At the Table

Our Most Popular Stories in March

By: Hannah Lee Leidy

The Local Palate readers craved armchair travel last month. We get it—after all, our spring road trips issue highlights all the getaways we can’t wait to take. Visitors similarly sought stories in March about the culinary scenes throughout the South: We explored Italian influence in West Virginia. We got to know the folks and families shaping the Buford Highway Cultural Corridor. We uncovered the best places to eat in up-and-coming North Charleston. 

People also read the Local Palate’s rich stories behind Southern foods, from tea cakes to tom thumb sausage. And, of course, there was plenty of interest in experimenting in the kitchen with mild and fiery peppers and a Tennessee twist on Italian Milanese.

TLP’s Ten Must-Read Stories in March

Italy in Marion County West Virginia

Welcome to Marion County, a sliver of Appalachia where Italian influence makes itself known in the form of red sauce restaurants and plenty of pepperoni rolls. Get to know this Italian oasis in the state’s northwestern region. 

Catfish Run Wild in Chattanooga 

The fishing industry in Chattanooga once supplied bountiful catfish yields. The long-term pollution of the Tennessee river overshadows this history. Although, significant efforts were made to shed this stigma, local catfish remained off the menus at restaurants in the city. Learn how Common House chef Matt Greene changes this through his Italian-Appalachian preparation of the whiskered fish.

The Best Eats in North Charleston

Long considered the ugly step-sister to downtown Charleston, a renaissance in North Charleston is making it a destination with diverse options for eating and drinking. Here, the Local Palate shares the ultimate guide dining guide for this neighborhood.

Peppers 101

Do you know your serrano peppers from your anchos? Round out your knowledge of mild, medium, and maximum heats in this inclusive presentation of pepper types (plus corresponding recipes to embrace the heat).

Culinary Destinations in Mobile, Alabama

Discover the five must-visit culinary destinations in Mobile, Alabama, that use fresh ingredients that showcase the city’s 300-year-old history.

Thank You, Charleston

Pulling off the first Charleston Wine + Food since Covid-19 meant meticulous planning and navigating lots of unknowns. However, a memorable event weekend left chefs, gourmands, and beverage professionals grateful for the invaluable bonds the industry forms.

Seabird Dives into Wilmington’s Seafood Scene

When it comes to the abundant, seasonal seafood of Wilmington, North Carolina, few restaurants interpret it as creatively as Seabird. We sat down with chef-owner Dean Neff to discuss his respect for the community’s sustainable fishing industry and die-hard love for the restaurant’s Eastern cioppiono.

Eatymology: Tom Thumb

How versed are you in Eastern North Carolina’s funky sausage traditions? While the hog’s appendix seems undesirable to many modern home cooks, chef Vivian Howard preserves this once-prized product and serves it with a rutabaga relish. “We’ve got very few indigenous charcuterie traditions in our country,” she says. “This is one of them.”

Tea Cakes: A Brief History

Around the South, tea cakes are nostalgia-inducing cookies with characteristics unique to each family making them. Recipe developer and cookbook author Anne Byrne takes a deep dive into the sweet heirlooms with her cookbook American Cookie (Rodale/Penguin Random House, 2018).

Finding Home on the Buford Highway

Moving back to Atlanta after almost two decades, writer Sophia Qureshi explores the six-mile stretch of immigrant businesses along the Buford Highway, officially named Buford Highway Cultural Corridor in February 2022. 

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