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Arkansas State Icon

Arkansas BBQ

When Wayne Shadden, a famed barbecue cook from the Arkansas Delta, died in May 2010, his obituary in The Daily World at Helena told us a lot in just a few words about the Arkansas barbecue culture. It read: “Wayne was a good cook and well-known for his barbecue. He was a Navy veteran, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.”

Carter Family Fold

In 1927, A. P. Carter, his wife Sara, and Sara’s cousin Maybelle, who happened to be married to A. P.’s brother, made the thirty-mile trek from their home in Hiltons, Virginia, to Bristol, Tennessee, to record a few songs.

Kentucky State Icon

Kentucky BBQ

Kentuckians have barbecued on a grand scale since our land became a state in 1792, and that tradition continues today with such massive events as the annual political picnic at Fancy Farm.

Biloxi's Ethnic Shrimping Ccmmunities

Biloxi’s Ethnic Shrimping Communities

After another line-out-the-door lunchtime rush of Hurricane Katrina relief workers at Le Bakery Café, her little bakery and Vietnamese po-boy shop, Sue Nguyen turned to me and said, “I wish you could’ve seen Biloxi before.” By “before,” of course, she meant before the storm. But the history and the stories of this place run far … Continued

New Orleans Eats - Tabasco Guardian's Skillet

Chicago Eats

In May 2008 the SFA, along with members and friends, headed to Chicago for Camp Chicago, a day-long series of lectures and outings created to celebrate and learn about Southern food in Chicago. Each of the Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition was presented with a special award designed by artist and MacArthur Grant recipient John T. Scott. And, of course, we collected their stories.

Tennessee State Icon

Tennessee BBQ

The barbecue geography of Tennessee is as rich and varied as the population itself. In the Appalachian Mountains to the east, you are likely to encounter smoked hog shoulders or hams served with a thick and sweet sauce.

Wine In The South - Vinifera

Wine in the South

For the longest time, talk of Southern-grown grapes and Southern-vinified wines elicited dismissals from oenophiles. Some impressions were fueled by insecurity of the we-can’t-compare-to-California sort. Others were fueled by bad wine. Southern wines, made from vinifera grapes, are improving. Markedly. “If you haven’t had a Southern wine in a few years,” says Barbara Ensrud, author … Continued

Louisville Barroom Culture Oral History Project Intro Photo

Louisville Barroom Culture

Louisville is awash in bourbon. And beer. It’s a drinking person’s town, due in no small part to the state’s bourbon heritage, the city’s nickname-namesake brewery, Falls City, and that little horse race called the Kentucky Derby.

New Orleans Eats - Tabasco Guardian's Skillet

Chapel Hill Eats

In September 2007 the SFA, along with members and friends, headed to Chapel Hill for the Camp Carolina filed trip. Each of the Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition was presented with a special award designed by artist and MacArthur Grant recipient John T. Scott. And, of course, we collected their stories.

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.