Collard Sandwich

October 17, 2009

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While at the John Blue Cotton Festival last weekend in North Carolina, I discovered the southern collard sandwich in all its glory. Have any of you ever heard of such a thing? Being from the South, I was surprised that I had never once come across a collard sandwich-it was totally foreign to me.
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Prior to the festival, my boyfriend had been talking about this sandwich for months. According to him, it’s all the rage in southern N.C. I would have to say that he was right because the line to get a collard sandwich stretched across the fair grounds with up to an hour wait. Let me tell you right now, this sandwich was worth the wait. It was absolutely delicious and I guarantee that if you haven’t had an actual collard sandwich, you’ve never experienced anything like it.

crispy fried cornbread

crispy fried cornbread

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this sandwich was its simplicity. It was comprised of cornbread, collard greens, fat back, and hot peppers. On their own, each of these ingredients is a fine southern delecacy. But, the genius of the sandwich is that it combined each of these elements so that they could be experienced altogther in one bite. Also, the cornbread was not your average run of the mill, soft cornbread. This was FRIED cornbread and oh boy was it heavenly! It was fried to a perfect crisp and provided a crunchy contrast to the tender collard greens (which are in season during colder months). It gave the sandwich a unique twist that completely won me over. I’m gonna have to try frying my own cornbread very soon!

I haven’t yet attempted to make my own version of this dish, but as soon as I come up with a vegetarian friendly, equally delicious recipe, I will post it right away. Until then, let me know if you have any good recipes for a collard sandwich or fried cornbread. I’d be interested to hear if any of our readers have experience with this simple southern snack.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

David March 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

That is a Lumbee Food

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Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 31, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Then consider me a big fan of Lumbee food. :)

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John Sharp January 8, 2012 at 4:22 am

I was just looking for a recipe for really thin crispy fried cornbread tonight like the one I was fed at the Augusta GA jail (I was there as an official visitor, not an inmate, thank goodness!). Other than your photo, the others I saw on google/images are NOT like this except for one, which is Paula Deens “Lace Hoecake” recipe, which I think is a pretty silly name, but I’m sure it’s yummy.

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Jennifer October 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm

oh no! my tastebuds were fooled! I ate fatback and didn’t even know it. but, such is the risk for us vegetarians. sigh. good thing i only took a small bite. thanks for the info Patsy. hope to see you at the festival next year! i can’t wait to try more of your good viddles!

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Jen (eatmovelove) October 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Interesting…I’ve never seen that type of sandwich before! Looks delish though. Just found your blog. It’s great! Look forward to exploring it more.

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patsy delk October 19, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Jennifer, my personal email address is: patsydelk@bellsouth.net. You or your readers can contact me if you want. Sincerely, Patsy

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patsy delk October 19, 2009 at 9:42 am

Dear Jennifer,
Thank you for your post and kind words about our “famous” (lol) collard sandwich. There are many questions and skepticism about them. My mom (Shirley) cooks and certainly tells us (her kids) how to season all the food with love and time tested recipes. We go to local festivals. Our food is raised by us and our cousin’s farm. We will be at the Scotland County Pow Wow in Legion Park on Saturday, October 24th. I am sorry the wait was so long at the John Blue Festival – we were really working very hard to wait on everyone. If you come out this Saturday, see me or any of my brothers and we will give you a collard sandwich to enjoy! We appreciate people enjoying our food. My brothers and I donate our time and give Mama the money we make to help her out. Please try to visit us – I got lots of things I want you to try. Also, on the vegetarian verison, we have cooked the collards for vegetarians with olive/vegetable oil and without the “fatback”.
Thanks, Patsy

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Jennifer October 19, 2009 at 11:15 am

Thank you Patsy! It’s great to know that local, seasonal, and vegetarian friendly ingredients are used in the collard sandwich. I was pretty sure I didn’t taste any meat seasonings in those collards and I have pretty keen taste buds. I appreciate you looking out for us veggies. I will look for your booth next time I’m at a N.C. festival. I live in D.C. now so I’m not down there too often. Do you have a website that I (and my readers) could check out?

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patsy delk October 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Dear Jennifer, I am so sorry I did not get the chance to talk to you. We really enjoy and appreciate getting the opportunity to convince “out of towners” to try our collard sandwiches. We just were too busy this year to do any socializing on Saturday however Sunday was a lot less crowded and had time to speak to people. We did, however, season the collards you had with fat back seasoning. The cornbread was cooked in vegetable oil. The collards I referred to earlier without fat back seasoning was a special order we took to a festival (Storytelling Festival- Laurinburg, NC) because I knew we had “veggies” attending. I do not have a web page but may check into getting one – people ask us all the time how to get in touch with us. Thanks again. Please let me know when you are going to be back in town and we will fix you a plate of goodies just for you!!

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mere October 18, 2009 at 8:18 pm

yum! so jealous i missed out!

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brandi October 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

wow, i have NEVER heard of this! It sounds interesting.

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