Got to be NC Festival

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This month marks the start of my project, ‘Discovering North Carolina.’ Last weekend I had the opportunity to experience a ‘state-fair’ like festival held in Wake County, the Got to be NC Festival. This three day event had everything from carnival rides and antique tractor pulls to John Deere Ice Cream Makers, a Food, Wine & Beer Expo and a North Carolina local bluegrass band competition.

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My focus of attending this festival was not only to enjoy the sunshine and listen to some traditional live bluegrass music, but I was hoping to speak with anyone who might be from Wake, Forsyth or Buncombe County who was selling a local food/product in which I could learn a little more about their particular unique food culture and heritage. (see ‘Discovering North Carolina’ page for project details.) While I was strolling in the Food, Wine & Beer Expo I came across a booth from Old Salem Museums & Gardens, featuring the renowned Moravian Cookies from Forsyth County, NC.

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The two men who were tending the booth were both very knowledgeable and were able to tell me a brief but detailed summary of the history of the Moravian settlers. Topics we discussed included not only the history of the ever so famous Moravian cookies, but the mathematical origin of the Moravian Christmas star, traditional dishes such as the veggie-less chicken pie, and a potato and yeast bread known as Moravian sugar cake. Next to a couple cookbooks that were for sale was a gem of a book entitled ‘Preserving the Past – Salem Moravians’ Receipts & Rituals’. This book of “receipts contains a variety of topics ranging from 18th and 19th century etiquette notes to medicinal remedies to brief recipe descriptions for veggies, breads, meats, sweets and more. According to the author, this book is the first ever published recipe collection from the 250-year-old Moravian Archives in Old Salem. I immediately purchased a copy for myself as I felt this was a great find and productive start in researching Forsyth County.

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Overall my experience at the ‘Got to be NC Festival’ was enjoyable and a success. Even though I didn’t partake of any fried Oreos or corn dogs, I did indulge in a chocolate chip cookie from a Triangle (and Wake County) favorite, La Farm Bakery. This festival had something for everyone and exhibited the past and present culture of North Carolina in food, music and agriculture. Stay tuned and check back often as I continue with my series of ‘Discovering North Carolina’!

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Read more about my ‘Discovering North Carolina’ project here.
Food for thought: What is your favorite food or restaurant in Wake County, NC? I’d love to hear!

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4 thoughts on “Got to be NC Festival

  1. The Moravian cookbook/history book is a wonderful find! Are lemon or chocolate tarts noted? In addition to the items you mentioned, I recall these as Moravian standard fare…you best be working out with weights to have the strength to roll thin Moravian cookies!!!

    • Yes! 2 recipes listed. Lemon tarts are noted as Citron Tarts…here is an excerpt from the page: “When there were a number of old German people still living in Salem, citron tarts, which are distinctively Salem tarts, were so-called because they were always flavored with lemon and the German word for lemons is ‘citronen'”. I’ll be working on my bicep curls 🙂

  2. Pingback: Forsyth County: Moravian Sugar Cake | The Gastronome's Table

  3. Pingback: Got to be NC Festival is THIS WEEKEND! | The Gastronome's Table

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