Lens on the Larder

The Foodways of Southern Appalachia in Focus

This new exhibit, with photographs by Larry Smith and oral histories collected by Fred Sauceman, both of East Tennessee State University, documents traditional and emerging foodways of Southern Appalachia—lard-fortified bowls of soup beans, the first appearance of bottomland strawberries in late April, hand-cranked homemade ice cream at midsummer, and the making of artisanal goat cheese on a Western North Carolina farm. Join us to welcome this exhibit to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. The creators will be on hand to answer any questions regarding their work and Appalachian foodways.

Other subjects include an annual springtime memorial to the King of Hawaii in Tennessee; a fried pie business dating to 1949; the art of barbecuing fresh ham in a Tennessee hollow; the wild mountain leeks known as ramps; the peculiar energy drink called Dr. Enuf; and the red-dyed Dip Dog in Smyth County, Virginia.

The exhibit is comprised of more than 70 photographs and accompanying stories. Practitioners such as John Arrowood at the Peggy Ann Bakery and Deli in Greeneville, Tennessee, are quoted about their craft: “Bakers are dying out,” says Arrowood. “It’s physical, hot work, with long hours on your feet. If you love slipping off for three-day weekends, this is not the job for you. And holidays are your biggest times. Salesmen come through here all the time and tell me there’s not a place like this between here and Atlanta.”

The exhibit will be on display until September 21, 2012.

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