Appetite Appalachia

courtesy Mike Costello

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to the sugar shacks of Appalachian maple producers, and we’ll learn how to use syrup in everything from glazed greens to buttermilk ice cream – and even roasted rabbit. 

Iraq War Veteran Finds Peace Through Maple Farming

Mar 16, 2018
West Virginia Department of Agriculture

This story was produced by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as part of a collaboration among the agency, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Inside Appalachia.

Iraq War veteran Jeremy Ray was looking for a hobby to help fill his time. What he found was a way to heal his wounds. Ray is the proud owner of Gauley River Maple, and this year is his first season as a maple producer. He heard about maple syrup through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program, aimed at retraining veterans for careers in agriculture. 


West Virginia Department of Agriculture

This story was produced by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as part of a collaboration among the agency, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and Inside Appalachia.

This Saturday is "Mountain State Maple Day" in West Virginia. Sugar shacks and maple operations around the state will open their doors to the public. Maple syrup has a long tradition in the high mountain regions of our state, and the industry is growing. As part of our ongoing series called "Appetite Appalachia," this week we're highlighting two stories about maple syrup farmers in the Mountain State. It’s part of a new collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture


courtesy Emily Hilliard

Here in Appalachia, it’s apple season. And that means apple growers are sending this year’s crop to farmers markets and grocery stores. But the majority of the apples grown here get sent to manufacturers to be used in apple sauce and apple juice. By the way, did you know that Golden Delicious Apples originated right here in West Virginia?  In fact, apples are our state fruit. 

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Four West Virginia communities were highlighted in Washington, D.C. this week during a national summit that supports local food initiatives across the country. Local Foods, Local Places is a federal initiative meant to help communities create healthy and economically vibrant neighborhoods.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising bread or making sorghum sweeteners.

Some folklorists, artists and educators are wondering what the future of traditional arts in the country will look like. On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would eliminate the state's Secretary of Education and the Arts and reorganize several of the departments the position oversees. Most of those departments oversee cultural and arts programs like the state archives, the state museum, the annual Vandalia music gathering and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate to take effect.

Susan Brown and Jenny Bardwell

Have you ever heard of Salt Rising Bread? Legend has it this traditional Appalachian food, which uses no yeast, was created by pioneers in West Virginia who had very few ingredients.

Bakers Susan Brown and Jenny Bardwell have been working to document the recipes and stories of salt sising bread over the past few years.

Candace Nelson

If you didn’t grow up in West Virginia, you may have no idea what a pepperoni roll is. But those who grew up eating them in school cafeterias or buying them at some of the Italian bakeries in north-central West Virginia, probably know pepperoni rolls are strongly connected to Appalachian culture and childhood memories.

This week, we’ll learn a bit more about this signature Appalachian food, and we’ll learn about how its origins are deeply connected with the history and culture of coal mining, and to the food that miners brought to work in their lunch buckets.

Candace Nelson

If your father worked in the coal mines, chances are you remember his lunch or dinner bucket and the food that he brought to work. For many families, the extra food that was packed away in these dinner buckets was practical -- it would be there just in case an accident happened.


Jess Schreibstein

Fall is upon us, which means apples are now in season. Apples played a major part in the history of Appalachia, and on this week’s episode, we explore some of that history, and what the apple is doing for the state now.


Paw Paw
Joey Aloi

Those who’ve eaten a pawpaw before often say that the creamy, tropical fruit resembles a mix of a mango and a banana, or a mango and an avocado. They often can’t believe that the fruit is native to Appalachia.

Reid Frazier/ The Allegheny Front

On this week's show, we hear how the natural gas industry is affecting communities in the region. We feature a special report by The Allegheny Front about environmental concerns surrounding the production and transportation of natural gas.  Hundreds of miles of new pipelines are in the works to move natural gas from the shale formations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to markets across the country. 

Roxy Todd

What does a Cornbread Festival in Tennessee, a Paw Paw festival in Ohio and the Hatfield McCoy Moonshine Distillery in West Virginia all have in common? They’re among hundreds of destinations featured on a map called Bon Appétit Appalachia. The map features Appalachian restaurants, wineries, and festivals serving locally sourced food has just been updated with more listings by The Appalachian Regional Commission. The map has 62 regional food destinations in West Virginia. 

There are a lot of things that can make you feel connected to home or your childhood, and many of those memories are probably filled with food and family kitchenware.

Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about food and some of the food we southern Appalachians are  famous for.

We’ll travel to explore stories and the roots of some southern food, visit a historic salt mine in West Virginia that’s being revived and we’ll head over to a fried chicken festival in Virginia.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories of Christmas past, Christmas present and even hope for Christmases in the future.

courtesy photo

The cider business is booming in parts of Appalachia. In Virginia, 18 alcoholic cideries exist, and last year their sales jumped 200 percent. Industry analysts expect the cider boom to continue.

Danny Lyon / US National Archives

On this  episode of the Inside Appalachia podcast, we talk immigration, migration and what it could all mean for Appalachia.

 

Andy Todd

Food deserts: it’s more than just an urban issue. Hey, we all have to eat. This week, we’re bringing you an encore presentation from the Inside Appalachia archives about Appalachian food deserts.  In Appalachia, where green forests grow abundantly, food is scarce for many. Throughout Appalachia, grocery stores are disappearing. This week on Inside Appalachia we're looking at some ways communities are resolving to take matters in their own hands.

The Revivalist: Word From the Appalachian South

Appalachian culture is becoming pretty hip, says Mark Lynn Ferguson, the creator of a blog called The Revivalist: Word From the Appalachian South. He called it the Revivalist because he’s seeing a revival of interest in Appalachian culture - and he also wants to help introduce the joys of life in Appalachia to more people. "I think the cultural influence outside the mountains has never been bigger," said Ferguson.

The Clarksburg Post

Updated August 18th, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Following widespread public outcry, the convenience store chain called Sheetz has found a West Virginia bakery that can supply pepperoni rolls to all of its stores in West Virginia. Home Industry Bakery in Clarksburg has been selected as the bakery that will replace Abruzzinos and Rogers and Mazza for pepperoni rolls sales to Sheetz, beginning September 12th.

Updated July 30, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

After intense public outcry, the convenience store Sheetz has apparently reversed its decision to end sales of a West Virginia bakery's pepperoni rolls at its locations in the state.

In an interview Thursday morning with The Clarksburg Post, the convenience store's director of brand strategy Ryan Sheetz confirmed that decision.

USDA

In Appalachia, where green forests grow abundantly, food is scarce for many. Throughout Appalachia, grocery stores are disappearing. This week on Inside Appalachia we're looking at some ways communities are resolving to take matters in their own hands.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Shepherdstown is a little place with a lot of history. Harpers Ferry and the Antietam battlefield are literally down the road. The tiny downtown has Civil War era brick buildings filled with mom n’ pop restaurants and shops. But there’s a kind of counterculture side to the town, too.

Locals can be seen playing live music on the street with a cup of coffee or tea in hand - maybe even wearing tie-dye. And there’s a big demand for local, organic foods including a local favorite - a restaurant called Mellow Moods.

Know the Warning Signs of Concussion in Teenagers

Jul 6, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, research suggests that teenagers’ brains are especially vulnerable to concussions.  This morning a report about what sports officials in the state are doing about it.  And we’ll travel to Shepherdstown to visit a local restaurant.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting, telling West Virginia’s story.


Appalachian foodies will be interested to hear that the forests in Appalachia could be an ideal environment for growing mushrooms on logs in your own backyard.

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

Still there are a handful of people in Appalachia who have been growing shiitake mushrooms for decades.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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 folks, letting pigs turn the soil and using horses to work the land. 

 

Max Dubansky and his family farm 50 acres in Pleasant Valley outside Oakland, Maryland, on the edge of the Allegheny Mountains.

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.

30 Mile Meal Huntington

Members of the Huntington community have taken an idea from nearby Athens, Ohio to try to connect local food producers with local food consumers. 

Local Restaurants 

Susan Ballard is the co-owner of the Bodega, a gourmet style sandwich restaurant. She's interested in any 

  locally growned food she can get her hands on. After doing a taste test with Celeste Nolan of Laurel Valley Creamery she decided to use locally produced cheeses to top off some the sandwiches on the menu.

Welcome to a special holiday episode of Inside Appalachia, featuring music by The Sweetback Sisters, with their album Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular, 2012, and Bob Thompson's More Joy to the World, 2007.

Hip Hop from the Hill Top / Calls from Home

Charles Hayes

 

On a an overcast, October day a crowd of 600 people gather in the little town of Webster Springs. Twenty cooks and 20 Burgoos. 

Helping judge the best of these Burgoos is Tim Urbanic, chef and owner of Cafe Cimino.

 

“You got to love Burgoo. I really love the rattlesnake. And the snapping turtle. They're such heritage foods,” he said.

 

The crowd gets to choose a people's choice Burgoo too. Angie Cowger and Elissa Clayton are about to vote for their favorites.

 

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