Best Americansouth podcasts we could find (Updated April 2019)
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Gravy
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Gravy is a podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance that tells new and complicated stories about the changing American South.
 
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At the FARM Café in Boone, North Carolina, diners can pay $10 for meal—or they can pay nothing. The restaurant, one of dozens of its kind, follows a pay-what-you-can model. Guests can dine regardless of their finances. It's an attempt to address food insecurity. While some have dismissed these restaurants as limited-scale, feel-good attempts to ...…
 
Chefs stage pop-up dinners to tell stories, many of them focused on identity. Whether's it's to highlight African American chefs, develop a platform for Indian American chefs in the South, or focus on Appalachia's food history, the dinners weave identity into the courses. For chefs, pop-up dinners are opportunities to network and build camarade ...…
 
In the United States, home cooked meals with the family are revered almost to the point of fetishization. Dinners are seen as moral imperatives for happy, healthy families. Women, in particular mothers, have been tasked with serving up meals rich with meaning. Yet, as authors Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott write in Pressure Co ...…
 
Legal moonshine—funny as that sounds—has exploded in the South. Instead of on creek banks, it's now produced in gleaming distilleries. But it's the same old stuff: strong, unaged liquor. To sell it, the story is just as important as the hooch. Family-owned distilleries mine their histories to stand out in a market crowded by hillbilly nostalgia ...…
 
Charlotte, North Carolina, has long been a banking town. These days, its dining scene is booming as well. As the city works to rebrand itself as a destination for food and drink, it has to choose which stories to tell in order to sell the place. In highlighting local, chef-driven restaurants, what is gained...and what's lost? Irina Zhorov repor ...…
 
With its vibrant take on Mexican breakfast, Con Huevos restaurant is bringing Louisville, Kentucky, brand-new answers to the question of what to eat for breakfast. Answers like tortas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and poached eggs with chipotle gravy. Con Huevos, which opened in 2015, has quickly become one of the most popular breakfast spots ...…
 
Barbecue purists from the Carolinas to Texas might balk at the notion that Chicago, Illinois, has a barbecue tradition all its own. But owing to the Great Migration, and to a special piece of equipment called the aquarium smoker, reporter-producer Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that Chicago barbecue has evolved into a style unto itself.…
 
Vinegar & Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance, edited by poet Sandra Beasley, is SFA's latest book, available now from University of Georgia Press. In this special episode, you'll hear half a dozen of the poems in the collection, read by their authors. This is just a taste of the fifty-plus poems collected in the volume. Find the co ...…
 
“For me, the hallmark of food in literature, raised to the level of art, is food interacting with character. Food as character. Food doing stuff. Food being stuff. Just as it happens with our flesh and blood, our mouths and our bellies and our memories. The best writers, the better writers, know that food is identity. Food is alive. Food is us. ...…
 
The Swamp Witches, as this group of friends call themselves, have been duck hunting together for nearly 20 years. Men are often surprised to stumble upon a half-dozen women—not in the company of fathers or husbands or brothers—out hunting. In this episode of Gravy, reporter-producer Dana Bialek goes hunting with the Swamp Witches and explores t ...…
 
This week, we bring you Gravy's first foray into fiction. It's a story of macaroni and cheese and maternal love, set in the fictional Canard County, Kentucky. Robert Gipe is the author of the novels Trampoline and Weedeater. He teaches and coordinates the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community College. This is the last episode of o ...…
 
Bars mean different things to different people. For some, they are places to find community and discover new ingredients and flavors. They can serve as a gateway for cultural understanding. A group of bar operators in Houston, Texas, use their establishments as vehicles to foster conversation and educate their guests about our neighbors to the ...…
 
Mine is a slightly funky ancestry: a Colombian mother, a Cuban father, a combination that leads many Latinos to say, “¡Que mezcla tan rara!” But even in saying the phrase myself, it’s clear that neither tongue works comfortably for me. My Spanish is passable, sure, but it is also glaringly self-conscious, mainly because it is a first language t ...…
 
When he was shut out of the industry during the 1980s catfish boom, Scott turned 160 acres of arable farmland into catfish ponds and built a processing plant of concrete and stainless steel atop the bones of an old tractor shed. In doing so, he marched into history. Scott used food as a weapon and a megaphone: feeding civil rights workers, empl ...…
 
When we pour a glass of milk, most of us don’t consider the economics that brought that milk from a cow to our kitchen. Reporter-producer Allison Salerno visited two women, friends and neighbors in southeast Georgia, who both grew up and spent their working lives on dairy farms. One woman watched this spring as auctioneers sold her family's cow ...…
 
Writer Naben Ruthnum compares outsiders' expectations and assumptions about the South Asian diaspora to those about the American South. This week's episode is adapted from a lecture Ruthnum gave at SFA's Taste of the South at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN.
 
Many Muslims in the United States feel the stings of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment on a daily basis. For them, safe public spaces are essential. As many lament the death of the American mall, the International Mall on 8th and York Streets in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, provides a lifeline to thousands of resettled refugees from Som ...…
 
Gravy listeners, we invite you to join us in Lexington, Kentucky, June 21–23, for our annual SFA Summer Symposium. Today, listen to Kentucky poet—and Summer Symposium presenter—Rebecca Gayle Howell reading her poem "What Wealth Is." Visit southernfoodways.org to learn more about the Summer Symposium and to purchase tickets. Tune in on May 17 wh ...…
 
In the early 20th century, an Arkansan real estate developer named C.A. Linebarger had an idea. American was in the throes of the Great Depression, and the worst drought in recorded history gripped the heartland. Times were tough. But like many folks on the Ozark Plateau, Linebarger owned a cave. And like many folks with caves in their possessi ...…
 
While civil rights activists worked in Mississippi in 1964, they encountered a poverty they could never have imagined. People were hungry, starving to death from malnutrition, particularly in the Mississippi Delta. Doctors and medical professionals, including Dr. Jack Geiger, joined together to form the Medical Committee for Human Rights. Geige ...…
 
The hostesses of the Civil Rights Movement: They were school teachers, church ladies, and club women. Their subtle contributions played a vital role in the change that was to come. While others hit the streets, marching, singing protest songs, and risking arrest, these women made their contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in their kitchen ...…
 
By the end of the twentieth century, hog farming had replaced tobacco as the backbone of eastern North Carolina's economy. Today, the hog industry is a source of both contention and pride in the area. In rural Duplin County, the home of Smithfield Foods, hogs outnumber people 40 to 1. Open-air lagoons store massive amounts of hog waste, which i ...…
 
Austin, Texas, calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World. Back in the 1970s, country music mixed with rock-and-roll to create the "Austin sound." Its cradle was the Armadillo World Headquarters, where the so-called hippies and rednecks came together over cold beer, cheap nachos, and cosmic cowboy sounds. Reporter Ryan Katz looks at the h ...…
 
When people think of New Orleans food, jambalayas, gumbos, and beignets usually come to mind. But with the arrival of thousands of Central American and Mexican immigrants after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Latin foods are increasingly present across the city…if you look in the right places. In 2011, Dix Jazz Market, part of a vending space colloq ...…
 
If you want to see the American future, visit Greater Houston, the nation's most diverse major metropolitan area and home to the South's biggest city. Since the 1982 collapse of the oil boom, the city's sprawling and overbuilt subdivisions have attracted newcomers, and their food traditions, from around the world. Reporter Barry Yeoman spent ti ...…
 
When most people sit down to enjoy a pour of whiskey, they aren't thinking about where the grain that it is made with comes from, nor do they think much about how it's produced agriculturally. Though spirits are distilled from wheat, potatoes, rice, and even quinoa, many don’t view the end result as an agricultural product. The discussion about ...…
 
Brunswick, Georgia's The Farmer & The Larder restaurant is forward-facing with its menu, while paying homage to an agricultural legacy that reaches back to days of Reconstruction. Rose Reid reports the story of self-described "CheFarmer" Matthew Raiford's family connection to the land, and how he and his partner, Jovan Sage, navigate a dual ven ...…
 
For Hannah Drake, it all started with a trip to Dakar, Senegal. The author, poet, mother, and native Kentuckian was transformed by the communal experience of simply preparing and eating food with other women. So occasionally she gathers a group of women for dinner. All the women have to do is bring a dish, along with their mother or sister. The ...…
 
When Hurricane Harvey unleashed 30 trillion gallons of rain on Texas last summer, thousands of evacuees and first responders needed to be fed. Restaurants and commercial kitchens were turned into relief operations, and residents hauled their grills to rescue staging grounds. The response was extraordinary. Reporting this episode of Gravy, Barry ...…
 
Historically, African Americans played a central role in the nation’s agriculture system, and, through their labor and know-how on farms and plantations, in the very building of the American economy – particularly in the South. Of course, black people did much of that work in bondage, over more than two hundred years, followed by a century of s ...…
 
Striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar is accepted, even expected. And storytelling is a big part of that engagement. But when it comes to origin stories behind cocktails, Wayne Curtis has noticed a shift in focus over the last ten years. Hand in hand with the recent cocktail revival and the increased professionalization of bartend ...…
 
When you sit down for a meat and three in Montgomery, Alabama, say at the Davis Café, you choose from the menu and you get one plate all for you, but at a Korean table in Montgomery – or anywhere – your plates are all shared. And there are many of them. Meat and six or seven, you might say. Since the Hyundai plant opened in Montgomery in 2005, ...…
 
The American shad were once as plentiful in the water along the east coast as the buffalo were in the west. But after decades of overfishing and pollution, their numbers plummeted and Virginia outlawed commercial fishing of shad in the 1970s. Now, shad are returning to the Chesapeake Bay, due in part to scientists and waterman who have worked o ...…
 
Every Tuesday a group of women gets together at Or Ve Shalom Synagogue in Atlanta to bake hundreds of savory hand-held pies. They're called burekas, from the Turkish word Burek, which means pie. Sephardic Jews trace their heritage to the countries around the Mediterranean including Turkey and medieval Spain; the Spanish Inquisition of 1492 forc ...…
 
This week’s Gravy podcast looks at hostesses of the Civil Rights Movement. They were school teachers, church ladies and club women who were not direct in their assault of segregation, but nonetheless played a vital role in the change that was to come. While others hit the streets, marching, singing protest songs, and risking arrest, these women ...…
 
What happens when a white family in the American South adopts an 11-year-old Chinese girl who’s never eaten a meal other than Chinese in her entire life and has no intention of starting now? Fear and frustration on all sides give way to a solution in this fiery story of creating a family from strangers by cooking Sichuan food. Fongchong steers ...…
 
In the northwestern part of Lexington, Kentucky, just inside the city’s loop road, there is a little bit of Mexico. In all directions, there are signs in Spanish – a bakery, a restaurant, a grocery store, a daycare, a church. And just down the road more of the same, including a bilingual public library. But at the crux of any diaspora is food – ...…
 
How many of us would be lost without our regular coffeeshop? In the age of wifi and telecommuting, cafes have become more than purveyors of lattes and cappuccinos. They’re the office, the community hub, and the conference room as much as the provider of our caffeine fix. And now—are they also a surrogate for the church? In cities and towns acro ...…
 
When you think about Israeli cuisine there are a few things that may come to mind; hummus or shawarma, shakshuka and baba ganoush. What probably doesn’t come to mind is pork. After all, Israel is the self-proclaimed home for Jews in the Middle East. A large portion of the population follows kosher law, which outlaws pork, shellfish, and mixture ...…
 
Thanks to Texan viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson, you should probably think of Texas when you think of that French wine you're drinking. During an agricultural crisis in France in the late 1800's, his tough grafted Texan vines saved the industry from total collapse. And many of the vines in Europe are still growing strong from that rootstock ...…
 
Imagine you’re a young person wanting to be a farmer. If you don’t inherit land from your family, the challenges of finding and affording farmland might make your dream a non-starter. The average farmer in the United States is in her late 50s, and much of this country’s farmland is at risk of development or buy-out for intensive monoculture. In ...…
 
Chicken shawarma might not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of Memphis. This episode of Gravy takes us inside Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill to meet Mahmoud al-Hazaz, who made his home in the U.S. South after being forced to leave his native Syria. Syria shares borders with Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. Those count ...…
 
Striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar is accepted, even expected. And storytelling is a big part of that engagement. But when it comes to origin stories behind cocktails, Wayne Curtis has noticed a shift in focus over the last ten years. Hand in hand with the recent cocktail revival and the increased professionalization of bartend ...…
 
It’s the season for communal meals, like Easter dinners and Passover Seders. In the Mississippi Delta town of Greenville, members of the Hebrew Union Congregation synagogue have been hosting a community meal on the past 130 years. It brings together hundreds of Jews and gentiles from all over the Delta to share a corned beef on rye. In the past ...…
 
Texas: the land of BBQ, breakfast tacos…and of course Tex-Mex. But what if we told you Tex-Mex wasn’t created by a Texan or Mexican, but a German immigrant? On this episode of Gravy, we tell you the story of William Gebhardt, the inventor of chili powder. Gebhardt loved the chili con carne of the streetfood sold in the plazas of San Antonio. He ...…
 
So much of our national culture—food, music, dance—has come from the South. Where would American dance be without Jane Brown? Where would American music be without Robert Johnson, the Delta blues player? Where would American modern food be now if you didn't have grits and fried chicken and biscuits on every menu around the country, from fine di ...…
 
What happens when Korean barbecue goes from suburban strip malls to restaurant rows in cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Memphis? On the latest Gravy, new host (and old SFA director) John T Edge reports from DWJ Korean BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, where kalbi (grilled beef short ribs) is the money dish. Looking back to his grad school days, w ...…
 
For centuries, the bayous and lowlands of coastal Louisiana have fed the Point-au-Chien Indian Tribe. From cattle to crabs, oranges to okra, the fertile landscape provided almost everything they needed to eat. But now, the land is disappearing, and the Point-au-Chien are joining together with other tribes to figure out what to do next. In this ...…
 
If you know and love the Vidalia onion—an onion sweet enough, its fans say, to eat like an apple—you likely also know it as a product of Georgia, as proudly claimed as the peach. But the story of the Vidalia’s popularity is far more complex than just one of a local onion made good. In this episode of Gravy: an onion’s success story, born of cle ...…
 
While civil rights activists worked in Mississippi in 1964, they encountered a poverty they could never have imagined. People were hungry, starving to death from malnutrition, particularly in the Mississippi Delta. Doctors and medical professionals, including Dr. Jack Geiger, joined together to form the Medical Committee for Human Rights. Geige ...…
 
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