Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Food

My life in appalachia - Food

After posting Granny’s Pumpkin Bread recipe yesterday, I overheard a conversation that made me think about the food one associates with the word-the place Appalachia.

You can go here: Appalachian Food to look back through all the food posts I’ve written since I started the Blind Pig.

Once I eavesdropped on the folks talking-I knew I had to ask you-when you hear the word Appalachia-what is the first food item that pops into your mind? The second? The third?

For me-the first-has to be corn: fresh corn-cream style corn-cornbread-hominy-grits-cornmeal mush-cornmeal gravy-or all the above.

The second for me-potatoes. Fried potatoes-soupy potatoes-baked potatoes-mashed potatoes-potato soup.

The third-gets a little fuzzy. I’ve thought about what I would answer since yesterday-and I can’t make a firm decision. I’m indecisive like that sometimes (just ask The Deer Hunter). I want to say-biscuits or pinto beans or green beans or kraut or arsh potato cake or apple stack cake or Bonnie’s Christmas mints or…or…see I just can’t settle on one item.

Hope you’ll leave me a comment with a list of the 3 foods that come to mind when you hear the word Appalachia.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    Donovan Smith
    August 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I grew up in the foothills of the smokies around the eastern highland rim. And id have to say fresh walleye fillets fried in cast iron skillet, black eye peas cooked with plenty of center cut country ham in it, and squash cooked however you like

  • Reply
    March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Fried Chicken, gravy & biscuits. My mamaw made the best! And she cooked everything on an old wood cookstove. Oh the childhood memories I have.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

    When I think of Appalachian foods I think of Ramps, ham and red eye gravy, creamed corn and biscuits and pinto beans, greens and cornbread…and of course my Grannies iron skillet fryed chicken…
    Thanks Tipper, PS..and also the one time I ate bear roast at my Aunts house in the mountains….

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    November 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Cornbread(no sugar!), potatoes, & homegrown maters. Mitchell would agree with the creasy greens. When he went to Fines Creek school he used to trade his mama’s cathead jelly biscuits for cafeteria yeast rolls-he had never seen such!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I would say country ham.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    John Stonecypher
    November 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    My Mother told me along time ago as good as you like cornbread you should learn to cook it.So I told her I would cook cornberad until it was as good as hers. it never was as good as hers but as years go by it it gets better.Cornbread pinto coldslaw fryed fatback thats good eating.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Cornbread, fried taters, and grits. Love everything else that has been spoke of, too. Love me some good ole home cookin, makin my belly n backbone rub together so I better get in the kitchen n cook somethin!!! Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    November 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    My “Grandma On the Mountain Road” made Apple Stack Cake that is a wonderful childhood memory for me. Also, cornbread made in the cast iron skillet and fried meal hoe cakes. I will send you a food story about my dad sometime that you will enjoy.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Sorry, In my haste I forgot my list. It would have to be cornbread with pinto beans or greasy beans or fried potatos. But always anything with cornbread.

  • Reply
    Sandy Kalvaitis
    November 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh Dear Tipper
    There isn’t much I wouldn’t give you to gather up these wonderful recipes and put them in a book. Please if you do put me first on the list to buy one. S Kalvaitis

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    November 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Ther are just so many choices.
    Beans and cornbread.
    Country ham and biscuits.
    Creamed corn with homegrown tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    November 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    First would be fried taters, second would be pinto beans ‘n cornbread and third… cat-head biscuits ‘n sawmill gravy. That’s some good eatin’. I keep tryin’ to find good gravy in restaurants and cafe’s as we travel, but I only found one place in Clayton, Georgia when we were there for a family reunion years ago and I hope to visit it again someday!

  • Reply
    B f
    November 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    definitely creasy greens, corn bread , fried potatoes, ham fried of course now thats country eating , maybe molasses bread on the side
    now i doubt if you have eaten creasy greens , if you havent youre missing a treat and especially with some jowl bacon to season them with, and always gravy and biscuits , thats good any time of the day
    have a good one
    now thats applachian for sure

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    November 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Soup beans, corn bread, and biscuits and gravy..the main staples we were raised on…..what I wouldn’t give to have one of Mom’s buttermilk biscuits…they were the best!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I’d have to say fresh, creamed
    Hickory Cane Corn, homeade biscuits, and a homegrown mader.
    But I like all the other things
    folks have commented about too.
    For me, guess its a food thing.
    Deer and Bear meat are also high
    on my list, here in the foothills
    of the Smokies…Ken

  • Reply
    Dale Anderson
    November 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    1. Apples-anyway you can have them. Stewed, applesauce, fried, stack cake. Every meal.
    2. Country cured ham. With biscuits, grits and, of course, apples.
    3. Pinto beans cooked with ham hocks and onions,

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    November 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Biscuits & “thicknin gravy”, pinto beans with cornbread & onions, fried taters. It was so good. I will always love this food best–rather have it than a steak most times.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Biscuits, beans (pinto, green, black eyed-peas) and fried potatoes.

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    November 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Dry land fish/moochers
    Green beans simmered all afternoon with a ham hock
    I’m a Yankee, born & raised in Cleveland, Ohio. In’73, I married a transplanted WVa girl, and learned about foods I never saw much up here. My Ma cooked beans a lot differently than my in laws do. Ours were cooked a lot shorter, staying more crisp. Biscuits were a rare treat, though Ma would make home made yeast bread pretty regularly, at least when it wasn’t too hot in the house. It’s hard to get good biscuits up here in a restaurant. I have to make ’em myself when we want them. The ones in a can don’t interest me at all. But my wife’s family can sure make some fine biscuits.
    Morel mushrooms- Wanda’s family calls them dry land fish, her Uncle Herman calls them moochers. They roll ’em in corn meal or batter, and fry them just like you would a mess of catfish, hence the name. I went out picking them with my brother in law the first time I had them. What a treat! The market up here has them every spring, but they’re very pricey. This year they were $50.00 a pound! They pretty much stay a treat for spring time visits “down home.”

  • Reply
    Mary Berrong
    November 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    fried potato patties
    Fried Chicken
    Granny used to roll the chicken in cornmeal and deepfry in Crisco. She fried potato patties made from left-over mashed potatoes and made the best cornbread in the county. Yum! This makes me hungry. Guess I better go fry up some chicken (unfortunately not in Crisco!).

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Corn bread or grits, Hoppin John, collards.

  • Reply
    Mama Crow
    November 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    My Aunt Maybell’s country style steak, mashed potatos, cream corn, sliced tomatos, biscuits with a hard bottom from cookin’ in a wood stove, and pecan divinity. If I had all that right now, I’d be in heaven, literally, because that’s where she is now. Bless her heart.
    Mama Crow

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

    we routinely have “Bean shortcake” that’s pintos ladled over cornbread with chopped onions on top – Roy has tea and I have buttermilk!!
    there’s nothing like fresh vegetables!
    cakes and pies, of course

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

    1.) Fried apple pies
    2.) Pinto beans
    3.) Black-eyed peas

  • Reply
    Will Dixon
    November 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Country Ham, Black-eye Peas and Corn Bread. I’ve never been in Appalachia, but my folks were from the South. I still relish these foods on New Year’s day. Love them!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    November 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Pinto beans and cornbread, fried potatoes and fried chicken on Sunday. And, there are more I could add to the list.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 9:34 am

    What would a person do with out food? I know my life is centered on food, growing it, eating it selling it, the whole process! My #1 food I think of would be apples ~apple Appalachia~ any way…..the other 2 will just have to be in general, good old fashioned home cooking!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    November 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Guess I’d have to say beans and cornbread, followed by potatoes and well vegetables in general. Last winter I kept a 50 pound bag of potatoes in my basement. I only lost a handful. Love those potatoes…

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Soup beans (Pinto or October),Fried potatoes, and cornbread. In my memory is the fact that at my Gramma’s house the corn bread was broken off instead of cut into neat blocks. We always had big slice of onion. Honey, as my Grampa was beekeeper also. The best part of any day was when my Gramma would hand each child one slice of orange slice candy.
    I really loved all your make-do meals, Tipper, as these simple dishes were not only delicious, thrifty, but full of fond memories.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    November 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Arsh Potatoes for sure and Stack cakes. How can we forget that good old homemade Buttermilk and Bread…So much and so many things. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it..

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

    #1 fried taters
    #2 biscuits and gravy
    #3 pintos and cornbread
    Those are what come to mind, I guess cause that’s what I grew up eating. In Appalachia, of course. LOL

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    November 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Well I don’t know, because I’m not from Appalachia, but I would sure be happy to eat any and all of these suggestions!! Now I’m hungry again…. my breakfast wore off, I guess!

  • Reply
    Carol Ann
    November 8, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Kraut made with cabbage grown in the red clay of the blue ridge is the best. The cabbage grown there is sweet not like what we have on the coast. We would get the kraut from the crock in the basement sometimes raking off the top. Green beans with most of the water cooked out sliced tomatoes and a hot pan of cornbread was a meal fit for a king.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 8, 2011 at 8:19 am

    1. Fried taters and biscuits with gravy over the top.
    2. Cornbread crumbled in a glass with milk and onions cut up in it.
    3. Fried okra

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    November 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Good morning, ya’ll. For us it’s pinto beans & cornbread-then fried taters. We have eaten a lot of fried bread, too. You know the heart of the home is the kitchen.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Just watched Cry, Cry Darling. Wow Chatter!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

    wow Tipper you want us to think instead of just read your thougths–how clever of you—MY first thougth was grits then cornbread and finally beans in many forms—-Linda Kerlin

  • Reply
    Bernadette B.
    November 8, 2011 at 7:53 am

    When I think of Appalachia I think of
    green beans with boiled new potatoes and biscuits with a thick gravy.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 7:52 am

    The first food that comes to my mind is soupbeans followed by cornbread!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Pinto beans, cornbread, biscuits, pickled beans, corn, potatoes, creases, chow, blackberry cobbler, molasses……oh no that’s more than three and I could keep going.
    It’s not possible to limit it to three, Tipper.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 7:44 am

    First, I think of biscuits and gravy, then country ham, and third, grits. Yummy thoughts first thing in the morning!

  • Reply
    Clint Scroggs
    November 8, 2011 at 7:28 am

    green beans, biscuits, potatoes, in no particular order.

  • Reply
    Sandy Wilson
    November 8, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Mine would be…Fried Chicken, Chicken & “Dumplins”, Fried Green Tomatoes. If only I could fry chicken like my mamaw. But she has gone to be with the Lord. So the art of her fried chicen is gone too. But I’m still trying.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 8, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I am in line with you: 1) corn (including cornbread, my hands-down favorite), 2) potatoes, but 3) is country ham followed closely, almost a tie, with biscuits.

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