More Oral Histories

Sort Histories By:

French Quarter Cocktails

New Orleans is likely not the city where the cocktail was invented, as the long-held myth claims. But it is the city where the cocktail was perfected.

Middendorf’s and Manchac

Our latest oral history project explores Middendorf’s, a now iconic restaurant that opened in 1934 in the fishing village of Manchac, Louisiana.

The Saltwater South: Charleston

Here are the stories of men and women who make their living working on the waters of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Tidewater Virginia Yock

In Tidewater Virginia, yock-a-mein is known as a box of yock. The name refers to the Chinese take-out box in which it’s served.

Houston’s Underbelly

Asian restaurateurs in Houston are redefining Texas foodways. Their stories inspire Chris Shepherd of the restaurant Underbelly in Houston. And they inspire the SFA.

Lumbee Indians of NC: Work and Cook and Eat

Despite outsider attempts to push labels and identities, Lumbee Indians have endured shifting challenges to their authenticity as Indians; this is how they survived.

Bully’s Restaurant

Bully’s Restaurant opened its doors on Livingston Avenue in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1982. This soul food kitchen has served its community for over 30 years at the same location: a brick building built by Tyrone Bully and his father, both former mason workers.

Cured South

Curing is not for the hasty; it cannot be rushed. It demands patience and memory…

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.