Today was our first day at our first Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium. We’re spending the night tonight in the beautiful Alluvian hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi, after an absolutely perfect evening.
We’ve seen great sites like the factory floor of the Viking Refrigeration Systems facility and the memorabilia from the early days of the Viking Corporation at their corporate office. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that time tomorrow will allow a tour of the range assembly line. Yeah, we want a Viking kitchen now.
We’ve had really great food with the promise of more tomorrow. Dinner this evening was provided by Donald Link of Cochon and Herbsaint in New Orleans and the Viking Culinary Center. We dined on a pig, gumbo, baked sweet potatoes, greens and fried apple and chocolate pies. Everything was delicious, but the pig was amazing. Imagine, if you will, a pig with no bones, the body wrapped into a roll with herbs and garlic and slow roasted in a La Caja China roasting box until the meat is meltingly tender and the skin has become crisp and succulent cracklins. That’s what we had, and it was every bit as fabulous as it sounds.
Tomorrow morning we’ll get to enjoy the bacon, ham, and ponce that we watched Bruce Aidells make in the Viking training kitchen from a side of young pig. As a pre-dinner snack, we had some great local cheese and Garretson Wines while we enjoyed a talk by author John Hailman about his book, Thomas Jefferson on Wine.
We’ve met wonderful people. Like all SFA events, the people are what make this so special. Everyone here is here because they love food, Southern food in particular. This is Southern hospitality at it’s best.
Good food, good company and good times. We can’t wait until tomorrow.