WRAL.com at the State Fair

Taste test: turnip greens sandwich

Posted May 22, 2010

Regular readers of this blog may remember one of the taste tests I did at the Fair last year: a collards and chitlins sandwich. It was not an overwhelming success -- then again it was less of a deliberate food item and more a misread menu on my part.  Archie's, a food vendor at Got to Be NC, is offering a real sandwich that's a tasty variant:  turnip greens, fatback, and corn pone.

Corn pone, for those of you reading along and not from around here, is corn meal, salt, and water mixed up and baked or fried. Fatback is just what you might think -- fat from beneath a pig's back skin. Two slices of corn pone, two slices of fatback, and a generous helping of turnip greens made this sandwich. It's $5, or a little extra if you want to get the plate with chicken (as seen in the picture.) Archie's also had hot sauce and plenty of vinegar available.

I bought the sandwich and seriously vinegared it before sitting down to eat. Turnip greens aren't any better than collards for the structural integrity of a sandwich, so it had started falling apart even before I sat down. Get a fork.  A big bite of the reassembled sandwich and my thoughts were as follows: "Wow, these turnip greens are excellent." "This is very soft corn pone." "Why do I need the fatback again?"

The vinegar wasn't very hot but went well on the turnip greens -- either they were incredibly fresh or someone has the secret for perfect greens cooking. The corn pone was a little sweet and softer than I'm used to having. (How I'm used to having it: fried to a perfect scorch in an iron skillet.) The fatback provided a little flavor but it was unnecessary, and overwhelmed the taste of the greens a bit. I had a couple bites, then took it out of the sandwich and put it aside.

You'll never be able to claim this sandwich is a healthy choice: the fried corn pone takes care of that. But it's certainly healthier with the fatback out. My recommendation: order it sans fatback, put some vinegar in it, get a cold Coke from another booth (Archie's sells Pepsi products) take it back behind the flower exhibit area, and enjoy the music and your lunch.


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  • the people May 24, 2010

    wow,not enough time given to say much!!!!! on here???? about turnips howdy !!!!!!!!!!

  • jnewman833 May 23, 2010

    Got a call from my son in NYC this morning. He had seen news on Archie's Turnip Green Sandwich all the way to NYC and wanted me to go try it....especially since I'm from Henderson originally. Wow....news travels fast!

  • accoghill May 22, 2010

    Hi, This Is Archie from Archie's. Thanks to all the got to be NC vistors that gave truful comments to the TURNIP SALAD SANDWICH. I have worked on the sandwich for months to get it just right. I hope to do more festivals...if you have any suggestions or would like to see me at, please be sure to post an let me know.

    Thank's Archie.

  • Ksw1 May 22, 2010

    Just returned from the Got to be NC festival and have to report - THESE TURNIP GREEN SANDWICHES were a Hit! I never thought eating a Turnip Green sandwich would be possible, but these folks have a hit on their hands! Had a chance to meet the owner "Archie" and discovered that he and his family are from the Henderson area! Nice folks with a great product. I think they should change the name of the entire festival to be "Got to Be NC - With Archie's Turnip Greens"! Be sure and try this if you go!!

  • lolly May 22, 2010

    "order it sans fatback, put some vinegar in it, get a cold Coke from another booth (Archie's sells Pepsi products) take it back behind the flower exhibit area, and enjoy the music and your lunch. "

    I agree about Coke!

  • ceatman May 22, 2010

    Interesting article except for the unfortunate and unnecessary remark about Pepsi which which started in New Bern, NC. Remember, "Got to be" NC.

  • buckykatt020998 May 22, 2010

    Mmmmm. I would so eat that. But leave the vinegar off.