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September 2017
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Syndication

Many of the stories we hear and tell about food are positive—food’s power to nourish, to comfort, to bring people together. But it also has the potential to cause shame, fear, disgust and a whole host of other uncomfortable emotions. Today on Gravy: personal stories around food that aren’t so sweet.

These are the kinds of stories Francis Lam wanted to explore for a presentation he gave at the Southern Foodways Alliance’s annual Symposium a few months ago. Francis is an editor at large at Clarkson Potter Publishers and a New York Times Magazine columnist. He’s also someone who’s spent a lot of time eating in the South and writing about it. Francis was curious about the food stories that often go untold because they deal with topics we’d prefer not to talk about. So, he asked a handful of people: tell me about a time when you felt tension in your emotional life of eating.

Direct download: The_Emotional_Life_of_Eating_Gravy_Ep._5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am EDT

Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, Louisiana, is a dancing and drinking destination… on Saturday mornings only. That’s the only time it’s open. For years, Saturdays have featured live traditional Cajun music, a live radio show, a devoted community of Cajun dancers, and visitors from around the region—and the world. What started as a local dive has become internationally famous. By nine a.m., middle-aged couples waltz a wide arc around the band, as 83-year-old proprietor Tante Sue takes healthy swigs from a bottle of cinnamon-flavored schnapps while squeezing her chest in time to the music as if playing an accordion. How does Fred’s maintain this mix of locals and outsiders? We sent reporter Eve Troeh out on a Saturday morning to drink a few beers (or Bloody Mary’s) and find out. 

Direct download: Live_at_Freds_Lounge_Gravy_Ep._4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

The Fight for Water and Oysters (Gravy Ep. 3)

Atlanta can seem like it’s a very long way from the oystering communities in Florida’s Panhandle. There are, in fact, hundreds of miles between them. But there are ways even distant places are intimately connected, perhaps more intimately than you’d guess. And when one of those places is in trouble, those connections get revealed.

This is the story of what’s happening to the oysters in Apalachicola Bay, and why that has inspired interstate legal battles—even a Supreme Court lawsuit. It’s also the story of what a place whose whole identity revolves around seafood does, when that seafood is threatened. 

Direct download: The_Fight_for_Water_and_Oysters_Gravy_Ep._3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

In cities and towns across the South, an increasing number of the folks offering up latte art and high-end pourover brewing are devout Christians. Is it an unlikely and subtle tool for proselytizing? Or a more nuanced expression of 21st Century Christianity, intertwined with social events and professional endeavors. 

Direct download: Separation_of_Church_and_Coffee_Gravy_Ep._2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EDT

For Thanksgiving, a Native American story… but not the one you’re imagining. No Pilgrims here. For the Lumbee Indians in North Carolina, the holiday meal involves cornbread, collards and a whole lot of pork. The Lumbee food story is a portal to a hybrid Southern-Native history that’s rarely glimpsed outside the tribe. Through Lumbee foods, we get to know this tribe in Robeson County, its persistence through colonialism, poverty, and Jim Crow era of tri-racial segregation. And we get to taste the stereotype-shattering reality of Indian foodways.

Direct download: Lumbee_Thanksgiving_FINAL_MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

Direct download: Gravy_Launch_Teaser_11-14-14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT