April 19, 2015

Stan’s Pimento Cheese

Stan's Pimento Cheese made in Burlington, NC

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...]

Making Mac and Cheese Better with N.C. Mountain Cheese

Excellent mac and cheese depends on cheese from Ashe County as shown by this dish prepared in a restaurant of Chef Ashley Christensen in Raleigh.

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...]

La Cacerola Home Style Honduran

Yuca con Chicharron: Fried or steamed yuca served with chicharrones, cabbage salad, tomato sauce, chismol and pickled vegetables.

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...]

North Carolina’s Official State Symbols That Taste Good, Part 2

North Carolina State Fruit, Scuppernong Grape

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...]

Pepper’s Pizza

Pepper's Pizza 2

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...]

Lenten Fish Fries in 2015

FishFrybyJeffreyW_tn

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...]

Enjoying Barbecue Prepared Like When You Were a Kid

A high billboard helps new customers know which exit to take to find Hill’s.

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...]

Old Havana Sandwich Shop

The "Not-So-Cuban" Sandwich is made with turkey and avocado.

by Evan Hatch The Old Havana Sandwich Shop faces Main Street in downtown  Durham, North Carolina. Business and life partners Elizabeth Turnbull and Roberto Copa Matos surely pinched themselves when they first saw the limestone edifice that became their restaurant.  Arched porticoes, vaulted windows and polished wood floors lend this space a warm and historic feel, redolent of Cuba. The Old Havana Sandwich Shop is … [Read more...]

Cabbage

Holubsti-Ukranian Cabbage Rolls

by Sally Parlier Every few months or so when I was young, my parents would get a craving for some fried cabbage, served with pinto beans, cornbread, and a tall, cold glass of milk. This was the food of their youth in Watauga County – filling, homegrown, and low cost – and still staples of our home in Deep Gap. But I was, and still am in many ways, a notoriously picky eater. I ate my pintos sulkily, trying to avoid … [Read more...]

A Food Sisterhood Flourishes in North Carolina, and then some

eliza

Just in case you weren't paying attention, North Carolina got some seriously good props this week from the New York Times. The North Carolina Food Sisterhood, to be exact, and it's a nice change from all the athletic and political press we've grown used to. We've always been an agricultural state and women have long worked the gardens and the fields. Now they are running them! Award-winning author and Atlanta … [Read more...]