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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.


Richard Elliott

Sunset Specialty Meats

After nearly two decades in the chain-grocery business, Richard Elliott bought himself a small specialty meat market and food store. If the inspiration for such a move was the allure of being his own boss, the side effect is that he has become the only small-scale, personalized grocer in a town that used to have several such businesses. In a single trip to Sunset Specialty Meats, you can eat a hot link of boudin and a bag of warm cracklings, both prepared that day; find a brown-paper sack of bananas, over-ripened and perfect for banana pudding; drop off a freshly killed deer to be hung, cut into dinner-ready pieces, and wrapped; pick up a pound of housemade andouille for your next pot of red beans; and scan the meat case for regional specialties such as the heart, kidneys, liver, and marrow guts packaged together for cowboy stew. Elliott tweaked Sunset’s boudin recipe after purchasing the store, and the result is a full-bodied sausage made with ground pork from two different cuts, as well as dried cayenne peppers, medium-grain rice, and a touch of pork liver.

Date of interview:
2007-09-09 00:00

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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