he SFA believes that our oral history and film work spurs cultural and culinary tourists to hit the road. Such travel catalyzes economic development in the communities we document.
Lots of folks talk about culinary tourism, but very few do the fieldwork necessary. That’s what we do, fieldwork – oral histories and films that document the lives of our region’s vernacular cooks.
At the SFA, we aim to steer you to honest, local food. Along the way we’ll introduce you to the South’s culinary heroes and heroines.
The Southern Foodways Alliance and Viking Range invite you to set out on the tamale trail. Meet Elizabeth Scott of Scott’s Hot Tamales, who has been making and selling hot tamales for more than fifty years. Visit the Bourbon Mall, where the tamales are fried. And learn how Sicilian immigrants factor into the Delta’s long history with these bundles of meat and masa. The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail includes oral histories, photos, film and audio clips, a “Hot Tamale How-To,” as well as an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a shuck and go!
The Southern Foodways Alliance and Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q invite you to set out on the bbq trail. Meet Susie Headrick, who taught her family about cooking bbq when they purchased the Green Top. Learn about the origins of the sauce that’s made every week at Top Hat Barbecue. Visit Chuck’s Bar-B-Que, where your belly will be filled pork, your soul with the gospel. The Southern BBQ Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a napkin and go!
The SFA and McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco, invite you to set out on the boudin trail. Visit T-Boy’s Slaughterhouse, one of the last of its kind, where the boudin is as fresh as it can get. Learn about the days when casings were stuffed using cow horns from Jimmy Guidry, the boudin maker at Don’s Specialty Meats. Meet Robert Cormier, co-owner of The Best Stop, who has traced his Cajun heritage back a handful of generations to family in Nova Scotia. The Southern Boudin Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a link and go!
The SFA and McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco, invite you to set out on the gumbo trail. Learn how to make a roux with Billy Grueber from Luizza’s by the Track. Meet Lionel Key, an artisan whose uncle taught him to make file from sassafras leaves. And then visit the Olivier family for dinner, where you might find three different versions of gumbo on the table. The Southern Gumbo Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a spoon and go!
When SFA visits new places, we compile a survival guide to help get us around. And, we’re happy to report, people seem to love them. If your travel plans involve a bit of culinary tourism, we invite you to download the city guides SFA has produced for past events.
A list of guides available as PDF downloads is here.