May 23, 2015

Official NC Food Festivals in May 2015

strawberries

by Deborah Miller It’s not like we don’t have anything good to eat around here. We arise food. We talk about food. We read about food. We drive miles out of the way for a “food” experience. What choice did North Carolina have but to honor and designate some long-existing events as“Official State Food Festivals?” April was mighty busy with festivals honoring food and wine in North Carolina. Just consider the NC … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

North Carolina’s Official State Symbols That Taste Good, Part 1

Blueberries photo by Scott Bauer, courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service

by Deborah Miller Every state has its official list of chosen symbols. We all know, or should know, that our State Bird is the Cardinal and State Tree is the Dogwood. But why, and how, do such random things like dog, reptile, and even dance become official? In case you just moved to the Tar Heel state or have lived here your whole life but need a scorecard for all we hold near and dear, check out this very … [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...]

Plum Granny Farm: Old Land, New Passion

plumg Stripping garlic

by Malinda Dunlap Fillingim When Cheryl Ferguson graduated from South Stokes High School back in the mid 1970’s, chances are she wasn’t planning on returning to her family’s King homestead farm to live as an adult and become a USDA Certified Organic small family farmer. But that’s exactly what she did. The land, now called Plum Granny Farm, has been in Cheryl’s family well over 140 years, growing tobacco … [Read more...]