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The Brennan Family of New Orleans

Beginning in 1910, six children– Owen, Dick, Adelaide, John, Ella, and Dottie Brennan– were born to Owen Brennan and Nellie Valentine in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans. Owen worked in the maritime industry until his retirement in the early 1940s. Owen Brennan, the son, was an astute businessman, known for his gregarious personality. … Continued

Eastern Kentucky Chili Buns

Made by firmly packing chili inside a warmed or steamed bun, smeared with yellow mustard and dusted with chopped white onion, the chili bun was likely popularized in Kentucky pool halls. This project documents the significance of the chili bun in eastern Kentucky.

Latino Memphis and Oxford

One of the most notable migratory patterns in recent decades is Latino migration, settlement, and community formation in non-traditional destinations in the US South. Speed, not size, has defined Latino population growth in southern states. Between 2000 and 2010, Mississippi and Tennessee were among the top ten states in the nation for Latino population growth.

La Pulga

Each weekend, an open air Latin market goes unnoticed by tourists – and most locals – tucked under an overpass in the Algiers neighborhood, across the river from New Orleans’ French Quarter. In this project, we highlight the stories of vendors from Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras to illustrate how these individuals use the markets to forge their own cultural and economic spaces.

Charlotte’s Central Avenue Corridor

Charlotte’s Central Avenue reveals a history of the city’s shifting demographics, from white, working-class textile mill workers in the early twentieth century to a wave of immigration in the 1990s. These new Southerners – multiethnic communities changing a predominately black and white city – filled in abandoned businesses, merged together along this corridor, and shaped a new Charlotte.

Helvetia, West Virginia

This collection of oral histories conveys the values of a fiercely creative and productive close-knit mountain community where Swiss and Appalachian heritage are uniquely twined and enacted daily in a bite of sauerbraten, a sip of homemade wine, and many generations sitting around a Hütte table.

Saltwater South: Harkers Island, North Carolina

Harkers Island, located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is an island community built on foodways traditions necessitated by the landscape. Inextricably linked to the water, its people are deeply woven into the fabric of place.

A Hamburger by Any Other Name

This project documents the style of hamburger popular in of the lower Tennessee Valley. While these varieties, known in Mississippi as slugburgers or doughburgers, are new to many audiences, their tradition extends far back into history.

Nashville’s Nolensville Road

Meet the people working along Nashville’s Nolensville Road. Farmers, caterers, restaurateurs, and market owners reflecting this city’s growing diversity.

Trails & Regional Projects

Southern BBQ Trail - SFA Documentary

Southern BBQ Trail

Barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q, BBQ: there are almost as many spellings as there are kinds of barbecue, as if the proliferation of words could express the mastering tastes and aromas of the food, all the experiences that can fill the mouth, the place where also words begin.

Southern Gumbo Trail a Documentary from Southern Foodways Alliance

Southern Gumbo Trail

Gumbo. So many versions, so many cooks, so many contradictions. Such as: Only use a roux with poultry, filé with seafood. Use okra in the summer, filé in the winter. You have to have a chaurice in your gumbo. You must use andouille.

Southern Boudin Trail

Food is a tie that binds, a constant, an equalizer, or in the words of James Beard: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” Food can also function as one of the defining characteristics of regional and cultural identity. Boudin, a unique but simple culinary concoction of pork, rice, onions and various other herbs and spices squeezed in to a sausage casing and served hot, is one of those foods.

Hot Tamale Trail

Hot Tamale Trail

Better known for its association with cotton and catfish, the Mississippi Delta has a fascinating relationship with the tamale. In restaurants, on street corners, and in kitchens throughout the Delta, this very old and time-consuming culinary tradition is vibrant.

SFA Founders Oral History Project

In the fall of 2004 the SFA launched its Founders Oral History Project. This important undertaking will forever preserve the history of the SFA through interviews with the organization’s fifty founding members.