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Special program at Newbern Library will focus on food culture of Alabama, Black Belt

What do fried green tomatoes, Sunday School Punch and Uncle Thump’s Original Barbeque Sauce have in common? They are three of the fourteen foods and beverages that are featured in author Emily Blejwas’ book The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods.

Ms. Blejwas will give a presentation about the book and her extensive research into the traditional food culture of Alabama on Friday evening, October 21, 2022 at the Newbern Library at 6:30 pm.

Light refreshments will be served. Ms. Blejwas is the Executive Director of the Alabama Folklife Association, a non-profit founded in 1980 to preserve and share the rich and varied folklife of Alabama that has been handed down through the generations and continues today.

The Friday evening program kicks off a two-day weekend event in Newbern called “Food for Thought; A journey through food history, culture & taste.” Partnering with the Newbern Library are Black Belt Food Project and Auburn’s Rural Studio to present an event that honors the history of Alabama cuisine and our current food culture in the rural South.

Saturday morning activities beginning at 10:00 am will include a Rural Studio Farm tour, a tasting of spice and herb blends, a food expo with regional producers and food-related organizations, and a seed swap. A special lunch will be prepared by two chefs, Halima Salazar and Sarah Cole, featuring local food inspired by West and North African cuisine and designed to promote informal, open conversation among participants.

All events, including lunch, are free, but reservations are requested: go to blackbeltfoodproject@gmail.com or go by the Newbern Library to register.

This community weekend event is sponsored in part by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Alliance.