It seems like there’s been an explosion local and national food events lately, a trend I am definitely starting to love. Whether it’s a national conference for food bloggers or a farm-to-table dinner held in a community garden, we want to know what’s fresh (in the news and in our produce) and we want to share our food experiences with each other.

Last night I attended a screening of a few documentaries made by Joe York of the Southern Foodways Alliance, as part of Birmingham’s first annual Eat. Drink. Read. Write. Festival. The festival featured chefs, farmers, authors, historians, and policy experts on a wide range of issues—and the response was great. Gone are the days when we never question what’s in our grocery store or how it got there. Now we ask about the land, the livelihood of our growers, and how we can help.

We also take a lot of pride in the culinary culture and traditions of our area. One man’s clambake is another’s whole hog roast, you could say, and both have several diehard fans insisting on the “right way” to do it all. Fittingly, films about the pit masters and cattle ranchers of the south came with a complimentary barbecue dinner.

 What are some food-themed events in your area? How do you celebrate your region’s culinary traditions?   

Experience a little bit of the South with these Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Mustard Sauce or this Clam Chowder, for a New England classic.