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Ark of TasteArk of Taste

This catalog lists all of the varied and wonderful foods in the USA that are currently on the Ark of Taste.

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Foods are listed alphabetically by the most common name used for them. In some cases the scientific name and other common names can be found in the full description of an item.

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Foods on the Ark have strong cultural and regional connections. Search your region to find which items have a history where you live.

Southeast

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland

American Butternut

Juglans cinerea

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Also labeled the White Walnut, the American Butternut, is a long-lived, slow-growing, shade tree that is a member of the Walnut family. This tree grows along the eastern US where the climate is just right for it to produce a sweet and buttery-flavored nut with an incredibly high protein value. ...

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American Chestnut

Castanea dentata

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Nearly a century ago, the American Chestnut tree was ubiquitous among the hilly slopes of the eastern US. So grand in stature?often towering near 100 feet?and successful in procreation, it was estimated that one if four trees in the Appalachian forests was an American Chestnut. The nut from...

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American Milking Devon Cattle

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In 1623 the first Milking Devon were brought to Massachusetts from North Devonshire, England. In England, these cattle were highly valued for their production of both high quality beef and rich milk used in Devonshire cream. In additon, they had a reputation as being very hardy and able to...

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American Paddlefish

Polyodon spathula

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The American Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) is a paddlefish native to the Mississippi River system. It is a primitive cartilaginous fish that has remained unchanged for some 300 million years; it is closely related to sturgeon.

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American Persimmon

Diospyros virginiana

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Used by American Indians, African Americans and early European settlers, wild Persimmons are a distinctively American fruit. American Indians mixed Persimmon pulp, corn meal, and ground acorns to make breads and thick soups. African Americans used Persimmons to make sweet pudding, candy, and...

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American Spice Bush

Lindera benzoin

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The American Spice Bush is a flowering plant native to Eastern North America; from the Atlantic to Kansas, northern Florida to Ontario. It is historically prevalent in the Ohio Valley. The plant consists of a small deciduous tree or shrub, up to 16 feet tall, found in the understory of moist thickets and forests. The plant gives a small fruit, a red berry-like drupe, boasting a pronounced, especially spicy flavor.

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Amish Pie Squash

Curcurbita Maxima

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This squash, which is also referred to by its Latin name, Curcurbita maxima, was obtained by James Robinson from Amish gardeners in the mountains of Maryland. The oval shaped and slightly pointed squash measures up to five inches thick and can weigh up to 60-80 pounds.



The Amish Pie...

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Apios Americana

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The pods can be steamed and prepared as any shelled bean, which was the form savored by the Cherokee. Alternately, they were roasted, boiled, dried and ground into a thickening powder for stews. According to forager Hank Shaw, “At first taste, they are remarkably close to floury potatoes like Russets. The tuber is a little drier than a potato, quite a bit sweeter — but nothing like a sweet potato. There is a wholesomeness to the flavor, perhaps betokening the abundance of protein contained (3 times that of a standard crop potato).”

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Arkansas Black Apple

Malus domestica v. Arkansas Black

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The Arkansas Black Apple is highly aromatic and has a sweet-tart flavor. Thought to be a seedling of the winesap, Arkansas Black Apples were extremely popular in the 1800s, and remain a delicacy for chefs around the country today.

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Atlantic Sturgeon

Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus

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“The Atlantic sturgeon is a long-lived, estuarine dependent, anadromous fish. Atlantic sturgeon can grow to approximately 14 feet (4.3 m) long and can weigh up to 800 lbs (370 kg). They are bluish-black or olive brown dorsally (on their back) with paler sides and a white belly. They have five major rows of dermal "scutes". They are distinguished by armor-like plates and a long protruding snout that is ventrally located, with four barbels crossing in front.

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Bay Scallop

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The geographical range of the bay scallop is from Cape Cod south along the Atlantic Coast and then throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Bay scallops are harvested commercially with drags from small boats during the season, which usually lasts from November to March. Fresh local bay scallops are...

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Belle of Georgia Peach

Prunus persica

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Described simply as “a classic white-fleshed peach, firm of texture yet succulent, with a honeyed sweetness”, it’s easy to understand why from year to year, Georgian residents looked forward to the two weeks in August when peach trees ripened and bore large, luminously white peaches with regal crimson sun-kissed cheeks.  Who, young or old, could resist flocking to orchards to pick and eat the fresh fruit?

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Benne Oil

Sesamum indicum

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A luscious and aromatic oil for salads or frying, this was the premier oil of the Southern US until it was replaced by less flavorful alternatives that were better suited to industrial production.

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Black Turkey

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The Black turkey originated in Europe as a direct descendant of the Mexican turkeys carried home with explorers in the 1500s. Black colored turkeys became popular in Spain where they were known as “Black Spanish,” and in England, especially in the Norfolk region where they were known as “Norfolk...

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Bourbon Red Turkey

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The Bourbon Red turkey, also known as the Bourbon Butternut or Kentucky Red, was named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the Bluegrass Region, where it originated. This variety was developed from the Buff, an historic variety of turkey known in the Mid-Atlantic States. It resulted from stocks...

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Bradford Watermelon

Citrullus lanatus v. Bradford 1

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One of the three oldest surviving North American watermelons, the Bradford Watermelon came into existence in the 1840s and 1850s in Sumter, SC bred by Nathaniel Napoleon Bradford (1809-1882).

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Burford Pear

Pyrus communis

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Slightly more round than the traditional pyriform “pear-shape”, the Burford pear has greenish yellow skin that blushes pink as it ripens. The yellowish, crisp interior flesh has a wonderfully refreshing flavor with a nice acidity. It’s flavor and texture is similar to an Asian pear but without...

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Candy Roaster Squash

Cucurbita maxima v. candy roaster

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The Candy Roaster is a squash variety traditionally bred by the Cherokee, in present day North Carolina.  It is known for its sweet, unique flavor, which is the reasoning behind its name.

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Cape May Salt Oyster

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The town of Cape May was once filled with large heaps of shells bleached white by the sun and its port was lined with long buildings facing the water. Oysters once streamed out of here: they were collected in barrels, loaded onto trucks and dispatched to Philadelphia. The shells are all that...

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Carolina African Runner Peanut

Arachis hypogaea v. carolina african

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The Carolina African Runner Peanut was the foundation variety grown in the south, introduced in the 17th century into the southeastern colonies of British America from the West of Africa. As the ur-peanut of the United States, every culinary preparation of the peanut was first attempted and enjoyed using the Carolina African Runner Peanut. The last commercial crops of this peanut probably date from the late 1920s.

The Carolina African Runner Peanut was harvested for the first time in a half a century on November 26, 2013 at the Clemson Coastal Research Station south of Charleston, South Carolina.

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Carolina Gold Rice

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Carolina Gold Rice, a long grain rice, was the basis of the colonial and antebellum economy of Carolina and Georgia. Considered the grandfather of long grain rice in the Americas, Carolina Gold (which emanated from Africa and Indonesia) became a commercial staple grain in the coastal lands of...

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Cayuga Duck

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According to local lore, the Cayuga Duck is a breed developed from a pair of wild ducks that a miller caught on his mill pond in 1809. The miller was reported to have pinioned the birds’ wings so they could not fly away and they promptly settled into life on his pond in Duchess County, New York....

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Chiltepin Pepper

Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum

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As the only wild native chile to the US, the Chiltepin is sometimes called the "mother of all peppers.” Known by many names—Chiltepin, Chile Tepin, Chile del Monte, Chillipiquin, a'al kokoli (O'odham), Chiltepictl (Nahuatl), Amash (Mayan)—the Chiltepin is widely used throughout the...

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Coontie (Florida Arrowroot)

Zamia floridana

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Coontie is a slow growing cycad, typically reaching 2-4’ in height with a 3-5’ spread. The root can be harvested and processed for starch but the caudex (the woody part of the stem and root) is poisonous if not processed properly...

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Cotton Patch Goose

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Once commonplace on farms in the southeastern U.S., the Cotton Patch is a breed of goose that gets its name from the job it performed. These geese were used to weed cotton and corn fields up until the 1950s. Cotton Patch geese are typically remembered in the rural south for helping many farmers...

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Creole Cream Cheese

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Whether eaten as a part of a meal savory or sweet, Creole Cream Cheese is a celebrated part of the New Orleans culinary tradition that dates back 150 years to the region’s first French settlers. This cheese is similar to Neufchatel and other fresh farmhouse style cheeses with a taste somewhere...

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Dancy Tangerine

Citrus Tangerina v. Dancy

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This acidic, richly flavored fruit is the original tangerine.

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Datil Pepper

Capsicum chinense

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Most visitors to St. Augustine, Florida have never heard of St. Augustine’s most beloved treasure, the Datil pepper, but it has been the centerpiece of Old Florida cuisine since the 1800s. The plant typically grows to be around one to two and a half feet tall and bears elongated yellow/orange...

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Delaware Chicken

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The Delaware Chicken is a dual purpose chicken that produces good meat and eggs. In 1940, George Ellis oringinally produced this chicken calling it the Indian River Chicken. This almost entirely white bird was once one of the most popular broiler chickens in its area. Starting in the late...

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Djena Lee’s Golden Girl Tomato

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

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Djena Lee’s Golden Girl tomato is a large golden orange fruit with a semi-thick skin. This tomato was developed by Djena (pronounced "Zshena") Lee, who was part Native American and the daughter of Minnesota financier Jim Lee. It was grown in the 1920s, given to Reverand Morrow when he was 15,...

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Dominique Chicken

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While the Dominique chicken breed looks similar to the Plymouth Rock breed—both have black and white barring over the entire body—the former is a moderate sized bird with a distinguishing rose comb (the comb is flat and flower-like). The Dominique’s heavy plumage protects the bird in...

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Fairfax Strawberry

Fragraria x Ananassa v.Fairfax

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Widely regarded as the best tasting strawberry produced in the United States during the first half of the 20th century, the Fairfax was juicy, mildly subacid, with a luscious mouth-filling sweetness. The low acid made them ideal freezing berries.

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Fish Pepper

Capsicum annuum

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This pepper is an African-American heirloom that predates the 1870s; the Fish Pepper is bright in color and crunchy, with a hot and bold flavor. In the late 1800s, the Fish Pepper was widely grown in the Philadelphia and Baltimore area.

Fish Pepper plants have beautiful green and white...

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Florida Cracker Cattle

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The Florida Cracker is one of the oldest cattle breeds in the United States. The bred is a descendant from Spanish cattle that was brought to the New World beginning in the early 1500s and is known as a criollo breed because of its European origin. Through natural selction, the Florida Cracker...

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Gallberry Honey

Ilex Glabra

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Gallberry honey is sourced from a small evergreen holly bush (also known as inkberry) that grows along the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast and produces a unique honey that is popular throughout the piney woods and swamps of southeast Florida.



It is desirable for the rich, elegant taste and is...

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Green Striped Cushaw

cucurbita mixta

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The Green Striped Cushaw (cucurbita mixta) is technically a winter squash though in the American South, it also produces a spring harvest. A crookneck squash from the family Cucurbitaceae,...

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Groundnut Cake

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Groundnut cakes were an iconic street candy from the 1830s to the 1930s in Charleston, South Carolina. They were sold for one penny a piece and the traditional cakes were made with molasses, roasted peanuts, brown sugar, and butter. During this time period, the Groundnut Cake and the women who sold them were a quintessential part of Charleston life

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Gulf Coast Sheep

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Gulf Coast sheep are descendents of Spanish flocks of sheep that were brought to the New World by explorers and settlers in the 1500’s. The Spanish sheep in the Southeast were shaped primarily by natural selection, gradually becoming adapted to the heat and humidity of the environment. Spanish...

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Handmade Filé

Sassafras albidum

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Handmade Filé , which is also known as Gumbo Filé and Filé Powder, is a powder made from the leaves of the Sassafras Tree. The Choctaw Indians of Louisiana are believed to be the first users of sassafras, a type of laurel tree native to North America. The tender leaves of the Sassafras were...

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Hanson Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

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Hanson Lettuce, a variety of Curled India lettuce, was imported into Maryland in 1800 and there improved by the Hanson family. In 1870 Colonel George Hanson conveyed the lettuce seed to the Henry Dreer Seed Company of Philadelphia, which made it a nationally significant variety. Here is how George Hansen described the lettuce himself...

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Harrison Cider Apple

Malus pumila

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Photo courtesy of Ben Watson
The Harrison apple originated in Essex County, New Jersey in the early 19th century and was grown extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern United States until about 1900. The early fruit writer William Coxe described the Harrison as the “the most...

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Hatcher Mango

Mangifera indica, cv. ‘Hatcher

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The Hatcher mango is a cultivar unique to South Florida. The variety is very prolific and yields unusually large, blemish-free fruits that can weigh 2-3 pounds or more. The fruit has a beautiful skin: pale green shading to yellow, with a bright orange-red flush; the seed inside is small compared...

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Hayman Sweet Potato

Ipomoea batas v. Hayman

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In 1856, while trading coffee from Brazil and fruit from the West Indies to Elizabeth City, N.C., Captain Dan Hayman purchased a supply of sweet potatoes at one of the West Indian Islands.  A Methodist clergyman visiting the ship in Elizabeth City was attracted by the fine appearance of the potato; he obtained a few and propagated them along the Atlantic coast.

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Hewes Crab Apple

Malus augustafolia

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A cross between North America’s native wild crab apple and an undetermined European variety, the Hewes first appeared in northern Virginia in the first quarter of the 18th century. From the beginning, the Hewes Crab Apple’s value as a cider crab was recognized and celebrated...

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Hog Island Fig

Ficus carica v. Hog Island

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The Hog Island fig is notable for the rich complexity of its flavor profile. Fully ripe, it presents itself with an intense floral favor that yields to an earthy sweetness. The Hog Island fig remains a culinary link to the geography and history of the Hog Island, Virginia community.

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Hog Island Sheep

Ovis aries

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Hog Island Sheep, native to coastal Virginia, are distinguished by their hardiness, maternal ability, and ability to forage, a result of free range living for nearly 100 years.

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Hoover Apples

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The Hoover is large in size with a roundish, slightly conical shape. This heirloom variety has a striking appearance since the skin is composed of two shades of intense, dark red (sometimes making the skin appear black). The skin is also covered with large dots. The Hoover has yellowish flesh which is fairly juicy with a slightly acidic flavor.

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Hua Moa Banana

Musa spp. (known in Hawaii as Maia popoulu Hua Moa, which translates to “chicken egg,” referring to its rounded shape. Marketed widely as the “Hawaiiyano”)

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The Hua Moa is a delicious creamy-tasting banana with unusually large, picturesque fruit. It has a rich Polynesian background and was very important to the peoples of those islands.

After being brought to Florida, the Hua Moa became a staple in the kitchens of many Latinos in the Miami area...

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Indian Blood Peach

Prunus persica

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The Indian Blood Peach is an Old World fruit that was brought over to Mexico by the Spanish in the 1500s. Over the course of a century, the fruit spread up into the southeastern United States and was grown by native tribes such as the Cherokees and the Creeks. Blood Peach as a highly recommended canning fruit because of its preservation ability, consistency, and hardy taste...

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Ivis White Cream Sweet Potato

Ipomoea Batatas

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Even though sweet potatoes are usually thought of as southern crop, the Ivis White Cream sweet potato is produced in the northern parts of the US from upstate New York and Maine to the rainy Washington coast?all areas where growing sweet potatoes was previously thought impossible. The potato...

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Java Chicken

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The Java is considered the second oldest breed of chicken developed in America. Its ancestors were reputed to have come from the Far East, possibly from the isle of Java. Sources differ on the time of origin of the Java. But they were known to be in existence in America sometime between 1835 and...

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Jimmy Red Corn

Zea mays indentata

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A native of South Carolina, Jimmy Red Corn is an open-pollinated dent corn whose kernels appear yellow while in the milk stage, like many standard varieties of field corn, but upon maturing and drying, turn a deep red color.

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Kentucky Limestone Bibb Lettuce

Lactuca Sativa v.Capitata Limestone Bibb

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Kentucky Limestone Bibb is a rich green butterhead lettuce with loose soft, smooth leaves and a lighter yellowish heart, at times self-blanching. Somewhat smaller than the Boston lettuce, Kentucky Limestone Bibb belongs to the family of Silesian leaf lettuces that also gave rise to Butterhead lettuces.

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Kleckley Watermelon

Citrullus lanatus v. Kleckley Sweet

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This iconic watermelon has all the classic traits you would look for: deep red flesh, oblong and large at an average of 25 pounds, and a taste that is sweet as honey, but far from cloying, with a pleasant minerality adding to its complexity.

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Landrace Red Creole Onion

Allium cepa v. Red Creole

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With a clear, spicy-sweet flavor of medium heat, this onion develops a sweet, mellow flavor when caramelized. It is considered by many in the south to be the ideal onion for incorporation with peppers and celery in composite dishes and stews.

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Louisiana Heritage Strawberries

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The Klondike, Daybreak, Headliner, and Tangi strawberries are all varieties that were traditionally cultivated in Louisiana. These heritage varieties have a higher sugar content than typical commercial strawberries. In southern Louisiana, particularly in the southeastern parishes of Tangipahoa...

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Louisiana Mirliton

Traditional Louisana Heirloom Mirliton: Sechium edule (aka choco, guisquile, vegetable pear)

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Food advocates fight to keep this Caribbean-native staple of Gulf Coast cuisine alive, in the post-Katrina landscape

Nearly lost in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita, the traditional Louisiana mirliton has been a key ingredient in Creole and Cajun signature dishes (such as shrimp-stuffed...

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Louisiana Oyster

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The Louisiana oyster belongs to the American oyster family. It is larger than the European oyster, with rough and heavy shells that are generally a grayish color. This species range is throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The Louisiana oyster can be eaten in different ways: for many people, they are...

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Louisiana Satsuma

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The Louisiana Satsuma was imported from Japan in the early 1800’s and immediately adapted by the populace with it’s easily separated sections of sweet, brilliant orange fruit and easy to peel, mottled green & yellow skin.

The name, Satsuma, was created by the wife of the US Minister to Japan,...

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Mayflower Bean

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The Mayflower arrived in the US in the 1620s, bringing with it the Mayflower bean. After its initial introduction to the Americas, the bean was widely circulated among the people of the Carolina region of the country. The Mayflower plant has short pods that hold the small, square shaped beans....

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Mayhaw Jelly and Syrup

Crataegus aestivalis, C. opaca, C . rufula

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The mayhaw is an indigenous fruit native to the lower Southern states of the United States that is made in to a uniquely flavored jelly or syrup ranging in color for yellow to pink to red.

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Mississippi Silver Hull Bean-Crowder Cowpeas

Vigna unguiculata

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The Mississippi Silver Hull bean is a variety of Crowder pea that is intimately connected with the culture of the American South. Cowpeas originated in the Niger River Basin of West Africa and were then brought to America during colonial times, at which point they became a staple food across...

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Moon & Stars Watermelon

Citrullus lanatus

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Common names include: Cherokee Moon and Stars, Long Milky Way Moon and Stars, Moon and Stars, Pink Flesh Amish Moon and Stars, Sun, Van Doren’s Moon and Stars, Yellow Flesh Moon and Stars

A magical melon, the dark green and yellow speckled skin of the Moon and Stars watermelon evokes a living...

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Mulefoot Hog

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The Mulefoot Hog is an American breed that descended from the hogs that the Spanish brought to Florida and the Gulf Coast in the 1500s. The most distinctive feature of the Mulefoot hog is the solid hoof, which resembles that of a mule. It was bred to have a solid hoof rather than the typical...

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Nancy Hall Sweet Potato

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During the 19th century in the American Southeast, sweet potatoes provided the bread and butter for those people who could not afford bread and better. The potato was so valued it could be found in a myriad of food products ranging from beer to bread.

Photo courtesy of Maveric Heritage Ranch...

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Native Chinquapin

Castanea pumila

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Chinquapins have a single nut in the burr, unlike chestnuts that have nut divisions. The chinquapin tree is excellent for fresh eating, roasting, or for wildlife food. The size of the edible nut is compared to an acorn or hazelnut.

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New Orleans Daube Glacé

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Encasing meat in jelly was a popular form of food preservation in the era before refrigeration. New Orleans Daube Glacé is a relic of this era. The Daube Glacé is made from a round roast of meat (usually beef) that is braised with various seasonings and gelatinous substances. This creation is...

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New Orleans French Bread

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This thin-crusted variety of French Bread—more commonly known as the Baguette, Po' Boy Loaf or Sunday Cap Bread—is fundamental to the New Orleans gastronomy. Each version of the French bread is slightly different. The baguette is the traditional 18-inch loaf that is served in many New...

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Newtown Pippin Apple

Malus pumila

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(a.k.a. Green Newtown Pippin)


The Newtown Pippin apple, native to what is now the borough of Queens in the City of New York, is a late-harvested, medium-large, flattish round, green-skinned, yellow-tinged, slightly russetted apple with a remarkably balanced tart/sweet flavor and an aroma...

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Norton Grape

Vitis aestivalis

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The Norton grape is the oldest cultivated American grape. Dr. D.N. Norton of Richmond, Virginia first grew the hybrid in 1820 and produced wines through the late 1800s. During this time period, Norton wines were highly valued in both the US and Europe.

Today, farming of the Norton grape is...

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Orange Oxheart Tomato

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

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The Orange Oxheart tomato is a family heirloom from the Virginias region of the US. This fruit has a deep orange skin paired with dense orange flesh. It is heart-shaped and can grow to a large size, often weighing in at one pound or more. The meat of the tomato is dense with a rich aroma....

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Ossabaw Island Hog

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In the 1500’s Spanish explorers brought a population of pigs to the Americas. These pigs became the foundation population for both domestic and feral pigs, in the southern United States. One of these important and unusual breeds is the Ossabaw, which is a feral breed found on Ossabaw Island,...

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Pantin Mamey Sapote

Pouteria sapota

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A unique, tropical tree fruit with an interior texture that is both creamy and sweet, the vibrant salmon-colored flesh of the ‘Pantin’ mamey sapote is unlike anything most people have ever tasted. The flavor is a combination of sweet potato and pumpkin with undertones of almond, chocolate,...

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Pawpaw

Asimina triloba

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Though the pawpaw is generally unknown to the American public, it is the largest edible fruit native to the US. The fruit is indigenous to 26 states from northern Florida to Maine and west to Nebraska. Fossil records indicate that the papaw’s forebears established themselves in North America...

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Pilgrim Goose

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The Pilgrim Goose is thought to have come to America with the pilgrims and then named in the early 20th century by a Missouri farmer. It is a unique bird in that the sex of the bird can be distinguished by color; this is known as auto-sexing. Even when young the birds can be distinguished, as...

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Pineywoods Cattle

Bos taurus primigenius

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One of the earliest breeds of cattle in US history, the Pineywoods, has currently dwindled to less than 200 hardy individuals. The Pineywoods is a rugged breed that—because of its history—is well adapted to the humid South. They are descendants of the first criollo cattle brought from...

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Plymouth Rock Chicken

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As a hardy, docile, broody and excellent producer of both meat and eggs, which it lays year-round, the Plymouth Rock Chicken is a quintessential American breed. This bird was developed in the mid-19th century as a dual-purpose chicken. The chicken has yellow skin and lays eggs that are...

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Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane

Saccharum officinarum, v.Purple Ribbon

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Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane was the predominant crop cane for refined sugar and cane syrup in the United States from 1820 to 1910, and gets its name from its distinctive purple hue.

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Purple Straw Wheat

Triticum aestivum v. Purple Straw

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Purple Straw Wheat is one of the great heirloom wheats of the Southeast, predating the founding of the United States. When it is milled, it produces soft flour with a low gluten content. This makes it a wonderful flour to use for pastries, pie crusts, pancakes, and gravies because it produces delicate baked goods.

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Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

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a.k.a. Mortgage Lifter, Halladay Mortgage Lifter

This tomato was developed by M.C. Byles (went by Charlie) of Logan, West Virgina in the 1930s. Charlie owned a radiator repair shop and had no plant breeding experience - this tomato was the only breeding work he ever did. Charlie took 10...

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Randall Cattle

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The Randall or Randall Lineback cow is a purebred remnant of lineback-patterned cattle once common in New England. Though the origins of the breed are not clear, it is likely to have originated in New England from a combination of Dutch, English and French cattle. Historically, they were...

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Red Wattle Hog

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The Red Wattle hog is a large, red hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function. The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known. One theory is that the...

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Roman Taffy Candy

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Roman Taffy Candy was originally passed to the Sicilians from the Phoenicians. In the 1890s this confection was produced and sold in New Orleans by Sam Cortese, the original Roman Taffy Man. Sam’s business was predominately selling fruits and vegetables from a goat-drawn cart, until the...

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Royal Palm Turkey

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The Royal Palm Turkey is active, thrifty, an excellent forager, and good flyer. The standard weights for these turkeys are 16 pounds for young toms and 10 pounds for young hens. Royal Palms play a valuable role on small farms, both as a producer of meat and controller of insects.

The Royal Palm...

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Sea Island Red Peas

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The first professional rice farmers to engage in colonial rice production in the Sea Islands just South of Charleston were Italian canal engineers from the Sea Islands near Venice. These engineers were employed to develop the complex bay systems that made Carolina rice cultivation possible...

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Sea Island White Flint Corn

Zea maise

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For 300 years prior to European arrival, Sea Island White Flint Corn was a Native American crop that thrived in the Sea Islands of the South, especially South Carolina and Georgia. It is a landrace variety with high-density starch in its kernels, a tall habit of growth, and great drought and insect tolerance. Corn comes in many classes of plant shape, ear shape, and kernel shape and hardness...

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Seashore Black Rye

Secale cereale v. black seed

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With a rich, nutty flavor when milled, the Seashore Black Rye is less bitter than white rye varieties. Historically, the plant has had a plethora of employments: as a cover crop, a forage crop for livestock, windbreak, and for flour milling. In the southern coastal regions, rye went into a number of characteristic preparations, such as: rye coffee, wafers, cakes, bread, bread pudding, whiskey, and beer.

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Seminole Pumpkin

chassa howitska (Cucurbita moschata)

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The Seminole Pumpkin is an important product for the Miccosukee, or Creek people and the Seminole people. The Miccosukee name for this product is “chassa howitska” meaning “hanging pumpkin”.

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Seven Top Turnip

Brassica rapa L. subsp. septiceps v. Seven Top

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Sumptuous both raw and cooked, the Seven Top has long been the standard by which turnip greens have been measured in the American South. The greens are singularly rich in micronutrients.The young greens (from 35 to 45 days growth) are favored in salads, providing a piquancy to the greens — not so sharp as mustard, but more peppery that cos lettuce, cress, and pepper grass. In southern cookery it was particularly favored in wilted salads, in which hot bacon grease and salt are poured over the fresh, washed greens.

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Slate Turkey

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The Slate or Blue Slate Turkey variety is named for its color, which is solid to ashy blue over the entire body, with or without a few black flecks. It is also called the Blue or Lavender Turkey. Hens are lighter in hue than the toms. The head, throat, and wattles are red to bluish white. The...

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Sourwood Honey

Oxydendrum arboreum

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Most honey is made by bees. But sourwood is made by bees and angels. – Carson Brewer, writer



Sourwood honey is so rare that a good crop sometimes only surfaces once every decade. Yet, its deep, spicy flavor makes it sought after by honey connoisseurs everywhere. The honey’s scarcity can...

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Southern Louisiana Hog’s Head Cheese

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Hog’s Head Cheese is a misnomer as it is a preserved meat product and not really a cheese. Also known as ‘souse,' Hog’s Head Cheese was originally made by virtually every butcher in Southern Louisiana. This meat product is made from a mixture of boiled pork scraps and pigs'...

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Southern Louisiana Ponce

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Ponce is typical from Southern Louisiana as it is little known outside the region and it’s certainly a Cajun food tradition. The southern Louisiana Ponce is a kind of sausage made by fresh pork, spices, rice, and vegetables sewn up inside a pig’s stomach and baked or steamed for several hours....

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Southern Louisiana Traditional Tasso

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Tasso is a lean cut of pork, the length of a pig’s arm, which is smoked all day long over a pecan, oak or hickory-wood fire. This dish is a reincarnation of the French, ?Tasseau,' a heavily spiced, jerked pork. Tasso meat is intensely flavored with spices as a tool of preservation and is used...

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St. Croix Sheep

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a.k.a. Virgin Island White Sheep, White Virgin Islander sheep, White Virgin Island sheep


An American sheep breed, the St. Croix is part of the Caribbean Hair sheep family of breeds. Caribbean Hair sheep were developed from the hair sheep of West Africa and a few European wooled sheep that were...

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Stowell's Evergreen Sweet Corn

Zea mais v. Stowell’s Evergreen

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For a century—until the Rhode brothers released Silver Queen Corn in 1956—it was the favorite white sweet corn variety in the United States. Two eight to nine-inch cobs, with 16 to 20 rows of longish kernels, grew on stalks seven to seven and a half feet tall. Depending on conditions the variety took 80 to 90 days to mature. A late crop corn, it could produce ears into early October. Its name “evergreen” came from its ability to maintain a fresh “green corn” taste in the field longer than virtually any other 19th-century variety.

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Tennessee Fainting Goat

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The goats of this breed have a host of names: Myotonic, Tennessee Fainting, Tennessee Meat, Texas Wooden Leg, Stiff, Nervous, and Scare goats. The names refer to a breed characteristic known as myotonia congenita, a condition in which the muscle cells experience prolonged contraction when the...

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The American Rabbit

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The American Rabbit population is restricted to North America. Though it was developed in California, the rabbit quickly spread across the country and was a popular meat and fur rabbit up until the 1950s. It is now the rarest of rabbit breeds in America. Though originally known as the German...

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The Silver Fox Rabbit

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The Silver Fox Rabbit is truly a multi-purposed breed whose genetic make-up has never been divulged. Today it is critically endangered with fewer than fifty annual North American registrations and there is a global population of less than 500.

The bucks can weight up to eleven pounds and does...

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Traditional Cane Syrup

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In an effort to save his frozen crop of sugarcane, in 1910 Mr. C. S. Steen, of Southern Louisiana, started collecting sugarcane juice to create syrup. Cane syrup is an aromatic syrup perfect for drizzling over hot biscuits or pancakes. It is also used as a sweetener for baked goods, as a meat...

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Traditional Sorghum Syrup

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In 1853, sweet sorghum - a native African grass - was introduced to the US with the hopes of reducing reliance on imported cane sugars. This drought-resistant, heat tolerant member of the grass family is grown today in 26 states, and mostly in the southeastern and gulf states.

Sorghum syrup is a...

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Tunis Sheep

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In 1799, the Tunis sheep’s ancestors arrived in the United States from North Africa. These sheep are often described as “fat-tailed,” and “barbary” and were highly regarded by a slew of prominent Americans such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Judge Richard Peters, and George Washington....

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Tupelo Honey

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Tupelo honey is produced when honeybees collect nectar from the blossoms of the white Ogeechee tupelo (Nyssa ogeche) tree. These trees are distributed along the borders of rivers, swamps, and ponds that are frequently inundated, mainly in the remote wetlands of Georgia and Florida. Tupelo honey...

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Turkey Craw Bean

Phaseolus Vulgaris

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An heirloom from the southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, the original seed is said to come from a turkey’s craw brought home by a hunter who is thought to have been an African American slave in the 1800s.

The Turkey Craw bean is typically a pole bean. It is a heavy...

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White African Sorghum

Sorghum bicolor

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White African Sorghum was introduced to the USA in the mid-1850s by sugar planter Leonard Wray from Natal, South Africa, where the plant was originally domesticated. It is a tall, leafy cereal grass that somewhat resembles a corn stalk, with a strong central shaft and large opposing lanceolate and folded leaves...

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White Velvet Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus v. white velvet

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This variety of okra have a sleek, fuzzy “velvet” texture, a “white” body color that ranges from pale yellow to white and no spines, thorns, or ridges. These okra are hardy and grow well in the South; Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia are the crop’s native home and local people eat the them in a variety of forms including in stews and gumbos, fried, canned, and raw.

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Wild Catfish

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As recently as the 1970’s, Americans?particularly Southerners?ate only wild catfish from both salt and fresh waters. The proliferation of farm raised catfish and their promotion led most Americans to believe that the farm-raised product was cleaner and therefore better. Today there are only a...

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Wild Gulf Coast Shrimp

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The wild gulf coast shrimp are wild-caught--or free-range?from the Gulf Coast of the US, where they naturally exist. They can be distinguished into white shrimp, brown and pink shrimp. These shrimp are all warm water species recognized for their sweet taste, firm texture, crunchy meat. Aside...

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Wild Ramps

Allium tricoccum

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Wild ramp, is a wild onion with a pungent garlic odor and leek/onion flavor. It is found in Eastern North America from South Carolina to Canada.

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Wilson Popenoe Avocado

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Unlike most oily commercial varieties, the Popenoe avocado is lighter, enormous (up to a pound each), has a shiny green skin and grows well in humid sub-tropical and tropical areas. The football shaped Popenoe is described as firmer, creamier and juicier than the Haas avocado.



The Popenoe...

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Wine Vinegar, Orleans Method

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Though scientific advances have made large-scale production of vinegars fast and easy, it is the handcrafted Orleans method that allows for the most full-bodied and nutrient-rich wine vinegars. This rare artisanal technique originated nearly 200 years ago in France. The transformation of fruit...

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Yates Apple

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The Yates Apple originated in 1844 in Fayette County, Georgia, an area that is now home to many orchards. They are traditionally used in ciders or desserts, and are often called Red Warrior Apples in the south.

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Yellow Cabbage Collard

Brassica oleracea v. Yellow Cabbage

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Originating in Asheville, North Carolina in 1880, the Yellow Cabbage Collard has been cultivated in the state of North Carolina since its origin.

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