These photos first appeared in issue #54 of our Gravy quarterly, the “Pop Goes the South” art and photography issue. The photographer, Kate Medley, is a multimedia storyteller for Whole Foods Market and a frequent SFA collaborator who directed our Counter Histories film series.
If the South is the republic of the fast-food biscuit, North Carolina might be its capital. Drive the state and you discover the off-ramp pleasures of Greensboro-based Biscuitville. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill stalls traffic at the town entrance on Saturday mornings as dozens of cars queue to drive through. Bojangles and Hardees are seemingly everywhere. Chains and mini-chains like these vend biscuits across North Carolina and, increasingly, the wider region. While the hallmark of most fast food is industrial production systems, these purveyors stir, knead, and bake from scratch each morning, relying on four basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, fat, and expert labor.