Southern cuisine took center stage during the DNC convention last week, as The Daily Show captured in their mockery/praise of North Carolina BBQ. When asked to share his final impression of Charlotte, The Daily Show‘s Aasaf Mandi marveled at the ability of Charlotte residents to remain slim (and alive) while eating “an appalling diet”. Perhaps local favorites Chik-Fil-A and Bojangles sent fat-laden breakfast spreads over to Jon Stewart and crew.
I tagged along with my cousin to DNC parties in uptown Charlotte last Wednesday night, ending up at Mez Lounge in the Epicentre for a viewing party. A bar with moonshine cocktails represeted the “hooch” theme at many DNC celebrations, while an elaborate cupcake display remained largely untouched as guests sipped liquid refreshments. A mashed potato bar opened a bit later, offering both standard spuds and a festive spinach variety. Especially after a few cocktails, there is nothing like dousing potatoes with some cheese and bacon in the name of democracy. Oh wait – maybe I do eat an appalling diet!
Just like Chicago residents do not subsist on deep-dish pizza, (most) Charlotteans do not wake up to a feast of fried biscuits and moonshine every morning. But it sure is fun to get reacquainted with our culinary stereotypes.