being made, taste some artisan cheese samples, and take home a package or two, I headed to the Blue Ridge area of our state to travel part of the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail. Little did I expect to be bottle-feeding a day-old baby goat. Within minutes after arriving at Round Mountain Creamery near Black Mountain, NC, I was holding a full bottle of warm milk for an eager kid … [Read more...]
by Deborah Miller (with tasty comments from Joy Salyers) Joy surely wasn't looking for a European Deli and Grocery while Googling (it's a word now, right?) for something else. It was one of those happy accidents. From the corner came "Deborah! We've got to go here!" and I knew there was another adventure in our future. One day last week, after several projects and deadlines had been put to bed, we set out to … [Read more...]
by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim It’s a shame I have such clean hands. I really miss them being dirty, real dirty, so dirty I have to wash them with the garden hose even before going inside to wash them again and again until my fingernails are discovered under layers of dirt. Dirty hands came easily as a child working outside with my grandmother in her garden. With the Sauratown Mountains watching our efforts we … [Read more...]
by Deborah Miller I hit my early 30’s with a couple of significant, but soon to be important, strangers in my how-fast-can-I-run life. One was my second husband, who I hadn’t quite met yet, the other was my kitchen where I mostly kept the beer cold, the coffee hot, and stashed take-out as I hurried on the way to somewhere else. I didn’t hate cooking. In fact, there was something calm and almost Zen-like there … [Read more...]
by Ray Linville Imagine fishing in a fast-flowing, rocky mountain stream and reeling in trout for dinner. Such experiences have always been part of the food culture in the Blue Ridge region, whether for the Cherokee with prehistoric ties to its hills and streams or the families who settled there after the Trail of Tears campaign evicted most Cherokee from their tribal territory. Visitors today can easily … [Read more...]
by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim In my 1941 first edition of Jonathan Daniels’ book, Tar Heels: A Portrait of North Carolina, I read with delight his sentence in the ‘Frying Pan and Jug’ chapter, “North Carolinians don’t eat out unless they have to.” This was the case in my house while growing up. We never ate out unless we absolutely had to, primarily because of my mother’s life motto that cleanliness was next to … [Read more...]
by Laura Fieselman I had the great pleasure of joining friends for a weekend near the Carolina-Virginia line in early May. One of these friends happens to be a forester by training and she offered us a very special gift while we were there: "I know a patch of ramps," she said. "Want to go?" Of course I wanted to go. Of course I wanted a chance to see these famed wild leeks in their native habitat. The plants … [Read more...]