September 18, 2011

Food Thoughts: Southern Food Documentaries

Because we are food nerds, Hannah and I spent last Thursday watching documentaries made by the Southern Foodways Alliance and eating (free!) Jim 'N Nick's tacos, including their new mayonnaise-vinegar white sauce for chicken. Birmingham keeps winning cool points for events like this as part of Eat Drink Read Write Festival, because combining celebration of food and books is just delightful.

Here are some interesting things I learned:
Ribs ala family Fourth of July.
1. Scott of Scott's BBQ in Hemingway, SC is really serious about smoking pigs. As in he spends all week splitting word for the pit and then slow cooking whole pigs overnight, finishing it off by mopping (literally) the pig with vinegar-pepper sauce. He also sells crispy pig skins, which does not sound appetizing to me.

2. How cows digest grass is gross (regurgitate "cud" and rechew it multiple times) but the natural way to go; how cows live in mass-meat-production facilities is even grosser. Part of me just wants to stay ignorant to our messed-up food system so I will like meat more.

3. A ridiculous number of people have a beach party each year in Florabama to toss mullets (fish) across the Florida-Alabama state line in the sand. Really. And they get really into it, which is entertaining to watch.

I left the films with my eyes opened to just how much our food is tied to our land, its vegetation and animals, something that's easy to not fully comprehend when our food comes from big-box stores.

As if Southern Foodways Alliance wasn't cool enough for celebrating and preserving Southern food traditions, they also have all their documentaries available to watch on their website.

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