Tag Archives: appalachian food

New Year countdown

Ringing out the old, ringing in the new. Everyone’s doing it tomorrow night. One New Year tradition in Appalachia is the New Year baby. The custom of using a baby to signify the New Year originated in ancient Greece, the baby symbolizing in this case not birth, but re-birth. The Germans added the twist of […]


Those men would eat like hungry men do eat, you know

“Well, we used to go to the neighbors and play cards, various different kind of games, and we popped corn. No pizzas, but we popped corn and made popcorn balls. And we made those with sorghum molasses. We didn’t waste any sugar. And we made our own sorghum molasses. I never cared all that much […]


Cornbread or beaten biscuits? Breaking the food code

This 2005 interview with Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt of the University of Texas/Austin ran in that school’s Office of Public Affairs newsletter. Full article here. When you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this week, will the dressing on your plate be made with cornbread or wheat bread? Will it have oysters or sausage or chestnuts? […]


Stack Cake

The dried apple stack cake is one of the most popular southern Appalachian cakes— no surprise considering apples are found aplenty in the mountains. Culturally it’s akin to the classic European torte. It looks like a stack of thick pancakes, with apple preserves, dried apples or apple butter spread between each layer. At holidays and […]


The frog legs contracted in the pan and appeared to jump

Aunt Clarice was an excellent cook. I’m sure she and my mother got their special culinary education in French cuisine from their mother, Maria. Since my Uncle Augie was a company man and wasn’t on a time clock for the Rolland Glass Plant, he had an hour for lunch at noon. The glass plant was […]

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