Foodways of Appalachia is a signature class offered at East Tennessee State University through the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Appalachian Studies. In 2005, Foodways of Appalachia became the first class of its kind offered in the United States. Meeting weekly in the fall semester, the class examines the culture and cuisine of the South, and asks students to examine why foodways developed in distinct regions throughout the Southern United States. Foodways of Appalachia observes the South through lectures, guest speakers, reports, profile pieces, and an heirloom recipe.
The heirloom recipe is one of the most important aspects into understanding the culture and cuisine of the South. Each student in the class researches a recipe that is unique to his or her family heritage. Researching the recipe allows students to learn family history as well as a hands-on approach to the cuisine of their respective region. The recipes the students have researched became the basis for this cookbook orchestrated by Fred Sauceman, who teaches the course. The cookbook encompasses common recipes such as “City Girl” Fried Chicken as well as less common recipes including Cove Creek Gritty Bread.
Putting Food By includes recipes for beverages, breads, candies, canned items, desserts, gravies, meats, soups, and salads. Putting Food By is work in progress, as the recipes of future students will be added to the collection.