Corn will be the featured food for the popular “Best in the West” recipe competition this year at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day.
An important part of the landscape, lore and diet of the southern Appalachian region for centuries, from the Cherokee to the early European settlers, corn remains a vital food source into the 21st century.
The 42nd annual Mountain Heritage Day is Saturday, Sept. 24, on the WCU campus. A free, family-oriented festival that celebrates Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and culture, the daylong event includes concerts, living history demonstrations, competitions and awards programs.
“The recipe does not have to be original, but the food entry must be made from scratch and must include corn,” said Pam Millard, office manager with the Mountain Heritage Center and an event organizer. “Corn was ― and is ― a staple, used in bread and beverage, for ‘man and beast’ and an essential part of sustenance and the local economy. It is an excellent choice for a theme to base our recipe contest on this year.”
In addition to the “Best in the West” corn recipe contest, the traditional food competition includes categories for canned goods, baked goods and heritage foods conservation. Competition is divided into adult and youth (16 and younger) divisions. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three entrants in each age category, plus a grand champion will be selected in each division.
“Best in the West” corn recipe entries must be dropped off at WCU before noon on Friday, Sept. 23, with judging taking place that afternoon. All items will be displayed the next day at Mountain Heritage Day.
For more information or to request a copy of “A Gathering in Traditional Food Competition” booklet, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.