Every Southerner has a particular way they cook and eat barbecue. While Vivian knows North Carolina’s tradition of whole hog barbecue, she travels to Florida for smoked mullet and Texas for barbecue with Japanese and Mexican twists.
At the Lumbee tribe’s annual homecoming, Vivian samples their famous collard sandwich and learns the roots of Southern hospitality. On a trip to Clarkston, Ga., Vivian meets a group of refugee farmers who grows greens that remind them of home.
Vivian is asked to lecture on chow chow, a quintessentially Southern relish, at Asheville’s first ever Chow Chow Festival. From there, her preservation education dives into Indian and Sri Lankan pickles, Puerto Rican escabeche and Korean kimchi.
A charity dinner and a trip to the Mississippi Delta and farther south reminds Vivian that not all dumplings are the same. But whether filled with minced meat, chopped veggies, or nothing at all, dumplings stretch our ingredients and our imagination.
At a dinner honoring pioneering chef Edna Lewis, Vivian gives porridge the royal treatment and learns about African American contributions to Southern cuisine. While in the port city, Vivian learns how rice holds the key to slavery’s sordid history.
Vivian’s crash course in mass producing hand pies inspires her to revisit the applejacks of her youth. Her journey includes a trip to West Virginia for a taste of their signature pepperoni rolls and a look at the world’s most popular hand pie — the empanada.