Appalachian food has been sustainable and organic for generations. African-Americans brought sorghum cane, sweet potatoes, red peppers, okra, blackeyed peas, watermelon, and peanuts. We’ve been offering “farm to table” fare forever, without ever having to say so. In retrospect, it seemed that the original settlers’ core values of freedom, self-reliance, and a unique inidividual identity eventually put Appalachian people at odds with the advancements of modern life. –by Sonny Grace Bray & Bret Love. Though much has been written about our food tastes including pinto beans, fried potatoes, ramps, poke salad, and baloney sandwiches there are many Appalachians far removed from this traditional diet. The arrival of enslaved Africans in the area dates back to the 16th century. It aims to bring fresh, local food directly from the producer to the consumer, with no factory in between to add preservatives or extract nutrition. The BRMTG was created by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, the award-winning team behind the world-renowned responsible travel website Green Global Travel. But technology and market demand has influenced both the process and result of these works over the course of the last century. They were simple but flavorful being seasoned with lard, butter, salt and pepper. Murder and stories of the macabre are also popular in Appalachia’s folk ballads. The reality is that Appalachia was isolated while the rest of the country was modernizing, leaving them behind in a sense. It encompasses 420 counties across 13 states, spans 205,000 square miles, and is home to some 25 million people. Another interesting, but rarely discussed Appalachian cultural influence was that of the Scandinavians, particularly people from Finland and Sweden. Q. Enjoy. Dried foods are staples of most long hikes, and with good reason — they won’t spoil easily nor do they contain a lot of water, which will only weigh your pack down. As a result, they were less educated, less well nourished, and less wealthy than people who lived in major metroplises and their suburbs. The interviews usually take place in homes, where folks are comfortable. These Christian influences blended with traditional European (i.e. Originally founded by John F. Kennedy, this federal-state partnership focused on helping Appalachian people create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. Native Americans first began to gather in the Appalachian Mountains some 16,000 years ago. They were largely poor, humble, and fiercely self-reliant, with an innate distrust of government after decades of fighting the English and Catholics. After becoming empty nesters, they yearned for a pristine place where they could escape the hustle and bustle of the city, commune with nature and family, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle that leaves time to appreciate the simpler things in life. If you like to cook at home, the Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook is a great source for traditional Appalachian recipes. What all of these various ethnic groups’ foods have in common are homegrown (or wild foraged) simple, natural ingredients. It is a culture that essentially defined “Americana” as we know it today. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, stereotypes of Appalachian people began to take root. So they had the intestinal fortitude it took to rough it out in the backcountry of the rugged Blue Ridge mountains. Many of the newcomers who moved deep into rural Appalachia were Scotch-Irish and German, bringing the traditions of their native countries with them. Although it started in North Carolina and Virginia, the culture spread quickly to other states after the Revolutionary War, as settlers began to explore outside the original 13 colonies. READ MORE: Tracing Family Roots in Scotland’s Islands & Highlands. Food staples traditionally depend on what plants are native to a region. Especially when the region has been such a rich melting pot of ethnicities and cultures from the very beginning. Narratives are collected through interviews of people who have been nominated or volunteered to share their memories. If you have any interest whatsoever in building log cabins, mountain crafts and foods, planting by the signs, hunting tales, faith healing, or moonshining, they are truly a must-read. Since 1970, however, their consumption has fallen. Yet still, with help from the ARC and the benefits of tourism revenue, the people of the region are finding ways to improve their circumstances by commodifying the very things that make Appalachian culture so uniquely American. Christianity has been the predominant religion in Appalachia ever since European immigration to the area began in the 1700s. If you’re not from the Appalachian region, do yourself a favor and try dishes like Chow Chow, Skillet Cornbread, Chicken & Dumplings, and Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy. Clogging strictly follows the syncopated rhythms of the music, while flatfoot dancing allows the dancer a bit more freedom of expression. Many had been supporters of William of Orange, the protestant King of Scotland, England, and Ireland, who was affectionately known as “King Billy” among the Scots. Isolation, and a fear of losing touch with their traditional values, led to crippling poverty. Staples of Appalachian cuisine that are common in other regional cuisines of the south include coconut cream cake, peanut brittle, sweet potato casserole, pork chops, biscuits and gravy, and chicken and dumplings. Pantry Staples: Appalachian Food Storybank collects and preserves memories of the region's foodways WRITER: Rebekah Hildebrandt. Some famous examples are James Still’s River of Earth, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, James Agee’s A Death in the Family, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and Homer Hickam Jr’s Rocket Boys. Vast financial empires have taken advantage of the myths of Appalachian history; these can be found in Gatlinburg, Tennessee as well as neighboring Pigeon […] America’s early pioneer era saw whites, blacks, and Indians all living close together in the Appalachian range. Appalachian’s food pantry and free store, located in the Office of Sustainability on the bottom floor of East Hall, offers nonperishable staples, as well as fresh bread and seasonal, locally sourced fruits and vegetables as available. As white settlers moved into the Appalachian Mountains, so did Africans, both free and enslaved. The one common trait that bound them all together is that they were used to working hard and being self-reliant. 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