Loading...
Sending a thanks for the Pitt Emergency Veterinarian Clinic here in Greenville. We are so fortunate to have such...

Get yourself into a stew

Bob Garner

Bob Garner

Loading…

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Neuse River fish stew is probably as localized a dish as can be found anywhere in the United States. The stew’s popularity seems to be confined largely to areas of Wayne, Lenoir, Greene and Pitt counties within a 50-mile radius of Kinston.

It’s usually a winter thing and is often a “guy thing,” as well, since it’s particularly beloved and nearly always prepared by males.

Picture a pot of simmering tomato stock concealing layers of sliced onions, sliced potatoes and chunks of just about any firm fish, although the most visible ingredients are the dozen or two poached eggs floating around the top of the bubbling pot. The flavor profile is mainstream, not fishy, with a pleasant hint of bacon, and it’s normally only mildly spicy (unless a bunch of men get carried away with the “heat” in a batch they’re cooking for themselves.).

Past generations of fishermen once hauled huge quantities of striped bass and other fish out of the Neuse River in seine nets pulled either by hand or, later, by tractors. Cleaned right on the riverbank, the fish were cut into chunks and layered with potatoes and onions in large iron wash pots, topped off with tomatoes, water and lots of pepper.

The riverbank stew pots were often heated over pine wood and pine bark fires, so one name for the concoction was “pine bark stew.”

The earliest Native American tribes in the Neuse basin probably invented the dish, and similar stews, sometimes called “muddles,” were well documented over a 200-year period in eastern Virginia and along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The late North Carolina food historian Bill Neal wrote in “Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking,” “Muddle is the traditional feast of the region. The simple vegetables — potatoes, onions, tomatoes — in perfect proportion with the freshest fish achieve the satisfaction sought in all good peasant cooking.”

For the maximum satisfaction of this regional specialty, consider sampling fish stew in Greenville as an opportunity to make a donation to hurricane relief. On Friday, Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church, 510 S. Washington Street, will be serving fish stew from 4-7 p.m., dine in or take out.

The event takes place at the Taft Christian Life Center. (Enter from Greene Street, across from the Greenville Police Department.) There’s no set ticket price, but all donations will go to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to aid victims of hurricanes Matthew, Harvey, Irma and Maria. For more information, call the church office at 752-3101.

If you aren’t sure about the fish stew, delicious vegetable-beef stew will be available as an alternative. The donation will be as useful and appreciated in either case.

The idea is to get yourself into a stew while helping others get out of one.

Bob Garner is a UNC-TV restaurant reviewer, freelance food writer, author of four cookbooks, barbecue pit master and public speaker.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

November 11, 2018

Losing a child before his or her first birthday is an unthinkable tragedy for any parent — and unfortunately it occurs too often in North Carolina, where we far outpace the nation in infant mortality.

With over seven deaths per 1,000 live births vs. the national average of fewer than six per…

Anita Bachmann

November 11, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Approximately 300 people gathered in the South Central High School cafeteria recently to celebrate their time as students at Winterville High School. The school, which was built in 1935, has served as A.G. Cox Middle School since 1971.

“The first Saturday in November has…

1107-WHSReunion2.jpg

November 10, 2018

The year is old, the birds are flown.

And yet the world, in its distress,

Displays a certain loveliness —

 — John Updike, from “A Child’s Calendar”

Autumn has once again snuck up upon us, as it always does.

Autumn is known mostly as a time of cooling temperatures,…

1110318mysteryplant.JPG

November 07, 2018

Q Would you please help spread the word about our upcoming event that will celebrate the successes of people in Pitt County who are eating healthy, being physically active and managing their own diabetes.  JS, Pitt County.

A Jackie Sugg MS, RDN, LDN is a long time friend and colleague from the…

Kolasa, Kathy

November 07, 2018

Bateeni Mediterranean Grill & Cafe at 1868 W. Arlington Blvd. in Greenville is a healthy escape for those seeking fresh and delicious food that will keep your taste buds and body fulfilled. They offer an array of authentic Mediterranean cuisine using their centuries old traditions of combining…

Mixed Grill Close Up.jpg

November 05, 2018

Drivers needed

The Pitt County Council on Aging is in need of volunteers to help deliver Meals on Wheels in Ayden and Bethel Monday through Friday. Drivers will provide lunch for homebound older adults. Route delivery takes about an hour. Training is provided. Call 752-1717.

Bell ringers needed

The…

November 04, 2018

North Carolina’s long literary tradition lives on and was celebrated with presentation of the North Carolina Book Awards at the Greenville Convention Center last week. ECU’s Charles Ewen was among those honored.

The awards, held on Oct. 26, are presented annually by the North Carolina…

Charlie Ewen.jpg

November 04, 2018

Why would I ask you to read from a column I wrote almost 30 years ago?

When I read that column, tearfully, at a recent family reunion, I knew I wanted to share it with you, just in case you missed it back in 1987.

That year was one of triumph for my mother.

In 1933 she finished college and left her…

DGMartin.jpg

November 04, 2018

SNOW HILL — It takes a dedicated pit master to grill a 128-pound hog in the middle of a nor’easter. That’s exactly what 12 faithful and talented competitors did last week at the third annual BBQ for Paw fundraiser in Snow Hill.

Thanks to the perseverance and hard work of the cooks,…

1031-BBQ paws2.jpg

November 03, 2018

November's Native American Heritage Month is a look back at the ancestry, traditions and contributions of American Indians. But a new exhibit at the Greenville Museum of Art provides a current perspective of one North Carolina tribe.

“Postmodern Native: Contemporary Lumbee Art,” which…

110218golumbeeart-4.jpg
217 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 22
        Next Page»   Last Page»