Appalachia: The Land and the Larder
October 2-5, 2003

The sixth annual Southern Foodways Symposium explored the people, places, and food traditions of Appalachia.

Guests from the Department of Public History at the University of West Georgia taught us how to incorporate oral histories and photography into foodways exhibitions and festivals. We celebrated the arts with a staging of Nanny and Blake, an original one-act play set in the Mountain South and written by Southern Studies student Kendra Myers. Greasy Beans, a five-piece band that fuses bluegrass and newgrass with old–time influences took stage at Taylor Grocery. And, on Saturday afternoon, the SFA screened its first documentary film, Saving Seeds, a tribute to 2003 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award winner Bill Best.

Ronni Lundy oriented us to the Mountain, and Elizabeth Engelhardt schooled us on beaten biscuit. Marilou Awiakta introduced us to Selu, the Cherokee Corn Mother, and Joe Dabney shared a nip of mountain spirits. But as Rick Bragg reminded us, we should never forget the food. Gustatory highlights included a lunch of shuck beans, stack cakes, and cornbread. There were fish fries and pimiento cheese tastings, a brotherly battle of fried pies with Robert and John Stehling, and a sampling of some of the best country ham the South has to offer.