Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Sarah Baird is a writer, editor, and petit four aficionado living in New Orleans, Louisiana, whose book on the culture of Kentucky sweets was published earlier this year. Follow her on Twitter @scbaird.
Song: “Homegrown Tomatoes”
Without fail, every garden has a super-powered plant that grows just a little too well. One day, the ground is dappled with a sprinkling of tiny white flowers and vines, then almost overnight the garden bed has erupted into an avalanche of cucumbers or squash. No matter how much you might love a Benedictine tea sandwich or a hearty slice of zucchini bread, there’s only so much gourd one person can eat before it becomes, well, a little monotonous. Pretty soon, neighbors are crossing the street to avoid your “generous” offers of produce and the thought of setting up a tiny roadside squash stand starts to make a lot of sense.
The only exception to this rule? The almighty tomato. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who could ever tire of letting its juices dribble down his or her chin. In Guy Clark’s 1983 song “Homegrown Tomatoes,” the country music legend pays homage to this ruby red giant of summertime dining, exploring his deep admiration for the fruit with a twinkle in his eye and chuckle in his verses.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
You don’t need me to tell you that food festivals have gotten exponentially better since the days when a foot-long corn dog was big news. You also know that, beverage-wise, music festivals aren’t just about bad beer in plastic cups that you hope someone doesn’t throw at your head.
Still, the improvement is mind-blowing. The only problem, besides getting into some of them, is deciding whether to describe these events as food festivals or music festivals. It’s your call.
Bad news, hungry hip-hop fans. As many of you speculated, Bon Rappetite, the world's first rap themed eatery, does not actually exist. The gloriously pun-filled website Bon-Rappetite.com is currently the closest you will get to such dishes as the Waka Flocka Flambe. That's right, if you can stop thinking about the Talib Quali-i you'll have to make it for yourself.
But take heart, because the people behind the site feel your pain. "I wish it were real" says Everett Steele a web designer and one of the co-creators of Bon-Rappetite.com.
The hip-hop fan and Atlien (that's Atlantan to the uninitiated) adds, "I have no desire to be a restaurateur but Ludacris, if you are listening, Usher, Drake come down to Atlanta, give me whatever is in that case or what you keep in that room and I will build a restaurant around it."
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "wine is bottled poetry" - but Steven Grubbs, the Wine Director of Empire State South in Atlanta and Five and Ten in Athens, Georgia, thinks you can (and should) kick up the tempo a little bit every now and then.
Five Wines Paired with Rock 'n' Roll: Steven Grubbs