Cookbook cover for Farm Fresh Tennessee


Paul and Angela Knipple

University of North Carolina Press
April 2013
$20.00/Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1469607740

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Paul and Angela Knipplenatives of Memphis, are long-time members of the Southern Foodways Alliance and co-authors of The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover’s Tour of the New American South, and the forthcoming Catfish: A Taste of the South Cookbook.

The first guidebook of its kind for the Volunteer State, FARM FRESH TENNESSEE leads food lovers, families, locals, and tourists on a lively tour of more than 360 farms and farm-related attractions, all open to the public and all visited by Memphis natives Paul and Angela Knipple. Here are the perfect opportunities to browse a farmers’ market, pick blueberries, tour a small-batch distillery, stay at an elegant inn, send the kids to a camp where they’ll eat snacks of homemade biscuits with farm-fresh honey–and so much more. Arranged by the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee (East, Middle, and West) and nine categories of interest, the listings invite readers to connect with Tennessee’s farms, emphasizing establishments that are independent, sustainable, and active in public education and conservation.

Sidebars tell how to find pop-up markets, showcase local food initiatives, and celebrate the work and lives of local farmers. Thirteen recipes gathered by the authors on their Tennessee travels offer farm-fresh tastes.

Country Ham and Sorghum Caramel Popcorn

Two of the most iconic flavors of East Tennessee are the smoky saltiness of country ham and the dark sweetness of sorghum syrup. This recipe was inspired by two of the producers we’ve introduced you to in this book, Muddy Pond Sorghum and Benton’s Country Hams. While you don’t have to use their products to get great results, the combination they create is something uniquely Tennessean.

4 ounces country ham, minced
1 stick (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon bacon grease (optional)
1 1⁄2 cups sorghum syrup
6 cups popped popcorn

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the country ham until slightly crisped, about 5 minutes. Transfer the ham to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.

With the heat still on medium, add the butter and bacon grease, if using, to the saucepan. Allow the butter to melt, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.

Add the sorghum syrup to the butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the syrup mixture comes to a rolling boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a caramel forms that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or to leave a clear path when a spoon is dragged through it along the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.

Remove the caramel from the heat.

Pour 3 cups of the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Add half of the crisped ham and drizzle half of the caramel over the popcorn. Using tongs or buttered hands, toss the popcorn to blend the ham and caramel through evenly. Add the remaining popcorn, ham, and caramel and repeat.

Allow the caramel popcorn to rest for 5 minutes before enjoying.


This Recipe  may be reproduced with the following credit:

From FARM FRESH TENNESSEE by Paul and Angela Knipple.  Copyright © 2013 by Paul and Angela Knipple.  Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

Contact: Jennifer Hergenroeder