The New Old Country Store (Gravy Ep. 36)

Every week, Cracker Barrel provides 4 million Americans with a studied version of down-home Southern food and hospitality. The dumplins and the chicken-fried steak. The country knick-knacks and the rocking chairs. What are we really consuming, culturally, along with the hashbrown casserole? In this episode of Gravy, Besha Rodell ponders the restaurant chain, the trickiness of Southern nostalgia, and how all of that has ended up informing her understanding of family.

You can peruse the menu and the tchotchkes on Cracker Barrel’s website, here.

A sample of the restaurant chain's fare, served up on CrackerBarrel.com.
A sample of the restaurant chain’s fare, served up on CrackerBarrel.com.

You can read more of Besha Rodell’s work for the L.A. Weekly, here. And other presentations from the Fall 2015 Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium are here.

Some of the many items available for sale at a Cracker Barrel.
Some of the many items available for sale at a Cracker Barrel.