North Carolina has a rich and unique culinary history, one that can be traced back hundreds of years. German-speaking members of the Moravian brethren came to North Carolina in 1753, bringing their cuisine with them. They were especially known for their sweet foods, perfect for holiday gatherings. Today, sugar cakes, scotch cakes and even chocolate drops are made from recipes passed down over the centuries. (foodtimeline.org)
Savory foods also hold a plate of honor in the state. A major player on the barbecue scene, North Carolina barbecue connoisseurs can (and do!) get into heated arguments over which sauce is better. Native Americans are believed to have passed the art of barbecue on to those who originally settled in the state. Barbecue has been prevalent in North Carolina for so long that William Byrd of Virginia wrote about the practice in the early 1700s. (ncmuseumofhistory.org)
But what about quenching the thirst all that barbecue can stir up? North Carolina is home to over 100 wineries and vineyards, as well as plenty of other brews. In fact, Asheville is often called "Beer City USA." No matter your culinary taste, it's safe to say there is a unique libation to wash it all down. (visitnc.com)
The tradition of food in North Carolina is so strong that it has been legally recognized with edible state symbols. Strawberries and blueberries, scuppernong grapes, sweet potatoes and even Southern Appalachian Brook Trout have all been declared by law as symbols of the state. (foodtimeline.org)
The famous flavors of North Carolina
When it comes to foods that have put North Carolina on the map over the past century, there is no shortage of sweet and savory. North Carolina is home to the original Krispy Kreme, founded in Winston-Salem. Launched in 1937 with a dozen doughnuts for a quarter, Krispy Kreme is now a publicly traded company operating in 22 countries, producing over a million doughnuts a day.
Want something spicy? Texas Pete Hot Sauce isn't from Texas, and it wasn't even created by a man named Pete. It came to life in 1929 in Winston-Salem from an old family recipe. Originally made in batches on a home cookstove, the condiment is now heating up dishes all over the globe. (visitnc.com)
North Carolina is where you can find Cheerwine, a soft drink often called the "Nectar of the Tarheels," as well as the original Hardee's restaurant and famous Mt. Olive Pickles. But when it comes to name recognition, none surpasses a product known all over the world: Pepsi-Cola.
Created in a tiny New Bern drugstore in 1898, Pepsi-Cola was a fountain drink mean to promote digestion and boost energy. Pharmacist Caleb Bradham knew he had a winner on his hands as the drink increased dramatically in popularity and he couldn't keep up with demand. In 1902, Pepsi-Cola was officially declared a company, and that little drugstore concoction from New Bern eventually became one of today's most recognizable brands. (visitnc.com, 2013)
Learn to cook in North Carolina
With such a rich history of dinnertime goodness, it makes sense that culinary schools in North Carolina could offer up educational options for all things edible. No matter which culinary school a chef attends, experience also matters. North Carolina dining establishments include award-winning restaurants, with dishes ranging from pan-Asian to Southern treats and seafood. (visitnc.com)
From the crashing surf of the outer banks to quiet mountaintop retreats, North Carolina hosts over 17,000 restaurants that employ about 411,800 residents -- that's a full 10 percent of the state's workforce. By 2023, the North Carolina restaurant industry is expected to add another 55,600 jobs for those with culinary expertise. (restaurant.org, 2011)
North Carolina's varied history of good eats might mean exposure to everything from world-renowned barbecue to the sweets that have become a state staple. For individuals seeking a creative career path or a way to enhance the originality of foods prepared at home, culinary schools in North Carolina can offer a delicious education.
Barbecue: Still Smoking After 300 Years, North Carolina Museum of History 2007, http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/S07.barbecue.pdf
Krispy Kreme, http://www.krispykreme.com
Famous NC Flavors, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development 2013, http://www.visitnc.com/journeys/highlights/famous-nc-flavors
The Moravian Story, City of Winston-Salem, http://www.cityofws.org/Home/Departments/RecreationAndParks/BethabaraPark/AboutBethabara/Articles/TheMoravianStory
North Carolina, Food Time Line http://www.foodtimeline.org/statefoods.html#northcarolina
North Carolina's Famous Foods, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development 2011, http://www.visitnc.com/journeys/articles/famous-nc-flavors/1/north-carolina-s-famous-foods
North Carolina Restaurant Industry at a Glance, National Restaurant Association, 2013, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/northcarolina
Welcome to the Pepsi Store!, http://www.pepsistore.com/
For information on Culinary Schools in North Carolina, please visit any school below and request more information.