Jed Portman

Southern Classic: Daube Glacé

By Jed PortmanGood EatsDecember 18, 2014

While country ham and salami are hardly foreign to New Orleans these days, they were rarities in the along the Gulf Coast two centuries ago. “We can’t hang meats outside here. They rot,” says Isaac Toups, who runs the kitchen at Toups’ Meatery. In the years before the advent of refrigeration, locals had to find other ways to keep the pantry stocked.

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Gravy Podcast: The Fight for Water and Oysters

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsDecember 18, 2014

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for a new episode of Gravy , a podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance's. This week, producer Tina Antolini navigates the troubled waters of the Florida panhandle where a storied local industry is in big trouble. 

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A Forgotten Southern Sandwich

By Jed PortmanGood EatsDecember 9, 2014

On a cool night in early 1931, J.D. Holland parked his car near the Farmers’ Café in Statesville, North Carolina, and went inside to eat dinner. He walked back to the vehicle no more than twenty minutes later to discover that a thief had broken in. As Holland took stock of his belongings, however, he realized that the burglar had overlooked some treasures in favor of two rib-sticking staples: peanut butter and mayonnaise. “Inferring that the food was taken by some one who was really hungry, Mr. Holland stated today that he would like to get in touch with the fellow and he would take pleasure in giving him a full meal, free of charge,” the Statesville Record and Landmark reported.

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Gravy Podcast: Separation of Church and Coffee

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsDecember 4, 2014

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for a new podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance. The Oxford, Mississippi–based organization launched Gravy, their biweekly tour of regional cooking and eating places, with a visit to the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina. This week, the podcast takes listeners to a couple of coffee shops in Knoxville, Tennessee where the baristas believe in more than just the merits of freshly ground beans. Listen below.

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The Secret to Amazing Buttermilk Biscuits

By Jed PortmanGood EatsDecember 2, 2014

Most every biscuit maker has a secret ingredient. For some, it’s the family biscuit bowl, worn through by years of use. For others, it’s a spoonful of mayonnaise in the dough, or salt sprinkled over the rounds. My secret ingredient came from an unlikely place: the Swedish province of Scania, home to food writer and butter evangelist Margit Richert.

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Cheerwine for the Holidays

By Jed PortmanGood EatsNovember 25, 2014

In Salisbury, North Carolina, Cheerwine has the sort of following that jam bands and football teams might envy. The cherry soda has called Salisbury home since 1917, and it is the essential ingredient in a favorite local libation: Cheerwine punch, a generally non-alcoholic blend of soda, pineapple juice, and ginger ale that graces tables all over town during the holiday season, over ice or with sherbet. This year, for the first time, the rest of the Carolinas can get in on the good times with Cheerwine Holiday Punch, a bottled version of the party drink.

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The Stories of Southern Food

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsNovember 24, 2014

The podcast is having a moment. Not only is true-crime broadcast Serial a national topic of discussion, with millions of listeners, but the Southern Foodways Alliance has now also taken to the digital airwaves. While the Oxford, Mississippi–based organization has shared stories about food and drink below the Mason-Dixon line for more than a decade, Gravy is a leap into new territory with help from a seasoned producer, public radio veteran Tina Antolini.

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First Listen: Robert Earl Keen’s Bluegrass Debut

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsNovember 18, 2014

If you know anything about Robert Earl Keen, you probably know that the man is a seasoned storyteller. His biggest hits have been meandering, sing-along narratives such as “The Road Goes On Forever” and “Merry Christmas from the Family.” On his next album, though, he doesn’t have a single songwriting credit to his name. Happy Prisoner is a collection of classic bluegrass tunes first performed by the likes of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. It won’t be out until February 10, but you can listen to the first song, “Hot Corn, Cold Corn,” right here. It’s a Flatt & Scruggs tune, and—well, without further ado, here are Robert Earl Keen’s thoughts on the song, and on the project as a whole.

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Greg Baker's Encyclopedia of Florida Food

By Jed PortmanGood EatsNovember 11, 2014

If your knowledge of Florida food stops at stone crab and citrus, you’re not alone. Greg Baker, of the Refinery in Tampa, has been one of the first chefs in the state to celebrate a rich but  underexplored cuisine built by a diverse collection of characters from a crowded history: barbecue-loving natives, Spanish conquistadors, enslaved Africans, indentured servants from the Mediterranean, swamp-dwelling subsistence farmers, and many others. Next month, he’ll open Fodder & Shine, a restaurant inspired by the history of Florida food—especially the make-do staples of the so-called Florida Crackers, descendants of the state’s earliest white settlers. Expect to see some of these dishes and ingredients on the menu.

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New and Noteworthy: Barbecue on a Stick

By Jed PortmanGood EatsNovember 6, 2014

Within the grease-spotted, sugar-dusted pages of coverage that accompany state fair season each year, you’ll find plenty of treats intended more to shock than to nourish. It’s safe to say that the deep-fried gummy bear and the doughnut cheeseburger will not become staples of the American diet anytime soon. One new state-fair creation, though, just might be able to hold its own away from the flashing lights and carnival barkers.

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