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NC Regional Snacks?

So, some friends and I are driving around North Carolina and the northeast tip of Georgia in a few weeks. We have our meals pretty much set in stone, but between those meals we'll need to eat. You know - fuel for a long drive, or salty snacks to have handy around 1AM when the bourbon's running low. Anything special I should keep my eyes open for? I have no idea what I'm even aiming for here, but if anyone knows what I'm talking about, please help me out.

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  1. Mmmm, bourbon and fried pork skins. Nothin could be finer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: peetoteeto

      Find a country store with gallon jars filled with Penrose pickled red weenies, pickled boiled eggs, and various pickled pig parts and buy samples of each. The fried pork skins will add some needed texture and the bourbon will add bravery.

    2. I don't know how many actual North Carolinians snack on this, but I'm right fond of Neese's Liver Pudding . . . I generally fry it up a little & eat it on toast or something, but I bet you could just as easily slice it & eat it on crackers.


      3 Replies
        1. re: cackalackie

          It is, only instead of feeding the grain to the pigs while they're alive, they wait until they're dead, and just mix the cereal meal in with the liver . . .

          1. re: rossgrady

            Eek! I think I'll stick to boiled peanuts... ;)

      1. a pig in a pup... that's if you are in Kinston, NC

        1. Snacks for driving around....nabs. My grandparents always have a pack of nabs handy in the dashboard of their car. Oh, and it has to be the cheesy cracker peanut butter variety. You could wash that down with a bottle of Cheerwine.

          For something sweet and if in Winston, I'd stop at Dewey's Bakery and get some sugarcake.

          3 Replies
          1. re: marshmallow78

            Yes! Dewey's sugarcake. I believe it is even "Moravian" so it is technically a cultural experience. We always have it on Christmas morning but butter and brown sugar are delicious any time of day . . .

            1. re: dubedo

              Or get a B+G fried pie. Not a good as my memeory recalls but good none the less. I second the cheerwine or may be a Sundrop or a Blenheim. If it's a nab then toastchee(peanut butter and cheddar cheese cracker) or nekot(peanut butter and a cookie).

              1. re: quazi

                Oh yes...B&G pies are a W-S classic!

            1. re: Hushpuppy

              Yes! Preferably purchased from a guy standing next to a giant cauldron in the back of a really beat-up pickup truck in a gravel pull-out on a twisty mountain road. Crooked hand-painted sign, of course.

                1. not generally considered a snack, but you'll be here during ramp season. i do know people who snack on them; just be sure everyone in the car does so.

                  1. goobers (boiled peanuts), squirrel nut zippers (more sweet than salty but still worth checking out)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: batdown

                      Second the recommendation for boiled peanuts. However, I've not found a place in NC that boils them right!

                      1. re: Chow Penguin

                        I've bought some great boiled peanuts from various stands and shops along the highway on the way to the Outer Banks from the Triangle. Once in a while they're not soft enough for my taste, but usually they're just right.

                        1. re: statolith

                          Thanks for all the great recommendations, everyone! Needless to say, my mouth was already watering (I am an unrecalcitrant lover of the flesh of pigs), but I am very excited by many of these suggestions. I had forgotten that this was Cheerwine's native soil; there used to be a tobacconist that sold it in glass bottles in Dallas, so I'm a big fan of the stuff, but I haven't had it in years, and never in the proper setting.

                          What, if I may ask, does one look for in a properly goobered goober (aside from its mountain pickup truck lineage)? They should be soft?!? What else?

                          1. re: ratatosk

                            Well, it may be easier to tell you what to avoid . . . down at Oak Island NC, there's a pretty good produce stand that used to sell decent boiled peanuts, but recently they started stocking the shelves with big ol' gallon cans of boiled peanuts, and the quality of the peanuts in the crock pot (most places with electricity will just keep a skanky crockpot going nonstop with brine that has probably never been fully changed out, just replenished as needed) took a nosedive.

                            So keep a careful eye out for open peanut cans, or the preferred converse, bags of raw peanuts. You can't boil peanuts without opening some bags of raw peanuts.

                            Otherwise, yes, softness, although personal preference comes to bear at this point. The thing about a boiled peanut is that it actually can come to resemble a blackeyed pea, both in taste and consistency.

                            I think the ideal boiled peanut has a shell that has retained enough of its firmness to not fall to pieces all over your hands, but is soft enough to pop open when you squeeze it. Likewise, the peanuts should retain their individual shapes nestled there in the shell, but then should sorta melt away in your mouth once you start chewing.

                            They're boiled in brine, so a certain level of saltiness is to be expected and desired. There may be mysterious scum in the pot, due to peanuts popping open & then disintegrating; there may also be an alarming black tinge to some of the shells. This can all be safely ignored and/or reveled in, since we're talking about a mixture that's ideally hot and briny enough to kill just about anything.

                            The classical mode for dispensing boiled peanuts is a plastic bag inside a paper sack, but nowadays you're often likely to find them in a ziploc bag in a cooler, ready for sale. They're better hot, but can be readily eaten at any temp.

                            Once you become attuned to the existence of boiled peanuts, you will begin to notice the canned ones everywhere, in grocery & convenience stores. Do not be tempted.

                            1. re: rossgrady

                              This thread begs a question: Where can one find raw peanuts in the Triangle to boil up a cauldren of one's own? I've only gotten them from a farmer near my grandparents in SC, never from up here and never in a store.

                              I've never noticed them at the Carrboro farmers market or at local grocery.

                      1. Moonpies! A pack of salted peanuts and a bottle (glass) of Pepsi - (pour peanuts in Pepsi -enjoy). and if you're game potted meat on crackers or vienna sausages (with saltines).

                        1 Reply
                        1. To drink: Sundrop - icy cold and in a glass bottle, if you can get it. Nectar. Of. The. Gods.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: kim shook

                            You can find Sundrop in a glass bottle? How about Cheerwine?

                            1. re: blewgo

                              i just had cheerwine in a tall glass bottle not to long ago at a farmstand on the way to the beach however I have no idea where to get it either locally (triangle) or over the net... if anyone knows you would be my hero!

                              1. re: jean9

                                The Food Lion and Walmart here in Salisbury I feel sure carry the Cheerwine in bottles. You might want to check those out if there is one near you.

                                1. re: Tanglebriar

                                  I think that it depends on the bottler how Cheerwine is packaged. We have a vintage 50's pepsi machine and wanted bottles to stock it. Ended up picking a few cases of Cheerwine and Squirt from a bottler by the cost. The only place we found for glass pepsi bottles was maxican markets.

                                  1. re: chazzer

                                    I have looked in the local food lions, HT, and about every other grocery store I can think of and they all sell the cans of cheerwine not the bottles so maybe next time i am near the beach i will check local grocery stores and bring some back

                                    1. re: jean9

                                      Fresh Market regularly has 8oz glass bottles of Coke. It tastes better in glass.

                                      It looks like several old fashioned soft drings are available via the net.

                                      "Price: $9.99
                                      This is 6(six)- 12oz glass longneck bottles. Avaliable in Sundrop, Sunkist Orange, Nehi Peach, A&W Rootbeer, 7UP, Cheerwine, and RC Cola. These great drinks are make with real cane Sugar. ***SORRY NOT AVALIABLE IN CA***"


                                      1. re: blewgo

                                        You forgot the $7.35 shipping. I am not one to say anything about overspending on soft drinks (having had cane suger Dr. Pepper shipped to me from Dublin Tx).

                                        1. re: chazzer

                                          I probably wouldn't pay $10 for six soft drinks either. The link was more to show that soft drinks are still being bottled in glass.

                                          1. re: blewgo

                                            thanks for the link... i think i will continue with an on the ground search as i am heading to the coast next weekend and can hit a couple of grocery stores on the way without the shipping charge!!

                                            1. re: jean9

                                              Bleinheim Ginger Ale.

                                              In Burlington - get an Alamance County cheese dog - Bun with mustard, chili, onions, and cheese (no meat). Can't really find this anywhere else.

                                              1. re: jean9

                                                I found bottles of sun drop, bleinheim ginger ale, cheerwine and diet cheerwine, grape soda etc at the state farmers market this weekend. They were in the building by the seafood restaraunt and were being sold for a dollar either packed in ice or warm.

                                                1. re: jean9

                                                  Thanks for the tip. I'm drinking a Cheerwine made with real sugar from a glass bottle as I type this.

                            2. I'm from South Carolina, and they definitely know how to do boiled peanuts right down there. I clearly remember walking around Carter-Finley Stadium at an NC State game in Raleigh looking for boiled peanuts (a staple at football games at my alma mater, the University of South Carolina), and having everyone look at me like I was crazy. North Carolinians just don't eat as many boiled peanuts as their neighbors to the south - I'd recommend dipping down into SC or looking in Georgia for good peanuts.

                              And props to whomever mentioned the hand-lettered sign - no one with a professionally made sign has good goobers! :-)

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Suzy Q

                                I'm from the western part of the state but now live near the coast. I had never had a boiled peanunt until I moved down here. So, I think it's mainly an eastern thing in NC. My husband's grandmother boils her own peanuts as a special treat--they are fantastic!

                                1. re: marshmallow78

                                  I grew up near Greenville, SC, and we used to be able to get them on the side of the road up near Caesar's Head (along with vast quantities of fudge), which is on highway 276 just south of the NC border. So yes, it may be something the OP needs to look for before leaving north Georgia, or maybe a detour into SC is in order . . .

                                  1. re: rossgrady

                                    I remembered a couple of others - hot apple cider around Chimney Rock/Bat Cave and homemade "zagnuts" candy at a stand just outside Blowing Rock on Hwy 321. Both of these were awesome.

                                    1. re: steveindurham

                                      You must have a bottle of Pepsi with a sleeve of peanuts poured inside.
                                      In case you were not aware, Pepsi was "Born in the Carolinas" (http://www.greenvillepepsi.com/frames...). It is more tasty than it sounds.

                                    2. re: rossgrady

                                      Boiled peanuts spotted in the triangle. I just drove by an old pickup with a hand lettered sign on Farrington Road between Lystra and the lake.

                                      1. re: blewgo

                                        Too bad the map was cropped by the posting software.

                                2. How about an rc cola and moon pie combo? Saw this sold together in a recent country drive....(check pic)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bethd127

                                    Sundrop is now making different variety. i recommend the cherry sundrop. it's delicious!