Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

The Taste of North Carolina

Posted April 24, 2008

You created a sachet of North Carolina aromas. Your descriptions for The Smell of North Carolina were personal, poignant and poetic. I delighted in each entry. Thank you very much!

Let us adjust our sensory knob. Let’s turn to Tar Heel Taste Buds.

What is the taste of North Carolina? What culinary delights best define your life in the Old North State?

For me it would have to be my mother’s homemade pimento cheese served on grilled sour dough bread. It is also the sweet taste of maple syrup flowing down from a steaming stack of my father’s corn cakes made from scratch. The taste of North Carolina is also the moist and savory barbeque served up both downeast and out west Lexington style.

What about you? What is The Taste of North Carolina?


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  • Lets Race Apr 30, 2008

    WOW! Lots of great tastes here! I too love the home made brunswick stew. It is becoming a lost "art," but luckily my Mama passed that art to me. In fact, I made one this past a huge cast-iron pot over a wood fire. Mmmmmmm- good! It will be EXTRA good this winter. Merritt's Chapel Methodist Church close to Jordan Lake in Chatham County has BBQ and brunswick stew fund-raisers. It is good.

    One more thing....home-made, old fashioned pound cake!! Love that stuff!!

  • adenning Apr 28, 2008

    I LOVE Bright leaf hotdogs!! I have eaten them since I was a child. I know that you can get them at Walmarts and Food Lions. Maybe the person in Durham can check the Walmart on Briarcliff. Millies in Smithfield, Flowers Store on 42 in Clayton and Jones Lunch in Clayton have really good hotdogs.


  • rainey62 Apr 25, 2008

    As I read through the posts of tastes of NC, I saw that someone had mentioned Siler City and Johnson's cheesburgers. To give props to the Johnson clan, these burgers are well worth the wait. Be that as it may, over the last 20+ years, I've come back to Siler City from New York state, Colorado, Texas, and Virginia and had to have a Rollie-burger from Chris's Drive-In, on the north end of town. THAT is still a taste of NC that I just can't pass up. In fact, I'll be in town next weekend, and I plan to have a Rollie-burger while I'm there. I cannot wait!!! :)
    When I come home over the holidays, I know I'll have Aunt Faye's turnip greens, too!!! She won't make them unless she knows I'm coming home, and I'll pass up anything on the dessert table for another helping of her greens. Ain't nothin' nowhere no better!

  • carolinamissy Apr 25, 2008

    The barbecue and stew at the annual Christmas party at the fire department that my dad works for. The peanuts, fresh milk, hush puppies and hot dogs at the fair.

  • The Gooch Apr 25, 2008

    I have to say that the taste of North Carolina I remember best growing up is fresh tomatoes from my Grandpa's garden. Thick slices of tomato with salt on top makes a great summer afternoon snack.

    Gotta' love Cheerwine, too. (Warning: Don't combine Cheerwine with tomatoes and salt. I hear it's like pop rocks and coke . . . ok, not really.)

  • RaleighRob Apr 25, 2008

    Stopping on the side of the road and grabbing as many wild blackberries you can fit in a bucket. A real summer treat!

  • gator nation gal Apr 25, 2008

    battenclan09 - Can't find any Bright Leaf hotdogs around Durham, Chapel Hill, or Carrboro!

  • 2thebeach Apr 25, 2008

    f6fider - El's was mentioned in Southern Living not too long ago - thankfully, the article didn't swell their heads and the shrimpburgers are just the same as always.

  • Red Bird Apr 25, 2008

    Don't forget the delicious soft drink, Cheerwine and one of my favorite sauces from Greensboro's Boar and Castle, "Castle" sauce! The Boar and Castle is long gone (not in memory though!), but the sauce is still available. Two wonderful unique North Carolina tastes!

  • Question Apr 25, 2008

    Homemade fried chicken tops my list. It must be served with rice & gravy, butterbeans and fatback. I've eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world, but still love the fatback!




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Bill Leslie