October 23, 2014

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.

The Zack Attack

Zack's combination hot dog.

by Evan Hatch Many mistakes are made by those individuals not initiated to the Zack’s Hotdogs Experience.  Those individuals refer to a menu before they order.  They try to pay with a debit card.  They try to explain what they want to their waiter instead of using accepted jargon. They misunderstand the double line, first seating policy.  They order a cheese dog, expecting it to have meat. Largely, these neophytic … [Read more...]

Plum Granny Farm: Old Land, New Passion

plumg Stripping garlic

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim When Cheryl Ferguson graduated from South Stokes High School back in the mid 1970’s, chances are she wasn’t planning on returning to her family’s King homestead farm to live as an adult and become a USDA Certified Organic small family farmer. But that’s exactly what she did. The land, now called Plum Granny Farm, has been in Cheryl’s family well over 140 years, growing tobacco … [Read more...]

Would You Order Livermush at a Classic Family Diner?

A livermush sandwich for lunch at The Hub definitely sustains you all afternoon.

by Ray Linville Want to step back in time and explore early food traditions of our state? Then stop at a family-owned diner that has been in business for more than 50 years. When you do, expect to find items on the menu that link back to days long ago. The menu boards immediately caught my attention when I entered The Hub, a place popular for breakfast and lunch in Anson County. Located about 50 miles east … [Read more...]

Van Loi II. Heaven.

Van Loi

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...]

Mobile Food for the Literati

Chick-N-Que served “Wicked Chicken,” spicy buffalo chicken tenders on a bun, at the festival as part of its menu.

By Ray Linville Where do you go for food when you’re at a literary festival on a weekend and the places open on weekdays are closed? When the N.C. Literary Festival was held this year in Raleigh, the answers to feed the hungry public were food trucks. The festival drew thousands to author readings and discussions, performances, book signings, and children activities. Can you imagine how hungry these events made … [Read more...]

A Different Taste of Life

Burmese_3

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...]

Learning About Cheese Making (and Feeding a Baby Goat)

Newborn kids are part of the family for owner Linda Seligman who sleeps nearby. It takes about four hours to bottle-feed all the newborn babies.

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...]

Halgo

IMG_20140814_131119_787

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...]

My Grandmother’s Garden

Squash blossoms in Malinda Dunlap Fillingim's grandmother's garden.

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...]

The Past Becomes a Present

The Wagoner Family Cookbook

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...]