WFAEats

Jason Thrasher

The nationally-recognized Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) is holding its annual summer symposium in Charlotte this weekend. Over the course of the three-day event, participants will dive into an exploration of Latino influences on Southern cuisine. The group is collaborating with a number of local and Latino-run restaurants, primarily in east Charlotte along Central Avenue.

Writer and historian John T. Edge, who also leads the SFA, joined WFAE to talk about the weekend's events and why his organization picked Charlotte out of dozens of other southern cities to host.

"Sunshine Teas in Kew Gardens," c. 1920
Flickr - Photos of the Past/Public Domain

Dear Etta Kate:

While dining with friends, I received an embarrassing dressing down. I ordered a salad dressed lightly. Instead, a generous dish of very chunky bleu cheese was nestled into the bowl. A woman at my table commented loudly about how much dressing I was having. I replied softly that I used only a tiny bit and set the rest aside. She exclaimed, “But imagine how much fat you are eating!" just as the server delivered her meal: a fried clam cake on a huge bun, with a plate full of French fries. 

John T. Edge is a man who knows how spin a good yarn. Listening to him talk can feel like falling under the spell of your favorite college professor. He's wickedly smart, funny, warm and welcoming.

And for years, the tale he's been telling is all about Southern food: about its central role in Southern identity, and about what it owes to the African-American and immigrant cooks who have historically been left out of the standard narratives the South tells about itself.

Prime Time For A Picnic

May 26, 2017
a picnic
nAok0 / Flickr

Summer may officially arrive on June 21, but everyone knows it truly kicks off on Memorial Day weekend. And that means it’s picnic season.

Credit Dale Haas/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

You can know plenty about the city you call home and still have giant gaps in your knowledge of the place.

Until today, May 16, 2017, I’d never been to Brooks’ Sandwich House. The truth? Until yesterday, I’d never even heard of it. This is despite having driven literally within a block of it, oh, let’s say maybe 50 times, at least.

But when I posted on Facebook that I was headed out at lunch in search of livermush, friends swarmed my page like honey-bees to hollyhocks. They were pretty much equally divided between two camps:

1. Liver…what?
2. Go to Brooks’ immediately.

Some of Elaine Rogers' recipes and newspaper clippings.
Amy Rogers

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip back in time. So I got out my mother’s old recipe box, eager to revisit the tastes of my childhood.

It’s no surprise that for overfed Americans, eating less meat is a good idea. But a new book goes further and shows how simply lessening our consumption of animal products can drastically improve our bodies, minds, and the planet we inhabit.

tea and toast
miss.libertine / Flickr/creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As the annual celebration of poetry comes to an end, we’re pleased to share two poems from Mimi Herman, the North Carolina 2017 Piedmont Laureate in Poetry.

High Tea

The second time we dine at the Savoy,

I wear the clothes that make my father think

I am his daughter, and perhaps the boy

He thought he’d raised will have Earl Grey to drink.

The lipstick and the stockings and the heels

Disorient my father over scones

And salmon sandwiches, and so he tells

Tim Wharton bristles at being called a "foodie," with its connotation of lush, sumptuous "food porn." He prefers "gastronaut," a label popularized by late British television chef Keith Floyd, for its evocation of intrepid culinary exploration.

decorated eggs
Carol Sawyer

Ham or lamb? Deviled eggs or dyed eggs? Cook at home or go to a restaurant? When it comes to celebrating Easter, the culinary questions are somewhat different than those for other occasions.

It’s a serious holiday but it wears a public face full of some pretty silly food. (Also pretty, silly food.) Just look at the cookbooks and magazines: They’re covered in rainbows of candy and bunnies and other cute things. If you didn’t know better, you might overlook the fact that Easter is the most important Christian holy day. 

Pages