The Ramsey House Plantation is hosting a traveling Smithsonian Institution Exhibit titled "Key Ingredients: America by Food," along with events, contests and a tailgate market from now until Aug. 22.
"It's a wonderful exhibit and an opportunity to see a Smithsonian quality exhibit locally, which you don't have that opportunity much," said Fiona McAnally, director of the Ramsey House. "It has wonderful pictures and graphics about the history of food, which is a big part of our culture."
The exhibit examines how foods are influenced by an array of cultures, landscapes and traditions. It also explains how cooking and eating practices have changed due to technology.
"Some of the patterns that we follow, in certain geographic parts of the country, stem back to colonial times," said Betty Greer, associate professor of family and consumer science. "While it's changed...(people) are still relying on old food ways to a large extent. Food habits may be the last thing that we give up."
Throughout the exhibit on Saturdays beginning at 8 a.m., Ramsey House will be hosting a Tailgate Market featuring local people and local produce.
This Saturday, the theme will be "Home Cooking" and free White Lily Biscuits with Pioneer Gravy will be given away from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. There will also be cooking demonstrations, a biscuit baking contest and a cakewalk until 2 p.m.
On Aug. 14 Ramsey House's theme is "International Influences." Students and families from Pond Gap Elementary School and other groups will showcase the cultural influences in the region. Greer will lead a discussion on "Southern Cooking: A Patchwork of Cultures."
Aug. 21 will showcase the importance of corn in the region's history. The "Corn Festival" will include a demonstration of cornshuck dollmaking by Ann Friels, cornshucking, the milling of corn and a "corny" joke contest.
Visitors can tour the exhibit, heirloom gardens and historic house on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more are requested to make advance reservations.
The exhibit, along with activities every Saturday, is free to the public. However, there is a fee to tour the Ramsey House.
To find out more about the Ramsey House visit http://www.ramseyhouse.org or call 546-0745. To find out more about the exhibit and history of food visit http://www.keyingredients.org.