Friday, January 29


True to our mission, we are as committed to teaching as we are to documenting. In an effort to mentor students in the field of oral history and initiate collaborations, we've developed two kinds of internships: in-house and guided. Information on both can be found here

The deadline for the in-house internship is listed as February 1, but, given that we quietly added this information to our Web site without sending out a formal call for applicants, we have extended the deadline to February 15. 

If you are interested in an in-house oral history internship with the SFA, please read the requirements and email a letter of inquiry, indicating previous experience and areas of interest (fieldwork or media production), to Amy Evans Streeter, by February 15. Notifications will be sent on March 15.

Thursday, January 28


We've just unveiled a new interactive map feature on our Web site, which plots each and every oral history location from our online archive. Use the map to create custom road trips, stopping at documented locations along the way, or simply locate a barbecue joint in Birmingham or a watering hole in Louisville. Click on the stars to learn about each location, where you also have the option to track back to the oral history interview.

We've also created custom maps specific to each of our Trail projects: Southern BBQ Trail, Southern Boudin Trail, Southern Gumbo Trail, Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail.

Grab a napkin and go!

Wednesday, January 27


Rien T. Fertel spent the summer of 2008 documenting Tennessee barbecue for the SFA. Not only did he find a few hidden gems, but he revisited many of the locations that we documented way back in 2002 as part of our first foray into the field of oral history. Rien's collection of twenty-four new interviews tells the story of Tenneesse barbecue, from dry-rub ribs in Memphis to whole hogs in Henderson. You can find the interviews on the Tennessee leg of our Southern BBQ Trail.

While you're there, visit our brand new interactive map, where you can plot locations and create a customized road trip to visit the barbecue joints we've documented from North Carolina to Texas.

You can also find the photographs related to the project on our Flickr page.

Grab a napkin and go!

Sunday, January 24

Selling Their Soul: History of African American Street Vendors

Zingerman's Roadhouse is hosting a special dinner all about the history of African American street vendors, with Adrian Miller on January 26.

Adrian Miller's research for a book on the history of soul food in America brings a flavorful exploration of African American street vendors around the country. And of course, Adrian is a former board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young will work with Adrian crafting a menu reflecting the culinary contributions of African American street vendors.

If you're around the Ann Arbor, MI area on January 26, you know where to be to learn more about African American street vendors and eat delicacies like Mississippi tamales and curried catfish.

Wednesday, January 13


February 18: The Great Migration and Southern Foodways -- Museum of the City of New York -- featuring Jessica Harris and Ted Lee

April 25: Potlikker Film Festival -- Nashville, TN

June 12-13: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party -- NYC

June 25-27: Field Trip -- Buford Highway International Corridor -- Atlanta

August 20-21: Potlikker Film Festival -- Chattanooga TN (tentative)

September 28: Viking Range Lecture -- University of Mississippi (tentative)

October 21-24: 13th Southern Foodways Symposium -- Oxford, Mississippi

Monday, January 11

Blackberry Farm and the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs

We're just home from Blackberry Farm, the grand culinary destination on the cusp of the Great Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee, site of the annual Taste of the South fundraiser for the SFA, as well as the annual gathering of the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs.

This year was our most successful fundraiser. With Sam Beall of Blackberry Farm and Mike "Rathead" Riley of the SFA at the helm, we more than doubled our highest take from previous years.

The Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs fosters camaraderie and mentorship, honoring the bounty of the South and the hands that grow, nurture, and interpret its harvest.

Time spent at Blackberry Farm provides a forum during which the Fellows break bread and share knowledge while reinforcing the sustaining bridge between field and table.

This year, the Fellows welcomed a new member to their self-elected cadre, Julia Van Winkle III, the pioneering Kentucky distiller and marketer. His grandfather, Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle, Sr. began his career in the late 1800s as a salesman for W.L. Weller & Sons. In 1908 he and another Weller salesman bought the firm. In 1910 they acquired Stitzel Distillery of Louisville, Kentucky.

The Stitzel-Weller opened on Kentucky Derby Day in 1935 and went on to define its own style of bourbon, a wheated whiskey that proved peerless. At the time of his death in 1965, Pappy Van Winkle, age 89, was the oldest active distiller in the nation.

Old Rip Van Winkle Company is now owned and operated by Pappy's grandson, Julian Van Winkle III, our newst Fellow. Over the course of a long career, Julian has redefined premium bourbon.

Some of his innovations are measurable. For example, he introduced hyper-aged bourbon to the marketplace by way of 20- and 23-year-old exemplars of whiskey. But his most important work has been less about the spirits and more about the spiritual. Julian Van Winkle III has taught us to respect bourbon again. He's the South's grand ambassador of brown liquor.


WILLIAM MEACHAM - MEACHAM'S COUNTRY HAMS from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

William Meacham started Meacham Country Hams more than fifty years ago. His grandfather used to provide hogs to tenant farmers, and each year the Meacham family hosted a community hog killing to process the meat. The video above features Mr. Meacham's memories of hog killings on the farm and his first stab at curing bacon. Go here to view his oral history interview in its entirety.

Sunday, January 3


Film Screening: It’s Grits! with filmmaker Stan Woodward

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

5:00 pm - 7:30 p.m.

Pleasants Room, 2nd Floor, Wilson Library.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Discover the common thread that connects the South’s people across all social, economic,

political and racial boundaries – Grits! It’s Grits is an uproariously funny,

insightful and poignant personal documentary.