April 20, 2014

Coke Is It: A Love Story

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by Sarah Bryan It’s a moment that a lot of Southerners have had: when folks from somewhere else single out a characteristic of our speech or behavior that is evidently outlandish to the rest of the world, but that, until that moment, we hadn’t realized was at all weird. “You carried your grandmother to the store? Like, in your arms? On your back?” “What do you mean the collards aren’t done? They’ve been boiling for … [Read more...]

North Carolina Blueberries

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by Deborah Miller I didn't actually GO blueberry picking with Joy Salyers and Elijah Gaddis, but I heard all about it and got to enjoy the bounty.  Heck, I don't even know where they went. But that Monday, I came into work to find a large container on my desk filled almost to overflowing. So I had them by the handful.  At first. Then I slowed down to popping them one by one just barely biting into them so I … [Read more...]

Boiled Peanuts, A Southern Tradition

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by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr The dog days of summer, as the hot and humid late summer days are often called, inspire in me a deep seated desire to swampify myself. For as long as I can remember my family migrated to the coastal town of Morehead City in the late summer to camp out in the family home affectionately referred to as the Swamp House. The Swamp House is an old fireman's cottage that sits on stilts in the low … [Read more...]

New Farmers in North Carolina: Karen Refugees

Before being placed in the ground, plants are nurtured in the greenhouse by Karen farmers

by Ray Linville More than 14,000 refugees have been resettled in North Carolina in the past decade, according to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. As these refugee communities grow, they are beginning to transform food traditions of our state and expand the agricultural offerings at farmers’ markets and farm-to-home deliveries provided through community-supported agriculture. Just last year more than 2,000 … [Read more...]

“Farm to Fork”ing it Every Tuesday at Blue Mountain Grill & Coffee

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When I Google “Farm to Fork” I get “About 13,700,000 results (0.24 seconds).” Thanks to Google’s new search algorithm, these top-ranking hits reflect my general location so I get an idea of how popular this trend is in my neck of the woods. Give it a try and see what your results look like where you are. This article isn’t about Google search and algorithms though, but Farm to "Fork”ing” itself,  especially as Mary … [Read more...]

Chicharron Gorditas

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By way of introduction, to me and to this post, I should confess something that all of my friends know: I became a folklorist in part because it allows me to eat. Seeking out legendary barbecue places, hole in the wall taquerias, and roadside vendors all falls under the guise of what people in my trade call “fieldwork.”  I’m not a particularly seasoned folklorist, but I’m a practiced eater and a pretty damn good at … [Read more...]

Heirloom Seeds and Plants: Preserving State Food Traditions

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Do you wish that you could grow the same vegetables that Grandma grew? The flavors that she tasted and the nutrients that she enjoyed are legendary, and many of us reminisce about how we miss the flavors of yesteryear. Because this desire to appreciate traditional foods is growing, a cultural movement to preserve heirloom seeds and plants has slowly but increasingly developed in our state. Efforts in the western … [Read more...]

French Broad Chocolate Lounge

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French Broad Chocolates is part of the exploding craft food movement that reminds us of an overlooked aspect of US material culture – the long tradition of artisan food production. Thank you, Matt, for driving west and sharing your experience. by Matt Lardie This past January I shot up to Asheville to be a guest judge for the first round of the 2013 North Carolina Competition Dining Series, and while I was … [Read more...]

Mount Olive Pickle Festival

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by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr A few months ago I was standing in line for a Britt’s Donut in Carolina Beach with my cousin Mary. For those that have indulged in a Britt’s you’ll know two things- they are insanely delicious and the line is out of control. As the minutes inched by and we moved closer and closer to heaven I found myself engrossed in the shirt of the man in front of me. Tour de Pickle, I read, as my brain … [Read more...]

Max Huang’s Last Bao

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Part of our goal is to let you know about some of the diverse voices we hear ... and sometimes somebody simply says it so well on their own blog that we can't wait to share it with you! Max Huang’s Last Bao by Bernie Herman Originally posted on Meditations on the worlds of things on February 19, 2013 “There are two times in the course of his life when a Southern man cries,” my friend Dave Shields … [Read more...]