September 30, 2016

Collard Eating as a Community Sport

Text and photos by Ray Linville Would you compete in a collard-eating contest? It’s an event I would rather watch, particularly after learning that the winner has to eat almost six pounds in half an hour. Collard-eating contests have been held in the town of Ayden in Pitt County for as long as most people can remember. The home of the official N.C. Collard Festival, Ayden has a lot of collard aficionados, and … [Read more...]

Beyond the Music: Feeding the Merlefest Masses for Community Causes

Text and photos by Leanne E. Smith When 75,000 people gather for four days at a music festival, they will eat a lot of food. If that festival is Merlefest, they will have plenty of choices from longtime favorites to newer offerings. Food vendors are scattered throughout the festival grounds at the Wilkes Community College campus in Wilkesboro, NC, but the center of the morning-to-night food scene is the circus-sized … [Read more...]

Whole Hog Cookin’

Text and photos by Ray Linville What’s the best way to develop a spirit of unity in a small town or city? In Newport, a town of 4,500 residents in Carteret County, an old-fashioned pig cookin’ is the best way to bring the community together by creating a lively competition to determine who can cook the best barbecue. Chartered as long ago as 1866, Newport has undoubtedly been the scene of quite a few pig cookin’s. … [Read more...]

Carrboro Beverage Company

Text and photos by Sol Weiner When it gets as hot out as it's been for the last few weeks, only a few slow, languid thoughts cross my mind. In addition to "where's the nearest swimming hole?" and "when I get rich, I'm spending summers in Maine," I often see a flashing neon sign that simply reads "BEER." The Carrboro Beverage Company (CBC) in downtown Carrboro is, without a doubt, the place to go in the … [Read more...]

Creamed Chicken Over Waffles

Text and photos by Ray Linville Holding a “throwback” event is a great way to honor a tradition that once was a favorite but ended too quickly. Such was the case this spring when the Moore County Historical Association—the oldest historical society in N.C. in continuous operation—held a luncheon and re-created a popular dish to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Association’s founding: creamed chicken over … [Read more...]

“Fast Food” at the Orange County Speedway

Text by Sol Weiner, photos by Sol Weiner and Anna Keneda When I think of the Orange County Speedway—when I picture it in my mind—it sizzles like the grease on a flattop grill. On alternating Saturday nights from March through October (with a few extras and exceptions), the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont hosts stock car races on what they call “America’s Fastest ⅜ Track.” Saturday nights feature five to … [Read more...]

Poitín and The Great Wagon Road Distilling Company

Text and Photos by Caroline Miller The Great Wagon Road Distilling Company in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood is the first distillery in North Carolina to have its own bar, The Broken Spoke. My friends and I wandered into The Broken Spoke one summer afternoon after enjoying a delicious pint at Sugar Creek Brewery next door. As I perused the drink offerings, I was surprised and delighted to see poitín listed on … [Read more...]

Visit the Goats

Text and photos by Ray Linville If you like artisan cheese, visit the creamery where it’s made. Even better, get introduced to the animals. If you like chevre, a word we borrow from French for goat cheese, don’t forget to talk to the goats. When Paradox Farm held Spring Farm Day and opened its property in the Sandhills to visitors, I learned more about its goats and cheesemaking. Its creamery was open for … [Read more...]

Vit Goal Tofu

Text and photos by Evan Hatch Vit Goal Tofu Restaurant is elusive. The restaurant is situated around two corners, up a hidden drive, at the end of a nondescript strip mall, hidden behind a Big Lots that is difficult to access. Though centrally located minutes from I-40, near the crossroads of NC 54 and Hwy 55 in Durham, Vit Goal is a difficult destination to reach on the first try. However, the journey, and … [Read more...]

El Restaurante Ixtapa

Text and images by Sol Weiner On a recent lunch break, fellow NC FOLKer Evan Hatch insisted that we go to El Restaurante Ixtapa in downtown Hillsborough. I’ve been hearing friends talk for months about Ixtapa’s no-frills combination of surf-and-turf options typical of Guerrero-style Mexican food. As Latino migration to North Carolina continues to grow, more and more states and regions in Latin America are being … [Read more...]