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May 25, 2009 08:05 PM

This weekend at NC fairgrounds in Raleigh

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 .

Festival admission and parking are FREE!

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  1. 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

      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. Fun! We will see y'all there!

      1. 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

          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

            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. 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

            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

              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. 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

              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

                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

                  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

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