Introducing Appetite Appalachia: Local Veggies, Mushrooms, Buttermilk Biscuits

May 15, 2015

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking a road trip through the region to find people who are reviving the old recipes and bringing something fresh to our plates. This episode is also helping us kick off a new segment, called Appetite Appalachia, which features restaurants and recipes with Appalachian roots.

Subscribe to our Inside Appalachia podcast here or on iTunes here, or on Soundcloud here or on Stitcher here.

Chefs across the country are starting to copy our traditional Appalachian recipes by serving ramps and cornbread and biscuits for big bucks at fancy gourmet restaurants. It turns out that our grandparents were trendsetters.

Some chefs here in Appalachia are putting a modern day twist on old recipes like collards and cornbread, or fried chicken and beans.

 

 

"Whisper of Wheat Ramp Biscuits", by April Hamilton
Credit April's Kitchen, LLC

Growers and Consumers Come Together at 30 Mile Meal Huntington 

We start in Huntington, W.Va., where the community is taking an idea from nearby Athens, Ohio to try to connect local food producers with local food consumers. Clark Davis of West Virginia Public Broadcasting has the story.

Appalachian Forests Are Ideal for Growing Shitake Mushrooms.

The catch? It’s labor intensive, and if you want to sell your mushrooms to the public, you’ll need to show proof that they are edible.

Still there are a handful of people in Appalachia who have been growing shitake mushrooms for decades. Our producer Roxy Todd caught up with a few of these fungi loving farmers to find out what it takes to grow food in the forest.

You can buy shitake mushrooms that are Appalachian grown at:

 

Swift Level Farm in Lewisburg, W.VA. provides beef for The Dish Restaurant in Daniels, W.Va.
Credit Swift Level Farms

Chef Devin Billeter of the Dish Cafe in Daniels, W.Va. heads Popular Farm-to-Table Restaurant

In Raleigh County, W.Va., the Dish Café is serving up good food that's good for you. Suzanne Higgins of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports on the growing popularity of this farm to table restaurant.

Backbone Food Farm Still Uses Traditional Methods of Farming

Even if Backbone Food Farm didn’t sit below Backbone Mountain, its name still would be very appropriate. That’s because Max Dubansky and his family farm the way he learned from the old-timers, letting pigs turn the soil and using horses to work the land. To find out how traditional farming methods are being kept alive in this small corner of the Appalachian Mountains, Jesse Wright of West Virginia Public Broadcasting spent a day on Backbone Food Farm, in Garrett County Maryland. 

You can find Backbone’s produce and shitake logs at the Morgantown Farmers Market in West Virginia. They’re also at markets in Frostburg and Oakland in Maryland, where they sell their pork and beef.  

International Biscuit Festival- For Those Who Love Biscuits 

Making Ramp Biscuits, by April Hamilton
Credit April's Kitchen, LLC

This week folks in Knoxville, Tenn. are celebrating the International Biscuit Festival.

The festival was created in 2009 by a group of local biscuit lovers who wanted to share Knoxville’s Biscuit heritage with the world.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Mr. & Miss Biscuit Pageant. The winner back in 2013 was Liz Barr. Tanner Latham with The Authentic South Podcast was there, and he reports that her win was surely secured after she performed an interpretive dance to an original love song...about a biscuit. 

Throughout the month of May, The International Biscuit Festival is hosting a Biscuit Art Exhibition. The exhibit features artwork inspired by the Biscuit. The exhibition will be at the Emporium Center Gallery in Knoxville, Tenn. through May 31.

What's in the Name of….

Hungry Mother State Park?

Mother’s Day was just this past weekend, and with this episode focused on food we wanted to go to Hungry Mother State Park in southwestern Va.

So where does Hungry Mother get its name? Find out by listening to our show.

Music in this show was provided by Sir Mix-a-Lot with "Buttermilk Biscuits", Larry Groce with "Junk Food Junkie" the Carolina Sunshine Trio with "Cornbread and Butterbeans", Dog and Gun with "The Cat Came out of the Window", the Sawtooth Mountain Boys with "Cornbread Sally", and Ben Townsend with "Hey Hey Hey".

We’d love to hear from you.   You can e-mail us at feedback@wvpublic.org. Find us on Twitter @InAppalachia or @WVJessicaYLilly

Subscribe to our Inside Appalachia podcast here or on iTunes here, or on Soundcloud here or on Stitcher here.