Intellectually and culturally, I think it’s been an eye-opener for me to see that food does so define us. But yet, at the same time, I find that no matter what the differences may be, there is that universality there or that commonality of mind, of spirit, of soul that comes down to the simple feel of, ‘Let’s break bread.’
Dori Sanders is a farmer, novelist, cookbook author, and a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. She was raised on her family’s farm in Filbert, South Carolina, and returned there in middle age after living in Maryland for many years. She published her first novel, Clover, in 1990. Her cookbook, Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand, followed in 1995. Sanders and her family still operate a roadside farm stand during the growing season, specializing in peaches. In a 2004 interview, Sanders said of her African-American heritage, “My father told us that the land once enslaved my people. He told us that it was important to gain ownership of that same land. ‘Land is forever,’ he said, ‘they’re not making more.’” She is the 2011 recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.
Date of interview: May 31, 2010Interviewer: Dan Huntley, SFA Member