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digital_sandlapper

Preserving our sense of place - S.C.

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I agree with you about the roadside farmers markets. I get almost all my veggies and fruits fresh from the Cayce farmer's market on the Charlestoon highway. The prices are low and the food is far better than what you get in the store.

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I grew up walking with my cousin down the dirt road from the house he and my grandmother lived at to the local produce stand, so I know the benefits (in cost and otherwise) of buying local. I'm glad that more and more restaurants are beginning to use to local farmers for produce.

As far as other intangibles, I'm not really sure. Too often when subjects like this are brought up, it's basically assumed to be a defiant call to "stay Southern" (which can mean different things to different people).

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There was an article about this recently in the Observer. One of my favorite things about Charlotte is that they often cover both Carolinas. Basicly it said that local food is becoming more popular at the national level. Even local food producers that get too large are being shunned. I don't think its going anywhere. If anything, we're going to be seeing more of it.

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I grew up walking with my cousin down the dirt road from the house he and my grandmother lived at to the local produce stand, so I know the benefits (in cost and otherwise) of buying local. I'm glad that more and more restaurants are beginning to use to local farmers for produce.

As far as other intangibles, I'm not really sure. Too often when subjects like this are brought up, it's basically assumed to be a defiant call to "stay Southern" (which can mean different things to different people).

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There was an article about this recently in the Observer. One of my favorite things about Charlotte is that they often cover both Carolinas. Basicly it said that local food is becoming more popular at the national level. Even local food producers that get too large are being shunned. I don't think its going anywhere. If anything, we're going to be seeing more of it.

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Krazee, every place should preserve their unique cultural identity. To not do so would be to become Anywhere, U.S.A. (or Earth). When we consider moving to another place, or visiting it, we want to "do as they do in Rome", do as the locals do, right? I don't see our place as any less worthy--so that is not defiance, but self-preservation. These are the things that we all share, no matter our social status, race, creed, sexual orientation, etc. Especially in this day and age of global economy, 24-hour media, the internet, and chain stores on every strip in the land, we need our local customs to carry on.

C'mon, I know you can think of another uniquely S.C. tradition that is also worthy of celebrating and/or perpetuating. Let's get this discussion going--don't throw water on it!

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I agree with you digital_sandlapper. It's important that we do keep our identity. That's why people come here and visit, or move here. They like what they see, experience, etc. I think it is important to pick what we preserve wisely, and let others go. Like was mentioned in the begining of the discussion, mostly with laws, it is important that we change and evolve, but I think it can and should be done so wisely, in a way to not hinder ourselves, but retain certain things.

Though I'm struggling to really think of something that's unique to SC. Maybe because I've lived here all my life. I'm sure an outsider could easily name something that really creates that sense of place one may feel while in the state... I'll continue thinking

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Spartan, help me understand your last few statements:

Local food is becoming more popular, but if they get too large they get shunned?

You don't think what is going anywhere, local food's popularity?

I believe the article you refer to must have been positive about this trend. Here is a link to a cool website promoting this exciting "new" trend to return to more locally grown food: http://www.slowfoodusa.org/

Here is a local organization doing the same: http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/

And one also promoting locally harvested seafood: http://www.ediblelowcountry.com/

And one that promotes Southern foodways, another of the intangibles no one has mentioned yet: http://www.southernfoodways.com/

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One problem with local food (or any regional characteristic) gaining national exposure & resulting in duplication, is that it tends to refabricate into something completely different. We've seen it on various scales, Seattle's grunge scene was replicated nationally & turned the regional music scene into a paradoy & speaking of culinary topics - the food of New Orleans has been recreated into something it is not, 'cajun' (rather than creole). And not to mention 'mexican' food, or southwestern.

There is a restaurant here in Boulder, & despite how pleased I am to have southern / soul food here, the place itself losses the regional aspects of the south & turns everything into a generic 'southern' food. Case in point, the place is called Lulu's Low Country Kitchen. But it is not specifically a Charleston themed restaurant at all, the chef (who is talented & has family from Mississippi) is not from SC. They do have shrimp & grits, but otherwise the food varies from Memphis to New Orleans & includes basic southern staples like corn bread, fried chicken & collard greens.

Ok - this post may have been off topic, but it's just a fyi. It did annoy me that the term 'Low Country' was stripped of it's SC identity & used as a generic term for 'the south'.

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Yes, the article was quite positive. The "negative" so to speak was that if locally produced food became too large, in some instances people stopped buying it because it became exactly what they were trying to avoid. Ironic. I think that locally produced food is going to become more popular.

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Krazee, every place should preserve their unique cultural identity. To not do so would be to become Anywhere, U.S.A. (or Earth). When we consider moving to another place, or visiting it, we want to "do as they do in Rome", do as the locals do, right? I don't see our place as any less worthy--so that is not defiance, but self-preservation. These are the things that we all share, no matter our social status, race, creed, sexual orientation, etc. Especially in this day and age of global economy, 24-hour media, the internet, and chain stores on every strip in the land, we need our local customs to carry on.

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To a certain extent, it becomes hard to preserve certain customs when they are essentially tied to a way of life (rural) that is rapidly changing. You should read some of the comments from Charlotte and Raleigh locals and natives about how rapid growth is changing the historic character of their cities. I think it's unrealistic to think that transplants are going to drop everything connected to their former cities and pick up every local custom in their new communities.

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^Very true. But at the same time, I think we should realize that manners and courteousness aren't the exclusive domain of the South. I've run across some really rude people in the South, and some of the most mannerable in the North and West. I remember when I visited my friend out in Los Angeles when he was first moving into his apartment complex. Two of his neighbors, whom he had only known for a few days, actually cooked for us and invited us into their homes, and they were natives of New York and Los Angeles. Ask me if that's ever happened to me in Rock Hill? ;)

But I think it's generally recognized that strangers are more likely to just say "hello" to each other in the South. That's one thing that I do keep hearing.

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Yes, the article was quite positive. The "negative" so to speak was that if locally produced food became too large, in some instances people stopped buying it because it became exactly what they were trying to avoid. Ironic. I think that locally produced food is going to become more popular.

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Case in point- the Hub City Farmer's Market is adding another day and an additional location at the top of the rail trail. Link

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In this day and age I think it is though to maintain a sense of cultural identity. Most cities outside the NE and Mid-West are fast turing into anytown/cookie cutter USA, and even in some of those areas the sub-urbs look like that too.

It's a though question to answer because for so long most things "southern" has always left a black eye. There are soo many wounds to heal in the region. In the "new south" a lot of time and energy has been put into erasing the stigma of the south. Concepts of "look we are not like the rest of the south we are better than them", and looking for validation from those outside of the region (usually "northerners").

For me I would definately keep the historic buildings, food, I don't think the southern sub-cultures are in jeporady though.

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Hash and rice is the best. I think that's specific to SC barbeque though, if I'm not mistaken.

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Shrimp & Grits is a classic. Or anything else and grits for that matter. Barbequed meats. Rice was a tradition- but its sort of faded out, though not entirely.

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