July 29, 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 Queen of Clean Goes Sanitary

Hushpuppies from the Sanitary Fish Market, Morehead City, NC

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...]

Exploring Ramps

Ramp hunting in North Carolina.

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...]

Snak Shak

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by Evan Hatch How much do we love collard sandwiches here in North Carolina?  So much so that we've featured several posts over the years from Jefferson Currie II and Ray Linville, each singing their juicy, fat-back laced praises.  In this case, more is more. ~Deborah Miller, Editor, NC FOOD At the intersection of NC Hwy 41 and Eldorado Road outside Fairmont, North Carolina, sets a squat white cinder block … [Read more...]

Lessons From the Churn

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by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim The young boy at the ice cream store eagerly requested a large portion of ice cream on a fancy waffle cone. His mother said he could get a small cone, not the large one he requested. After a few minutes of whining, the mother relented and gave him the double scooped cone of chocolate ice cream, which he tossed aside after two bites, denouncing it as “Yuk.” His second cone, also a … [Read more...]

J&G Bar-B-Que

"The last incarnation of J&G Barbecue. A new location on South Church Street, Burlington, NC. Not the same, but as close as it came.They did follow the same recipes and learned the techniques from the previous owner. George Overman."

by Evan Hatch Just one more addition to our month-long celebration of North Carolina Barbecue!  We couldn't resist Evan's eulogy to his favorite barbecue memory. ~Deborah Miller, Editor, NCFood. This love letter is long late.  J & G Barbecue, formerly of Haw River, North Carolina has left this earth.  On December 22nd, 2012, after two fires, two locations, and two separate groups of owners, J & G moved … [Read more...]

Foods Made in N.C. Often Continue Family Traditions

The slogan of “Got to Be NC” is prevalent throughout the food exposition.

by Ray Linville Have you ever wandered through a festival that showcases the best flavors and tastes of North Carolina? Imagine attending an event that highlights the best of N.C. agriculture and celebrates specialty foods made in our state. The three-day, family-friendly Got to Be NC Festival  held each May at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh draws attention to food creations of long-standing as well newly … [Read more...]

THE Perfect Plate of Barbecue, Round II

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Two weeks ago, Elijah Gaddis fired up a plate for debate in celebration of National BBQ Month! We asked you what would make up YOUR perfect plate of barbecue, including sides -- and from where? To all of you who responded, thank you. Here's what you all had to say: Joe S: Sorry, but I can’t agree about eastern-style — the meat is uneven tasting (which is a result of their “whole-hog” nonsense), unlike the … [Read more...]

THE Perfect Plate of Barbecue

Stamey's Plate Stamey's Greensboro, NC

by Elijah Gaddis Somewhere high on my list of favorite conversations is the one about a favorite plate of barbecue. It’s kind of like picking a fantasy team, I imagine. You dream up some alternative world where somehow your favorite meat, fried corn product, slaw, and those all too rare sides could somehow coexist on a single plate. I guess that’d be heaven for the person whose altar is a barbecue pit.  And on … [Read more...]

A Taste of Home, One Memory at a Time

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by Deborah Miller Mother’s Day is bittersweet. For all intents and purposes, I’ve already lost my Mom. She is 5 years into dementia and no longer remembers who I am. She imagines she loves me. She even says so sometimes, just like she tells everyone she encounters from staff to stranger.  She used to hug me back. Now she stands limply in front of me with her arms dangling by her side, this passive yielding a far … [Read more...]

A Valentine’s Day Tea Party

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By Laura Fieselman The women in my family cultivate an aesthetic at the dining table that calls into question even the best decorating and food magazines. Name an occasion and serving bowls surface from hidden cupboards, table linens appear from closets in the back of the house, and flatware arrives from drawers I’ve never seen. Menus are considered and reconsidered, preparatory work begins months in advance, and … [Read more...]