Friday, September 21

Southern Six-Pack

Oh, hello there, fall. Thanks for coming to visit us in Oxford. Won't you stick around?

Oh, wait. That's Vermont.
Today is not only the first day of fall, but it is exactly four weeks out from the start of our 15th annual Southern Foodways Symposium. Things are getting busy* here at SFA World Headquarters as we prepare to revel in a weekend of barbe-culture.

But you know what? There are plenty of other awesome food events going on throughout the South. Don't miss them if they're happening in a city near you! We sprinkled them throughout this week's six-pack.

* massive understatement

1. Check out Hungry: Artists and North Carolina's Food at the Elliot Univeristy Center Gallery at UNC-Greensboro. The exhibit, curated by Graham Hoppe, features the work of Phil Blank, Kate Medley, Emily Wallace, Rachel Campbell, and Chris Fowler. From black-and-white photos of heritage-breed hogs to dreamy paintings of corndogs and donuts, there's something for every hungry art connoisseur. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display until September 28.

2. Remember how we said it was fall? If you're like us, it's that time of the year when you make the cocktail-hour switch from cool-me-off vodka drinks to warm-me-up whiskey libations. Saveur's got you covered with 28 whiskey and bourbon recipes.

3. Or maybe, since you're reading the six-pack, you're more of a hop lover. Boudin and Beer descends on New Orleans on November 2. More than 50 chefs pair their interpretations of the Cajun sausage with beer from Louisiana's Abita Brewery. Tickets are still available, and the proceeds benefit the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. And if you're new to boudin, our traveling boudin exhibit will be on display to teach you the ins and outs (or the stuffings and casings) of the boudin/boucherie tradition.

4. Rice is one of boudin's key ingredients, but it's been getting some bad press this week. Turns out that runoff from industrial chicken operations (appealingly dubbed "chicken litter") is contaminating rice fields with arsenic, which then seeps into the rice itself. This is a major concern where rice and chicken production areas overlap, especially in the mid-South along the Mississippi River. Clean up your act, Big Chicken!

5. ...or don't. Chicken gets dirty in a new parody cookbook, Fifty Shades of Chicken. As you might imagine, there's a lot of trussing involved.

6. Okay, that was pretty cheesy. Know what's even cheesier, but in a good way? The second annual Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, going down on October 6 at the Nashville Farmers' Market. Sample the wares of more than 20 Southern cheesemakers, paired with wines, craft beers, and regional charcuterie, preserves, and baked goods. Tickets are available on the festival's web site, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to East Nashville's Martha O'Bryan Center.