January 16, 2017

Pecan Pickin’

Text and photos by Ray Linville A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, our thoughts often begin to shift to traditional pies and other desserts, much more than the bird that will anchor the center of the table. One traditional pie for my family is a Southern favorite—pecan. Can you imagine foraging for pecans or walking a farm to find nuts that have just fallen on the ground? Through the years, generations of … [Read more...]

Nick’s Grill

Text and photos by Madison Heltzel Like many sub-rural stretches of Western North Carolina, my neck of the North Asheville woods is graced with an abundance of small burger-and-shake joints. In fact, there is one located directly across the street from my humble abode. However, whenever that inevitable burger-craving hits, I usually find myself hopping on a bike and riding a bit farther up the street to Nick’s … [Read more...]

Local Favorite Keeps Its Tradition Going

Text and photos by Ray Linville Whiteville, the largest city in Columbus County and the county seat, has been a hub of activity in eastern North Carolina since the county was formed in 1808. When vehicle traffic came onto the scene, major highways U.S.74, 76, and 701 intersected in the downtown section and brought tourists, courthouse business, and retail customers, all hungry at lunch for a quick, satisfying … [Read more...]

A Feast For the Eyes

Text and photos by Sol Weiner At the North Carolina State Fair, a 100-pound watermelon is not just a 100-pound watermelon, nor is the first-prize pumpkin pie just a dessert. Like The Treachery of Images by René Magritte, which famously declared “This is not a pipe” below an image of that very object, food on display is a representation of something else, something bigger. After all, if you can’t actually eat the … [Read more...]

Spots Are Running

Text and photos by Ray Linville “They’re running” is a phrase that you hear often. It could be at the start of a NASCAR race in Charlotte, a 10K run in the Triangle, or a warning about bulls charging in Pamplona, Spain, but right now it’s a phrase referring to a seasonal phenomenon on the coast. For many coastal areas in North Carolina at this time of year, "they're running" means that spots are running near … [Read more...]

El’s Drive-In Shrimp Burger: A Crystal Coast Favorite

Text and photos by Sol Weiner Summer in North Carolina has now come and gone, and with it the height of beach season. Like many humans, I like the beach—there’s an ocean you can jump into, and a lot of tasty seafood. And like many folklorists, I also spend a lot of time in my car. While most of that time is spent driving, smaller portions are used on noble pursuits like sleeping in Walmart parking lots, changing … [Read more...]

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...]