Let Them Eat Cake

The cake is so tied to New Orleans that it’s hard to taste the cultural amalgam from which it sprang.

Pacific Soul

The idea of Memphis helped a Chicano from Southern California teach one of the squarest places in the U.S. how to be hip.

Southern, Reborn

A Vietnamese American woman writing a coming-of-age novel set in and fed by the American South wasn’t a selling point.

Green, I Love You, Greens

The matrix vegetable may be European in origin, and the African hand is still tasted in the seasoning of the pot.

Ham to Ham Combat: The Tale of Two Smithfields

Thirty years ago, my hometown of Smithfield, North Carolina, launched what the Washington Post later called “A War In the Hamlets.” On the line were rights to the title “Ham Capital of the World.”

Speaking in Tongues: A Barbecue Communion

“A waiter catches my eye, and as he approaches, I think that if that fight against integration is a persistent part of our history, so, too, is the fight for integration. So, too, is the resistance to the old order, the desire to come together, which you can see here, where faces of almost every color congregate each day.”