When at Southern Foodways, eat the catfish
October 20th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. We'll be sharing dispatches live from their 15th annual Symposium "Barbecue: An Exploration of Pitmaster, Places, Smoke, and Sauce" in Oxford, Mississippi, over the nest few days. Dig in.

Last night's festivities kicked off with nips and nibbles. What else were you expecting from an SFA symposium?

Whitney Otawka and Ben Wheatley of Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia, served up pork meatballs with a muscadine glaze and fried quail breasts on white bread with Tabasco sauce and pickles. Both of Whitney's creations were riffs on Southern classics - come on, don't tell us you've never had meatballs in grape-jelly sauce served from a crock pot. And of course, the quail breasts look like an extremely cute version of a certain pickle-capped fried chicken sandwich... So, take those two recipes, crank the ingredients up about five notches, serve them with a wink and a nod, and you might get close to imagining how yummy these amuses-bouche were. And did we mention that Whitney and Ben have yet to turn 30?

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