Gravy (general)

For years in Gaston County, North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, there was a local tradition on Friday or Saturday night: Get the whole family in the car, and head to the fish camp.

A fish camp is not what it sounds like. You don't fish there. You don't camp there. Instead, it's a place to eat—a simple, family-owned seafood restaurant.

For much of the twentieth century, these restaurants were a centerpiece of family life and social life. Nowadays, though, they're hard to come by. Mary Helen Montgomery explores the role fish camps once played in Gaston County communities and the causes for their recent decline.

Direct download: FishCamps_Rebroadcast_June2106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EST

Imagine: crabs, fish, eels—a whole team of sea creatures—rushing towards the shore, and then sitting there, as if waiting to be caught. This isn’t some fisherman’s daydream. It really happens in Alabama’s Mobile Bay. In this episode of Gravy, we tell the story of the Jubilee, a rare natural phenomenon that provides local residents with a bounty of seafood.

Direct download: A_Seafood_Phenomenon-_The_Wonder_of_Alabama_Jubilees_Gravy_Ep._40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

The pride of Nashville: honky tonks and… Halal lamb? The area of the city known as Little Kurdistan contains a whole culinary universe that many people—even those who live in the city—are unaware of. In this episode of Gravy, we partner with Jakob Lewis of the podcast Neighbors from Nashville Public Radio. Jakob takes us on a tour of the Kurdish part of Nashville with Shirzad Tayyar, a resident who’s made it his mission to make his corner of the city better known by everyone.

Direct download: The_Middle_East_in_Music_City_Gravy_Ep._39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

The residents of Mossville, Louisiana have long prized self-sufficiency. Founded by freed slaves in the 1700s, Mossville was a place where everyone grew their own fruits and vegetables, caught fish, and hunted. African American families built the town from the ground up, and the land provided so well for them that, even into the 20th century, many didn’t realize they were technically “poor.” And then: the petrochemical industry moved in.

In this episode of Gravy, we tell the story of Mossville, its gardens and fisheries, and the uneasy relationship that’s evolved between residents and industry.

Direct download: Whats_Growing_in_Mossville_Gravy_Ep._38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

When Alexis Diao’s father arrived in Tallahassee, Florida, he couldn’t even find coconut milk—let alone many other ingredients to make the Filipino food of his home. But there was an even bigger problem: he didn’t know how to cook. His feeling of remove from everything familiar was intensified; he was in a new land with unfamiliar foods, and not a clue how to cook them.

In this episode of Gravy, Alexis ponders how her family and others made a culinary home for Filipinos in the Florida panhandle, and how to impart that hybrid Filipino-Southern identity to her own daughter.


Every week, Cracker Barrel provides 4 million Americans with a studied version of down-home Southern food and hospitality. The dumplins and the chicken-fried steak. The country knick-knacks and the rocking chairs. What are we really consuming, culturally, along with the hashbrown casserole? In this episode of Gravy, Besha Rodell ponders the restaurant chain, the trickiness of Southern nostalgia, and how all of that has ended up informing her understanding of family.

Direct download: The_New_Old_Country_Store_Gravy_Ep._36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EST

When it comes to a certain kind of bourbon, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have—you can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky or you’re willing to break the law. In this episode of Gravy, we teamed up with the podcast Criminal to bring you the story of the cult of popularity surrounding Pappy Van Winkle… and how it’s driven some to crime. The Pappy frenzy has law enforcement, bartenders, and even the Van Winkle family themselves wringing their hands.

Direct download: Wanting_the_Bourbon_You_Cant_Have_Gravy_Ep._35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Jell-O could seem like a trivial food. It’s brightly colored-- vibrantly orange, electric green or unsettlingly blue—nutritionally void, and, hey, it jiggles. But in Appalachia, Jell-O marked a transformation in the lives of rural residents.

In this episode of Gravy, Kentucky writer Lora Smith sifts through a trove of oral histories that demonstrate the sea change in culinary that Jell-O represented. It served, for these communities, as a benchmark in a time. Life could be sorted into a pre-Jell-O and a post-Jell-O era.

Direct download: Jell-O_Makes_the_Modern_Mountain_Woman-_Gravy_Ep._34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

We stay at them around the South and across the United States: Day’s Inn. Best Western. Quality Inn. But there is a food world behind the scenes at some motels that most people are unaware of. In this episode of Gravy, a partnership with the Post & Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, we delve into that world. Hanna Raskin brings us the story of how so many motels came to be owned by families from the Gujarat region of India, and the secret cooking they do to keep their culinary traditions going here in the United States.

Direct download: Dinner_at_the_Patel_Motel_Gravy_Ep._33_FIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am EST

There’s a dish you’ll find at every kind of restaurant in Little Rock, from the pizza places to the burger joints: cheese dip. How did it become so beloved in Arkansas? And what does it reveal about the state’s past—and present? In this episode of Gravy, Dana Bialek and host Tina Antolini investigate this story of highways, demographic changes, and a food’s shifting identity over time.

Direct download: Mexican-ish-_How_Arkansas_Came_to_Love_Cheese_Dip_Gravy_Ep._32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am EST