Discover Summer: Food Traditions
From the diversity of cuisines found across the state to Carolina born traditions, food is an essential part of our lives and a defining element of our culture. This week we are taking a deep dive into North Carolina food traditions and history. During this week of our Discover Summer Challenge, we want to share 7 ways that you can learn about North Carolina’s food traditions!
Here are seven things you can do to discover North Carolina’s vast history and culture of food.
Discover and visit your local farmer's market. The Farmer’s Market is a great place to find local produce and connect with your community. Visit to pick up in-season fruits and vegetables and to learn about local crafters and makers to support in your community. Markets can be found across the state. To start we recommend the State Farmers Market in Raleigh and the Mountain Gateway Museum’s farmer’s market in western NC. A quick internet search will lead you to your local market!
Eat/shop local. North Carolina has a vast cultural landscape full of small businesses and restaurant owners. From the bustling Triangle Area’s diverse eateries, breweries, and food trucks to Ashe County Cheese in West Jefferson. Start off this challenge with some research. Try googling “[name of your town or county] small businesses and restaurants” and see what comes up! Small business owners are hard-working and bring many different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures to what they do. Try to support businesses and shops outside of your comfort zone and remember to be respectful and open-minded when doing so!
Discover Sweetpotato Recipes. North Carolina Sweet Potatoes has over 200 different ways to prepare and serve sweet potatoes. Visit their recipe list and challenge yourself to prepare sweet potatoes in a new way. Want a bigger challenge? Try to prepare them a new way every day this week.
Make a Moravian Sugar Cake. Moravian Sugar Cake is a traditional recipe usually made to celebrate the holidays. Watch this video of it being made and then give it try yourself with this recipe from Food.com!
Discover North Carolina’s food history. Did you know that Krispy Kreme Donuts was founded in Winston-Salem in 1937? Or that Texas Pete hot sauce was born out of Winston the year prior? There’s also Pepsi-Cola, Cheerwine, and Bojangles! Can you find any more of your favorite foods or places to eat that have origins tied to North Carolina?
Make NC state symbol toast. Wake up your kids with a fun breakfast activity that can teach them their state symbols. This activity from AllSheCooks.com uses things you can find in your fridge or pantry to make animal faces. With a little bit of a North Carolina spin, you can focus on making state symbols or animals you can find here. Need ideas? Start with the North Carolina Flag, the Dogwood flower, or the Cardinal. NCPedia also has a list of state symbols you can look to for ideas. As for ingredients, peanut butter, Nutella, cream cheese, and colorful fruits are a wonderful place to start!
Start your own vegetable garden. Growing your own plants and vegetables is a great way to discover and learn about the world around us. Start by planting summer fruits, vegetables, and herbs and watch them grow and produce over the next few months!