Food for Thought: Roadfood

The other day I got an email with some of the sweetest food writing I’ve seen, describing a phenomenon called Nashville Hot Chicken: “These quarters and halves are ferociously seasoned down to the bone; and their crust, which strips off in luxurious patches that are equal measures crunch and chew, glows with red-orange spice. It’s salty but not throat-parching; and the miracle of it is that the flavor of plush chicken imbued with plenty of natural schmaltz (chicken fat) bursts right through the heat. The chicken is so addictive Jane says there should be a 12-step program for it!”

The description is from the Roadfood Newsletter, and you can taste Nashville Hot Chicken along with a number of other Roadfood discoveries December 3 in Washington, DC or December 9 in Atlanta as part of “a food-lover’s dream road trip in a single meal: authentic regional specialties from the best Roadfood restaurants across the USA.

“Ticket price includes the meal, unlimited beer and wine, and a signed copy of Roadfood: The Coast to Coast Guide to 900 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More. Jane and Michael will be sharing stories from the road and leading a conversation among guests about regional food: where and how to find it.”

I was going to just tell you about this event, but their words say it better than I could. The cost is an entirely reasonable $90 plus service fee while tickets last on Eventbrite.

Roadfood is what it implies… reports filed by food loving folks as they ply the backways of America, get hungry, and discover authentic regional fare hidden amongst the Waffle Houses and Cracker Barrels. I have occasionally contributed and often used their discussion boards as a resource, as when I was headed to Binghamton NY and wanted to get the back story on spiedes. Now they’ve branched out into organized tours and these occasional dinners, and I certainly will join one when I have the opportunity. But meanwhile, a free account on their discussion board is your gateway to receiving emails like the one I quoted. Check it out.

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5 Responses to Food for Thought: Roadfood

  1. enough already! says:

    Check out the yearly Nashville hot chicken festival..lots of fun!

  2. enough already! says:

    Was there on a very HOT July 4 several years ago. There were various local venders selling hot chicken as well as other local food trucks. Yazoo beer and other beverages were sold, and it being Nashville, there were local bands playing. A misting tent was available in which to cool down and was much appreciated. Also fun stuff for kids. And a parade. The following, from the website, explains:
    What is Hot Chicken?
    Nashville Hot Chicken is a food unlike any other. It’s not “buffalo” chicken – its HOT chicken. But what makes it Nashville Hot Chicken?

    Nashville Hot Chicken is comprised of three components: bread, chicken and pickle. But it’s not just that simple.

    Bread: Authentic Nashville Hot Chicken uses simple white bread – 1-2 slices placed under the Hot Chicken to absorb the juices and flavor.
    Chicken: While each Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant may have their own secret blend of spices, many note that it’s not just an intense amount of heat that makes it authentic, it’s that heat and flavor. The chicken is fried and coated in these seasonings, most typically in a “dry” sauce – often made with a base of lard or oil. The use of a “wet” sauce (such as Buffalo-style chicken) is NOT Nashville Hot Chicken.
    Pickle: Authentic Nashville Hot Chicken places a few slices of dill pickles atop the cooked chicken. While some folks may want to experiment with bread & butter pickles, this is not the authentic way.

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