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...]
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 Fillingim I knew something was wrong when my step-father, Carl, the Marine from Walnut Cove, told me he was taking me to a restaurant in downtown Swansboro looking over the White Oak River. We never went out to eat unless we were out of town, or something bad had happened. I couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong in my third grade class. My beloved teacher, Mrs. Virginia Frazelle, was the center … [Read more...]
by Leanne E. Smith “The rainy weather cooperated with us,” Karen Lovejoy joked the Saturday before Easter 2015 during the First Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off on Ocracoke Island that showcased four entries in the Ocracoke-traditional category and seven for non-traditional. The mid-day event was a fundraiser for the Ocracoke Childcare Center, also known as the “Little School,” for which Lovejoy is a board member and … [Read more...]
by Evan Hatch Stan’s is one of those North Carolina answers. Like Duke’s. And Sweet. And “Yes I want slaw on that.” The question is, “What is the bestest pimento cheese ever?" It is rich. It is mayonnaisey. It is so creamy. It is from Burlington. I have not always taken a lot of pride in being from Burlington, North Carolina. Bur-Vegas it was called by bored teenagers. But looking back on it – Burlington proves to … [Read more...]
by Ray Linville What’s the most important ingredient in macaroni and cheese? Except for the love that the preparer personally adds, is one item more important than anything else? The questions may seem frivolous because today the recipe at home can be quite simple – unless you’re Thomas Jefferson, who was so consumed with serving the perfect macaroni that he bought a pasta-making machine in Europe. For his … [Read more...]
by Deborah Miller If you weren’t paying attention, you’d almost miss La Cacerola Café and Restaurant, tucked as it is between the Latino Super Market and Guess Road Mini Mart. The three of us were celebrating a special date, and no ordinary lunch would do for this occasion. Though rescheduled from the actual anniversary date, the sentiment was still strong. You see, it was 3 years since Frances O'Roark Dowell, a … [Read more...]
by Deborah Miller These are the things that keep me up at night. I'm an unashamed "wonderer." My friends all laugh at me when I'd ask "those" questions. You know, "why are some raindrops big and some little?" and "who ever figured out how to eat an artichoke in the first place?" Yes, they'd even air quote me when they saw one coming. I'm content to stay curious, now and forever more. Somebody warn me if I ever … [Read more...]
by Evan Hatch I always wanted to be a part of Pepper’s Pizza in Chapel Hill. Pepper’s hid in plain sight on Franklin Street, two doors down from the Varsity Theater, a narrow squeeze of a restaurant with checkerboard floors, whacked art hanging and a cast of incredible characters working the kitchen. It was Chapel Hill’s coolest anti fraternity. The kitchen was an open space (the first one I’d ever seen) blaring … [Read more...]
by Joy Salyers North Carolina historian David Cecelski helped start NC Food, delighting readers for the blog's first five years with his explorations of state foodways and his musings about food's connections to place, family, and all that is good in life. In 2011, he noted in a food blog post that “It’s one of the nice things about Friday nights this time of year: you can often find a fish fry at your local … [Read more...]
By Ray Linville Have you ever passed a restaurant, wondered how good its food is, but didn’t stop because you were saving money by not eating out? That’s my story about North Carolina barbecue when I was growing up. I grew up in the Piedmont in a stable but modest neighborhood of Winston-Salem. In the heart of “Lexington-style” barbecue, the closest restaurant was less than a mile from my house. Although it … [Read more...]