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Around the world in 50 states

5-Tennessee

By Proud ViM ProductionsPublished 28 days ago Updated 27 days ago 4 min read
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Dallee and Canva Cobbled

Dallee Generated

As you’ve probably come to realise us at ViM are over sharers! Community is in our collective hearts - what better way to connect and learn more about the world we inhabit that through food? Sharing cuisine is at the heart of family occasions; traditional celebrations feature in our memories as we grow into our lives and create new ones. A fondness for a grandmother’s dish. A moment of realisation. Love. Food represents us all in one way or another. Across cultures, the power of chicken soup to soothe the soul sums up the concept of togetherness for us; a metaphorical ladle of hope in a world that can be both confusing and chaotic.

The USA is the most famous and well-known melting pot in the world - where various cultures, despite what the news might have you believe, live side by side. Food has a profound ability to speak across borders, to bring people together - as well as to offer insight into the beauty of different cultures.

Next stop in the cultural whirlwind, Tennessee, nicknamed 'The Volunteer State' for its historic willingness to step up in times of war.

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This week we were lucky to have recruited a wonderful volunteer to take us through some of the states most beloved delicacies, a special feature from our fabulous, talented friend R.O.C.K. If you haven't already, check out their interview with us here:

Photo by Courtney Musselman

Above, a welcoming view from the Cumberland River which sets the mood for a lovely sunset stroll through Tennessee's capital, Nashville, known as "Music City USA".

When folks think of Tennessee, many minds go straight to country music, however it has been the foundation and inspiration for centuries in Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Rock-n- Roll as well as Gospel. In fact, The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is one of the most renowned in the USA. With Elvis' former home, Graceland and of course the living legend, Dolly Parton it is true, Tennessee is a state rich in musical history, brimming with artists from a wide array of genres.

Memphis, home of the Blues is known for its soul food, Beale Street and a deep connection with the beginnings of this nation’s Civil rights Movement.

Photo by JR Harris

Literary greats are many, here's one that might surprise ya'll! The choices are many; I chose to share a bit about James Agee born in Knoxville, Tennessee in the early 1900's whose life unfortunately was short-lived due to alcoholism. Despite his self-destructive behaviors his award-winning contributions impacted generations of artists and famous personalities from theatre to politics. His early novel, "A Death in the Family" is one of my personal favorites although his collections of poetry are considered a vital part of any writer's treasury of inspiration. The "Collected Short Prose of James Agee" I highly recommend. Knoxville which is in north-eastern Tennessee is a vibrant city with easy access to day hikes as approximately seventy miles of the Appalachian Trail travails through the surrounding mountain chain.

Photo by Francisco J. Villena

This beautiful, diverse state has not one but three state flowers, the Coneflower, an indigenous wildflower, the Iris, a well-known cultivated bloom, and according to the World Atlas, the Ococee, or more prominently known as the passion flower which was first named by Native Americans and later Christian missionaries renamed it as it resembled the symbols of Jesus crucifixion.

Food and drink are a huge part of Tennessee's livelihood, sense of community and historical narrative. One can't mention Tennessee without noting Jack Daniel's Distillery!

Photo by Alex Perez

For a sweet treat, here is a recipe which calls for Jack Daniel's that my mother used to make on holidays; alcohol loses its potency in cooking so you can eat and drive! While trying the following recipes, here's a tune by one of my favourites, Chris Stapleton.

Here is a link to a Tennessee favorite, featuring red-eye gravy and ham to serve before this decadent pie!

WHISKEY CHESS PIE

Canva Cobbled

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

3 TBS Jack Daniels Black Label sour mash bourbon (or other sour mash bourbon)

1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup)

1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

Combine the above ingredients; pour into pie shell. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes @ 325 degrees.

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Thank you so much Rock! We can't wait to try out your recipe!

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You can also catch up with Mother Combs and Celia Underland on their respective profiles on Vocal.

Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are always welcomed. What food represents your state? Are you from or have you experienced the delight of California cuisine? Share your munch memories in the comments below - we'd love to hear from you!

And don't forget to give us a little heart and hit subscribe to make us do our happy dance!

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Note: Queer Vocal Voices is only accepting members of the LGBTQ+ community at the moment, we will open up to allies in time!

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About the Creator

Proud ViM Productions

Alone, we are letters floating in the wind. Combined, we are an Opus. We hold community in our core, "We all rise when we lift each other up"

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Comments (4)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran27 days ago

    Oooo, this was so fascinating! I don't drink so maybe I can substitute the JD with something else hehehe.

  • Thank you for this trip through Tennesse , lots of interesting thing shere

  • Cathy holmes27 days ago

    This is fascinating. Colour me educated. As the pie, sounds interesting. I'd give it a go.

  • ROCK 27 days ago

    There is so much to write about and as someone who loves history and research, this was like thin ice on a bottomless lake. Tennessee first earned the nickname, "The Volunteer State" during the Spanish- American war when more volunteers from Tennessee joined than any other region. It is a controversial nickname as it also coincides with the Civil War when the south fought hard to keep their heinous traditions. In fact, many have suggested a nickname change. Further, from Appalachia to the Mississippi River, Tennessee is as diverse topographically as it is socio-politically. So much food to share; I chose something that is for meat eaters, however, for me farm to table vegetables frequently sold on the side of the road by local farmers are the best, My childhood favourite was a juicy tomato and mayonnaise sandwich with salt and black pepper. The most wretched memory, seeing pickled pig's feet in a jar. When I visit, I love lower Broadway in Nashville where a good Bloody Mary at Tootsie's Orchard Lounge in the afternoon makes the rest of the day much more pleasant, lol. ( I hate football, but for you fans, GO TITANS!) And yes, Taylor Swift's main home is there, as well as Nickie Kidman's and Keith Urban's.

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