April 1, 2015

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Credit Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology / Flickr/Creative Commons

by Deborah Miller The holidays seem to turn the nostalgia dial up to eleven for many of us, especially when it comes to food.  We find comfort in the familiarity of the menu and we want them prepared the exact same way we had them at our table.  I certainly wouldn't put my mother's green bean casserole up against anyone else's because it was just green beans, cream of mushroom soup topped with fried onions, but it … [Read more...]

Van Loi II. Heaven.

Van Loi

by Evan Hatch My parents used to live in Graham, North Carolina. The burgs of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham were cultural destinations. Only 20 minutes down the road were concerts, exotic food, funky places to drop money, a better selection of cheeses. In July, 2014, my parents moved to Whitsett, North Carolina. Only 20 miles west of Graham, but much farther from the triangle, culture needed a new destination. … [Read more...]

Mobile Food for the Literati

Chick-N-Que served “Wicked Chicken,” spicy buffalo chicken tenders on a bun, at the festival as part of its menu.

By Ray Linville Where do you go for food when you’re at a literary festival on a weekend and the places open on weekdays are closed? When the N.C. Literary Festival was held this year in Raleigh, the answers to feed the hungry public were food trucks. The festival drew thousands to author readings and discussions, performances, book signings, and children activities. Can you imagine how hungry these events made … [Read more...]

A Different Taste of Life

Burmese_3

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim Recently, I was able to participate in a Burmese feast. Students and others brought dishes representing the rich cuisine of the Burmese people. I delighted in the best sticky rice I have ever eaten, enjoyed sugary potatoes, drank something I think was coconut based, and consumed foods with layered textures. This was not the food I grew up on, nor the food I cook in my home. There was no … [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...]

Fermented cabbage

Fermented cabbage

by Elijah Gaddis When we put out the call for NCFood posts on fermentation, we had no idea we'd get two so close together!  But fermentation, the ages-old method of preserving foods, is a hot topic. Yes, it tastes great, but it also deconstructs the confines of the growing season. Thanks to both Elijah Gaddis and Lisa Fieselman for answering the preservation call!  ~ Deborah Miller, Editor, NC Food. I write … [Read more...]