This rich and diverse history of Tennessee food would then be explored by the Pennsylvania State Museum including its new exhibition, Let’s Eat! Beginnings as well as Emergence of various of Tennessee Food, that will open on August 9, 2019, just at Tennessee State Museum’s Bicentennial Capitol Retail Park location in Nashville and run until February 2, 2020.
An exhibition’s curator claims that “no matter how it’s prepared, the cuisine in Tennessee and the rest of the southern U.S is a fusion of East Indian, West European, and West African cultures.” “The cuisine of Tennessee and the southern U.S is a blending of ethnic groups from South India, West Europe, and West Africa. Foreign-born recent arrivals give ideas for new taste in Tennessee cuisine, that continues to grow.”
The exhibition will be divided into eight sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the state’s culinary heritage, from its Southeastern Indian origins to contemporary food festival celebrations. Digital narrative, graphics, and location photography, as well as items from the National Gallery of Art, all contribute to the overall impact of the show. Major contribution to the exhibition were made by Harvard researchers Laura Randall and Fred Sauceman as well as by East Tennessee State University’s David Trapp.
“The Three Sisters” begins by depicting Southeastern Indians of the Woodland Cultural Period cultivating their crops. Beans, maize, & squash were known to as “three sisters” because they were cultivated together. Included here are the importance of strawberries and corn in Native American traditions, as well a history of Tennessee’s strawberry festivals as well as Lodge Cast Iron’s headquarters and the United Nations Cornbread Fest in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. The “Buckle of Barbecue Belt” programme includes a study of the influence of West European food on Tennessee cuisine, including visits to Fairway Bbq, Memphis in May, as well as the Kosher BBQ Fest.
West African cuisine and enslaved food at the Hermitage are discussed in “A Love for Spices,” and so are their effects on the country. The Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville and the Four-Way Southern Food Restaurant in Memphis, and other local businesses, will be accessible to visitors.
Tennesseans have come together around table for picnics and barbecues, but it has also functioned as a site where people have been divided, according to DeHart. Certain African American women and men were required to cook in the homes of middle- and top white families for years after enslavement and Jim Crow laws limited their employment possibilities. This is how much of Tennessee’s cuisine has evolved.
“Making Do” looks at some of the dishes that emerged as a consequence of Tennesseans being compelled to feed their children with both the resources that were available in their kitchens just at time. There are traces of their lives and accomplishments in a lot of the meals we eat today. There will be discussion about Florentine Mathai and pounded biscuits, ramp festivals honouring the wild stinking ramp, Pat’s Café in Selmer’s “slugburgers,” and legendary fermenter Sandor Katz. Through the exhibition “Cooking for Others,” visitors to the Tennessee State Museum may learn about renowned chefs Melinda Wilson & Rufus Estes, but also boarding home owner Mary Bobo.
The “evolutions” component of the show’s slogan is well-illustrated by the exhibition’s emphasis on the impact of immigration. The “Immigration and Tennessee Food” area of the Museum brings visitors to various key venues in Tennessee, such as Gruetli’s Swiss Colonial power, Maryland’s Hola Vez Latina Festival, Memphis’ World Wide Café, Varallo’s Chili, and Nashville’s En una Américas Communitarian Kitchen.
Swampy Pond Sorghum, Benton’s Smoky Hillside Country Hams, Helen’s Barbecue, Boyette’s Dining Table, Vegan Soy Dairy & Publishing at the Farm and Cruze Farms Buttermilk are among the farms and restaurants included in the exhibit “Conserving Tennessee Food Traditions.”
Museum visitors will end their voyage through time with a look at some of the state’s best food festivals.