Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Food & history


A friend of mine from Louisville, Kentucky visited us the last weekend in July, and we had fun showing her around Charlotte. Our adventures included a trip up to Latta Plantation, an historical site that was once a working "backcountry" plantation (not all plantations had big Antebellum mansions!) Located just north of Charlotte near Huntersville and Lake Norman, it's one of the best examples of "farm museums" I've ever seen. In addition to the Latta family house, you can tour the kitchen (which is in a separate building, as were most kitchens back then), some barns, an overseer's cabin, and a cabin where several families of slaves would have lived.

In one of the cabins, we met a culinary historian named Michael Twitty who was visiting for the day. Michael has a blog called Afroculinaria and another called The Cooking Gene. (Check them out!) Latta Plantation was one of the stops on his Southern Discomfort tour this summer (click that link if you want to see a cool video about his project).

Michael and some of the volunteers were preparing food to be cooked as it would have been cooked back in the day -- over an open fire. Here's one of the dishes (obviously not yet cooked):


After Latta Plantation, I took my friend on a tour of Charlotte, through the uptown area, South End, Dilworth, Myers Park, SouthPark, then to Matthews and back to our house. That night, we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant to take out-of-towners -- New South Kitchen. So my friend got a good dose of Southern history as well as Southern cooking -- hopefully some Southern hospitality, too. I think she liked it so much, we might get her to come visit again another time! :)