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Greek Restaurateurs in Birmingham

In greater Birmingham, chili dogs and snapper throats have something in common. So do smoked pork and steam table tomato pudding. All are featured at Greek-owned restaurants throughout the steel city. United through kinship and linked through marriage, these establishments have not only shaped an intricate family tree, but have served as employment centers and a path to citizenship for new Southerners.

Greenwood Restaurants

Spend time winding along the back roads of the Mississippi Delta and you’ll find roadside hot tamale stands, Greek-owned cafés that specialize in fried quail, barbecue joints that stake their reputation on ribs, and filling stations that sell slices of sweet potato pie baked by somebody’s grandmother.

The Tennesse Barbecue Project

Tennesse Barbecue Project

Contrary to the contentions of our northern neighbors, barbecue is a noun, not a verb. Barbecue is the end result of a time-intensive marriage of smoke, meat, sweat and sauce. Read the words from the pit masters we have visited, and you’ll understand.

The Tennesse Barbecue Project

Rural Tennessee BBQ Project

Memphis is the epicenter of urban barbecue, standing ribs and shoulders above all other Tennessee cities. But rural, western Tennessee matters too. Here, they smoke the whole hog, a tradition that is as ancient as the woods, requiring a commitment of time, smoke and sweat.

Southern Baking Traditions - Price Family, date unknown - Courtsey of The Center for Public History

Southern Baking Traditions

Southern baking is not only a way of survival: it is an expression of love, empathy, and celebration. Food brings families together at mealtime, celebrates the gathering of communities at traditional “dinner on the grounds,” consoles friends when a loved one dies, and offers topic for conversation at holidays. It represents the resourcefulness and ties that bind southern families and communities together.

The Tennesse Barbecue Project – Memphis Barbecue

Memphis Tennessee BBQ Project

This part of the barbecue oral history project was initiated to highlight just that: the long-standing tradition of smoked pork in this town on the river.

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.