What’s new in food: Exploring Latin American and Appalachian foodways

BREAKING BREAD: Authors Ronni Lundy, left, and Sandra Gutierrez, center, will participate in a roundatable discussion with foodways scholar Marcie Cohen Ferris, right, at UNC Asheville on March 27. Photo courtesy of UNCA

Comales and Cornbread: Exploring the New-Southern Latino Table in Appalachia, a roundtable discussion with foodways scholar Marcie Cohen Ferris and cookbook authors Sandra Gutierrez and Ronni Lundy, will be held in the Blue Ridge Room of UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Student Union on Wednesday, March 27, 6 p.m.

The free event will explore the culinary diversity of North Carolina as it relates to Latin American and Appalachian foodways. Ferris, professor emerita in the department of American studies at UNC Chapel Hill, is an editor for the quarterly journal Southern Cultures. Both cookbook authors are also food historians. Gutierrez is the former food editor for The Cary News, and Lundy is a James Beard Book of the Year awardee who runs Plott Hound Books in Burnsville.

“I am looking forward to hearing from the top experts in Appalachian and Latin American foodways,” says Ferris. “We have such a large Latin population, and it’s always interesting to see how cultures influence each other — historically and in modern day.”

This is the fourth in the Thomas Howerton lecture series, Diverse Roots at the Common Table: Culinary Conversations in the American South, which began in February 2023.

Registration is required; the event will also be livestreamed.

The Highsmith Student Union is at 1 University Heights. For more information and to register, visit avl.mx/dgq.

Cheese and cider pop-up

Barn Door Ciderworks in Fletcher will host Fairview neighbor Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery for its Raclette Pop-Up on Sunday, March 24, 3-7 p.m. The event will pair the creamery’s alpine-style Raclette cheese, named The Richard, with barrel-aged ciders.

Cheesemaker Victor Chiarizia will talk about the creamery, where a natural rock wall cave is used for aging cheese. The wheel of cheese will be melted under a flame, then scraped onto boiled potatoes and served with pickles. Four ciders will be offered during the event, along with local beers on tap, wine and nonalcoholic beverages.

“Cheese and cider go hand in hand,” says Chiarizia in a press release. “We’re excited to do this pairing with our neighbors.”

Barn Door Ciderworks is at 23 Lytle Road, Fletcher. For information, visit avl.mx/9ni. For information on Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, visit avl.mx/dgr.

And a bread-based pop-up

Carolina Ground, a flour mill in Hendersonville, is hosting its March pop-up on Sunday, March 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Verdant Bread will bring baked goods from Charlotte, and Farm and Sparrow — a Mars Hill mill — will sell corn products, outlier grains and pulses. Pop-up “regular” partners include: beeswax and butter, an Asheville microbakery; homestead and bakery Hominy Farm; West First Wood-Fired restaurant; Bryson Homestead goat farm; Swannanoa’s Stonewall Bakery; and Independent Bean Roasters of Hendersonville. Featured products will include flours, breads, pastries, eggs, honey, sorghum, coffee, chai, botanically dyed yarns, goat milk soaps, books and proofing baskets.

Carolina Ground is at 1237 Shipp St., Hendersonville. For more information, visit avl.mx/dgv.

Beverages inspired by music venues

Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. is launching the Soundwave Series, a series of nonalcoholic craft sodas inspired by for Asheville music venues.

On Saturday, March 16, 5-9 p.m., the release of Orange Peel Sparkling Orange will be celebrated with live music from Orange Moon, a local Erykah Badu tribute act, at the beverage company’s bar and events venue, The Mule. The soda consists of navel and blood oranges, organic limes, cane sugar and South Carolina honey.

Rabbit Rabbit Sparkling Cran-Lime, brewed with cranberries, organic limes, cane sugar and South Carolina honey, will debut Monday, March 25.

Monday, April 1 is the release date for Salvage Station Sparkling Mango, made with mangos, organic lemons, cane sugar and South Carolina honey.

Don’t Call Me Shirley Cherry Ginger Beer, with organic ginger root, fresh-pressed sour cherries, organic cane sugar and South Carolina honey, will be available starting Monday, April 15, in partnership with The Grey Eagle.

“Our roots go deep with music — both personally and professionally,” says Jacob Baumann, vice president, lead designer and co-founder of Devil’s Foot Beverage Co., in a press release. “We have always partnered with breweries and venues to make sure customers have craft-brewed options in addition to alcohol. With the Soundwave Series, it feels like it’s coming full circle to be the headlining [nonalcoholic] provider for those same venues.”

Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/ajm.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

The Blackbird Restaurant and Metro Wines will host a spring celebration dinner made by local female chefs, using ingredients from local, female-led farms on Monday, March 25, 6:30 p.m.

The event will begin with a welcome pour of sparkling wine paired with an amuse-bouche. The remaining four-course meal includes a cream of asparagus soup, honey-lemon shredded Brussels sprout salad, seared snapper, braised rabbit and dessert — all paired with wine from certified sustainable, female-led wineries. Juniper Cooper, wine sales representative with Johnson Brothers/Mutual Distributing of North Carolina, will be on hand to speak about the wines.

Several representatives from participating local farms will discuss their farming experiences during the courses that feature their products: Bette Bradford of Bradford Farms, Lauri Newman-Waters of FarmGirl Homestead Gardens and Carole Miller of The Blackbird, who will create the dessert.

Additional local, women-led producers are Fermenti, Asheville Bee Charmer and Goat Lady Dairy.

The event is $125 per person, not including tax or gratuity.

The Blackbird is at 47 Biltmore Ave. To make a reservation, call 828-254-2502 or email wine@imperialbirds.com. Visit avl.mx/dgw for more information.

New Thai restaurant opens downtown

Earlier this month, Thanaphon Theerarat took over the space formerly occupied by Little Bee Thai, which closed in February.

The new counter service restaurant, Bee Thai Kitchen, features Thai and fusion dishes such as papaya salad, pineapple fried rice, several curries and pad thai.

Theerarat, who worked in restaurants in his home state of Virginia but visited family in Western North Carolina, says he thinks there isn’t enough Thai food in the area.

“I want to bring the flavors of my upbringing to Asheville,” he says.

Bee Thai Kitchen is at 45 S. French Broad Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/dgs.

Late-night hot dogs

Late-night revelers have the option of grabbing hot dogs from new food truck Night Dogs, parked next to the Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar in downtown Thursday-Saturday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

The food truck, which is actually a hot dog cart, serves gluten-free, all-beef hot dogs with classic topping options such as chili, cheese, slaw, relish and more. Other items include nachos, chips and sweet treats.

Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar is at 22 N. Market St. For more information on Night Dogs, visit avl.mx/dgt.


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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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