Friday, August 15, 2003


While others attack the idiocy of this issue with scathing satire, I'll go a different direction.

Don't forget the Tennessee Valley Fair opens September 5th and runs through the 14th.

The fair's been a fixture of Knoxville and East Tennessee culture for years upon decades upon centuries -- I think when settlers first moved into the Tennessee Valley, they discovered Cherokees engaged in Horse-Pull competitions over in what would become Chilhowee Park.

A little known fact is that when the settlers first began bartering with the Indians in this area, the natives introduced a strange, tubular shaped vegetable known as a foon. They would cook it (mixed with some animal fat) and leave it out in the sun to dry. The Tennessee settlers considered the foon a delicacy and traded for it in great numbers. Often cooked to a golden brown, the foon had a dry, crispy quality that was delicious - but it wasn't until Ms. Nell Keck, the wife of one of the areas early governors, arrived that it began to achieve a lasting popularity. Ms. Keck had brought with her from her native Scotland a collection of sugars and other sweeteners (at her husband's great expense, of course) and one autumn night at a harvest festival a local Indian leader cooked up a batch of foon to bring to the celebration. Legend has it that Ms. Keck sampled the foon, found it to her liking but a bit dry, and proceeded to add some of her sugared flavoring. The result was a hit, and the new confection - from then on called a Foon-nell keck has been an East Tennesee tradition. It has been served at autumn harvest festivals ever since.

More about the Fair later...

No comments:

Post a Comment