Many of the stories we hear and tell about food are positive—food’s power to nourish, to comfort, to bring people together. But it also has the potential to cause shame, fear, disgust and a whole host of other uncomfortable emotions. Today on Gravy: personal stories around food that aren’t so sweet.
Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, Louisiana, is a dancing and drinking destination… on Saturday mornings only. That’s the only time it’s open. For years, Saturdays have featured live traditional Cajun music, a live radio show, a devoted community of Cajun dancers, and visitors from around the region—and the world. How does Fred’s maintain this mix of locals and outsiders?
Apalachicola Bay in Florida has been renowned for its oysters for generations. But, in the fall of 2012, the oyster population in the Bay collapsed. Attempts to figure out why have inspired scientific study, community wrangling, and now a Supreme Court case. The story of what happened, and what a place built on seafood does, when the seafood is threatened.
In cities and towns across the South, an increasing number of the folks offering up latte art and high-end pourover brewing are devout Christians. Is it an unlikely and subtle tool for proselytizing? Or a more nuanced expression of 21st Century Christianity, intertwined with social events and professional endeavors.
For Thanksgiving, a Native American story… but not the one you’re imagining. No Pilgrims here. For the Lumbee Indians in North Carolina, the holiday meal involves cornbread, collards and a whole lot of pork. The Lumbee food story is a portal to a hybrid Southern-Native history that’s rarely glimpsed outside the tribe.
A taste of stories to come on the new Gravy podcast.