October 13, 2015

Scuppernongs and Other Muscadines Are Ready

Scuppernong grapes are ready for picking in North Carolina.

  by Ray Linville     It’s scuppernong time. The historic grape is ripe and ready across the state in grocery stores, at roadside stands, and from u-pick-it vineyards—along with other varieties of the muscadine. Autumn means it’s time to appreciate and enjoy these indigenous grapes. They sustained Native Americans, European explorers and colonists, enslaved and indentured workers, … [Read more...]

B&G Pies

B&G peach pie in wrapper

by Joy Salyers I don't usually think of a gas station right off the interstate as the go-to place for regionally made treats. But the corner BP Station's Family Fare Convenience Store by our Durham office stocks a surprising array of North Carolina food products, including pork skins from Henderson, and Apple Uglies from Salisbury. They also have 89 cent fountain drinks, which I've been living on this hot … [Read more...]


Preparing the dough for platsindi.

by Tat'yana Berdan My mom doesn’t really use recipes. The few she has, she keeps written down in an old journal she brought with her when my family immigrated to Charlotte, North Carolina from Tiraspol, Moldova 14 years ago.  When I asked her for a recipe to feature in this blog, she told me I had to come home and cook with her, that’s the only way I’d learn. We would make one of my favorites: platsindi, a … [Read more...]

Where Food Is More Than Only Something to Eat

Chef-in-training Horace Pressley spreads a big smile when someone raves about his mac and cheese.

by Ray Linville Food is more than simply sustenance. Kitchens are more than places to prepare and eat meals. No place is better for demonstrating the value in society of food and kitchens than The King’s Kitchen in Charlotte, NC. As its customers enjoy the menu of the day, the unemployed, underemployed, difficult to employ, and recently released prison inmates learn culinary and food service … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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


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...]