In North Carolina, smoke imbues everything — from our pulled pork to our mountain lore to our tobacco legacy — with complexity and deep memories. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be a gathering of family and friends, hungry for stories and a taste of home.
Our editor in chief reflects on how Thanksgiving dinner has changed over the years.
by Alan Hodge
In North Carolina, our love affair with pork is undeniable and everlasting.
We Live Here
by Jodi Helmer
Bursts of color on city walls, in shop windows, and on restaurant tables are transforming downtown into a vibrant center for the community.
A Century Farm in Alexander County capitalized on an underappreciated and often-overlooked product already sitting in the cow pastures.
On the banks of the Watauga River, a mountain winery turns customers into friends.
At The Front Porch, locals gather in a historic downtown building that has long been the go-to source for news and nostalgia — and now, new clothes, too.
by Lynn Wells
What can’t a potato do? Smashed, stewed, or scalloped: We’ll take a spud at every meal.
Baker’s Kitchen has weathered storms — literal and metaphorical — to keep its community in baked goods and breakfast foods (with a side of butter syrup).
Season of Smoke
by Mark Essig
That soft blue haze — the namesake smoke of the Great Smoky Mountains — is a quirk of nature that was once severely threatened by man-made pollutants. Now, the vistas are opening up again.
While most North Carolina communities were manufacturing textiles, a small town in Alleghany County became famous for its finely crafted pipes.
by Mark Essig
Farmed in the clear waters of Haywood County — and sublime when smoked — these mountain beauties are a favorite of the best chefs across the Southeast.
by Sheri Castle
The line is out the door at Southern Smoke, a tiny carryout barbecue joint in Garland with a big following. Their secret is knowing how to tend both fire and family at the same time.
There’s smoke filling the spaces among trees, in backyards, between homes. It tumbles over the eaves of big buildings. No need for alarm, not here. The smoke is for our honeybees.
R.J. Reynolds’s old tobacco campus is now a center for innovation.
A former tobacco salesman watches over the evolution of his family’s old marketplace into a modern living complex.
by Katey Rich
A mural artist re-creates the hustle and bustle of the local bright leaf trade on the wall of an old tobacco auction warehouse.
by Ryan Stancil
When our maritime forests become choked with brush, native ecosystems are put in danger. To clear the way for fresh growth, prescribed burn crews set carefully controlled blazes, giving nature a little nudge.
by Debbie Moose
Bittersweet memories of growing up in a tobacco town reveal the complicated relationship between a community’s main industry and the families who paid dearly for it.
Zach Heath wanted to preserve his late grandfather’s rural work ethic inside his own modern suburban home. So he took some wood from the old family farm and had it transformed into a beautiful gift for which his family can be truly grateful.
When Greensboro fourth graders decided to launch a “state cookie” campaign, they got a lesson in civics, as well as patience. It turns out, nothing about Moravian cookies is easy — except, of course, eating them.
We found the season’s sweet spot — a series of them, actually, along a remote byway in far-western Graham County. The Cherohala Skyway dips and rises, curves and coasts past waterfalls, hiking trails, and mountain views that (almost) never end.
North Carolina’s investment in a public art collection opens minds, enriches the lives of citizens, and creates a home for the state’s cultural aspirations.
From barbecue festivals to holiday celebrations, your curated monthly guide to events across North Carolina.