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This weekend at NC fairgrounds in Raleigh

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JoanInNC May 25, 2009 08:05 PM

Food opportunities at the Got to Be NC Festival, May 29-31 (Festival admission is FREE):

Vendors selling typical Fair foods (and some that are not so typical).

NC Food Expo, in the Exposition Building. Sample and buy NC food and wines. The website has a list of vendors. Cooking demo stage with recipes and chefs showing how to cook NC foods. Food Expo admission is FREE.

NC Pig Jig. Saturday only, 11-3:00. BBQ contest sponsored by Masons to support two children's homes in Oxford, NC. Teams will cook whole pigs, pork shoulders, and chicken. Pay $10 (free for children under 12) to sample as much as you can hold, then vote for your favorite team.

There's lots more fun that I didn't list here because it isn't all food. Read more about the Festival at www.ncagfest.com .

Festival admission and parking are FREE!

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  1. meatn3 RE: JoanInNC May 27, 2009 10:44 AM

    Thanks for the heads up...sounds good!

    The fair grounds have some nice food opportunities. We went to the Turkish festival this spring. There were cooking demonstrations, local Turkish restaurants and wonderful pastries available.

    1 Reply
    1. re: meatn3
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      Fromageball RE: meatn3 May 31, 2009 07:07 AM

      I went to this too! there was a Lebanese festival last weekend(or the one before) that I wanted to go to but missed.

    2. Suzy Q RE: JoanInNC May 27, 2009 08:07 PM

      Fun! We will see y'all there!

      1. j
        JoanInNC RE: JoanInNC May 28, 2009 01:34 PM

        Bump. I don't want anyone to miss it. :-) Personal disclaimer: my husband is the Festival manager. I think it's going to be great! Weather looks good for Saturday and Sunday, a little iffy for Friday. There are several indoor activities, though, including the NC Food Expo.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JoanInNC
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          JoanInNC RE: JoanInNC May 29, 2009 06:47 PM

          I found some goodies today. First, everything in the NC Food Expo, in the Exposition Building. You can sample wine if you're old enough. Try Zing sauce, too, and the Carolina Crisp peanut bar, the scuppernong slushie, and Mackey's Ferry peanut butter.

          Soba noodles and vegies, prepared in a huge wok. Across from the waterfall. Mini doughnuts are right next door, but I didn't try t hose today.

          Grass-fed beef, turned into yummy hamburgers and hot dogs. They have strawberry shortcake, too. I can't remember the farm name, but it has "Meadow" in it. Near the waterfall.

          And.... the smell of the BBQ at the Pig Jig! I am looking forward to an all-I-can-eat experience tomorrow. :-)

          1. re: JoanInNC
            Suzy Q RE: JoanInNC May 31, 2009 08:27 AM

            The wines were especially surprising to me - I've never been a fan of most scuppernong wine because it's all so sweet. There was a lot of that, but there were a few wineries that had some really decent drier whites that I'd buy on a regular basis for good, cheap, drinkable summer wine. We brought home two bottles - might have gotten more, but we were on the motorcycles so storage was limited. Nice to be able to park in Dorton Arena, though. :-)

        2. meatn3 RE: JoanInNC May 29, 2009 07:36 PM

          Weeping Radish is participating in the NC Food Expo - and you can purchase sausage, pastrami, etc. from them!!!! Lots of NC wines being sampled. Just about as many BBQ sauces being sampled.

          We got to the Pig Jig too late for the $10 ticket, but some of the booths were selling. Grill-zilla (gotta love that name) had prime rib for $7. Nice flavor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: meatn3
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            JoanInNC RE: meatn3 May 29, 2009 08:22 PM

            The fesitval manager says that Pig Jig tickets are available tomorrow (Saturday), and results of tonight's cooking will be available 11AM-3PM.

            I didn't see Weeping Radish. Where are they located? I want some of that pastrami!

            1. re: JoanInNC
              meatn3 RE: JoanInNC May 29, 2009 11:28 PM

              When you enter the building turn left immediately. Go down that aisle and they are on the right - a corner booth, facing the (3rd?) aisle to the side. IIRC, across from them is a booth with Moravian cookies. On the initial aisle, if you get to Momma Dips booth you may have gone too far.

              They were sampling a few items. There is a menu board with the list of products for sale, but it is positioned a little low and may not be readily spotted. Everything I've tasted from them has been really good. Nice not having to drive to the coast this time!

          2. Naco RE: JoanInNC May 30, 2009 04:07 PM

            I went today and I was pretty underwhelmed by the Pig Jig. Lots of very bland barbecue. However, the one sample that I liked, I REALLY liked. It was the last tent on the right if you kept straight from the entrance- a group of black Masons from Greensboro. It was very lightly sauced and had cracklins and little bits of outside meat chopped up into it. Perfect stuff.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Naco
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              JoanInNC RE: Naco May 30, 2009 04:44 PM

              To each his own, I think. I heard mixed reviews. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try ANY of it! Over 1000 people were in the Pig Jig area when I arrived, and I decided that was too many people for me. They had a great turnout, made lots of money for the orphanages in Oxford. I hope *somebody* liked the BBQ. :-) The stuff you liked sounds really good.

              This is just the 2nd year of the Festival, and it's still growing and changing.

              1. re: JoanInNC
                Naco RE: JoanInNC May 30, 2009 04:50 PM

                Oh buddy, it was packed. We got in there around 12:30pm or so. I don't mean to sound too grumpy; I had two toddlers along for the ride and it was hot, so I was a little grumpy. But I have some beer in me now, so I'm in a more conciliatory mood.

                I would have liked to have been able to buy some extra bbq from a booth that I really liked. I would have killed for a bbq sandwich from those Greensboro guys. It would probably be hard to swing, though, as they obviously need to limit portions so as to have bbq for everyone.

                1. re: Naco
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                  brentk RE: Naco May 30, 2009 05:54 PM

                  We got there at about the same time and after waiting in two lines (one to get the tickets and another to get the plates) we started looking for BBQ at about 1:00. Close to 1/2 the booths were out of BBQ by that time, but we tasted some pretty good Q, nonetheless. The Greensboro Masons clearly had the spiciest BBQ, but our favorite was the black Masons from Raleigh, about half way down on the left side. They had two competing chefs and we liked the one on the right, who had pulled pork, chicken and chopped pork shoulder.

                  1. re: brentk
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                    JoanInNC RE: brentk May 30, 2009 09:01 PM

                    Those guys were NOT prepared for the huge turnout they had! But they were happy. :-)

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              DC Gal RE: JoanInNC May 31, 2009 05:38 PM

              Naco - you'll be happy to know those are the guys that won. They did have good Q.

              I thought the Pig Jig was great - but I didn't have little ones in tow. Just me and my bbq loving husband. We had a blast and tried every single q out there and definitely got our money's worth. I also loved the hot from the fryer hushpuppies that the older guy was making towards the back of the field - they were delicious!

              I think the crowd was definitely bigger than they expected. I talked to a friend of mine today who was one of the organizers and they were pleased, but very surprised by the turnout. I think they'll make some changes for next year to better manage the crowds. One request I made was for there to be sweet tea available - you can't have a southern pig cook-off without sweet tea!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DC Gal
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                asiansatan RE: DC Gal May 31, 2009 07:36 PM

                Glad to hear the guys from Greensboro won. The gf and I thought they had the best Q as well.

                We had a great time at the Pig Jig yesterday and plan to go again next year. We got in around 11:30 before the crowds got too big and was able to try every single stand and pig out on all the yummy pig. Def. worth the $10.

              2. j
                jazzy77 RE: JoanInNC May 31, 2009 07:54 PM

                We went with another couple - I forgot about the Pig Jig, but we were well served inside the exhibition hall. Mostly we hit the NC wines, which really impressed me. I have to say that there was a time when you had to taste a lot of "bad" wine in the South to really find a good one, but we could have walked out of there with more than we could carry if not for finite amount of cash in our wallets. Kudos to all the wine makers in NC!

                Mackey's Ferry peanut butter is incredibly tasty- I wish I had picked up a bottle.

                And I've always wanted to taste souse and Neese's liver pudding, but never had the guts to buy it at the store. I was so glad they were sampling it! The liver pudding is quite tasty; the souse...ummm...I couldn't get past the texture.

                Anyway, the festival was a really wonderful idea and I'm glad the Ag Department held it.

                http://trianglelocavore.wordpress.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: jazzy77
                  Naco RE: jazzy77 Jun 1, 2009 03:15 AM

                  Pretty much everything that Mackey's Ferry Peanuts does is great. I love their peanut butter, but the peanut brittle and molasses cookies are excellent as well.

                  1. re: jazzy77
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                    Jeanne RE: jazzy77 Jun 2, 2009 01:49 PM

                    I love everything from Mackey's Ferry. Their fantastic peanut butter, peanut brittle, white, dark and milk chocolate covered peanuts, blister roasted peanuts, plain peanuts, cajun roasted in the shell - the list goes on. When visiting family in the east it is only a 30 minute drive from the house - great to be so close and that's when I stock up. If you're on the way to the Outer Banks it is definitely worth a stop!

                    http://www.mfpnuts.com/

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