Celebrated Biscuits

The Knoxville newspaper has a little article about the first annual International Biscuit Festival this past weekend; part of the article read:

…More than 3,000 festival attendees packed Market Square, Market Street, Clinch Avenue and Krutch Park, sampling a hodgepodge of biscuits and the foods that embellish one of the South’s emblematic palate-pleasers.

Paul and Arlene Anderson of Madisonville said they were surprised that it took so long to bake up the idea of a biscuit festival.

Knoxville’s Don Pirkle has been a biscuit eater for 68 years.

“I had my first one when I was 2 – I’m a biscuit connoisseur,” the 70-year-old Pirkle said. “I’ve had four biscuits already. The strawberry whipped cream biscuits were delicious. This is fantastic. I figured I’d stay here about 15 minutes and leave. I can see I’ll be here for a while.”

Rex Bradford Jones, caterer at Abner’s Attic on Asheville Highway, supplied 600 sweet potato, buttermilk and pimento cheese biscuits for the breakfast.

I agree! Why have we not had a biscuit festival before!? Well, at least we have the Montgomery Biscuits baseball team.

Really wish we had been able to go to the festival – there was a biscuit cook-off, a huge biscuit tasting, a breakfast and brunch, biscuit eating contest, music, art, books…and the crowning of Mr. and Miss Biscuit.

Ooooh, the way I would *love* to be forever known as ‘Miss Biscuit’!

Seriously. I would. You know me.
Okay! So one of the speakers was Maryann Byrd, who wrote ‘The Rise of the Southern Biscuit and the Biscuit Dive Guide‘. It’s a nice little book (I got that book a few years ago) but think of it more as a collection of restaurant biscuit recipes rather than a guide to the best biscuits in the South. For instance, in Alabama, only Tiny Diny in Mobile is listed – we’ve been there and while the biscuits were good, I could come up with a dozen really great choices just off the top of my head. There are only four places listed in Louisiana and the same number in Mississippi.
But when you get to the chapter on Tennessee, she put in fifteen listings.
We’ve been to several of the places listed in the book…
A Carol Fay biscuit from a visit to the Loveless:

(I am so sorry to have to mention this, but Carol Fay passed away back in April. Sure do wish she had won on the Throwdown show with Bobby Flay!)

These biscuits are from The Beacon Light in Bon Aqua, Tennessee:

I loved these tiny ones from Carriage House Restaurant at Stanton Hall in Natchez:

Biscuits, mint julep, yes.

There’s a short clip from The Rise of the Southern Biscuit dvd here, but the best part of the book really are all the recipes (minus Carol Fay’s), from places like The Beautiful, Flying Biscuit, Watershed, Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, K-Paul’s, Threadgill’s, and so many more.
…I’m stuck on my own recipe for buttermilk biscuits made in a (what else!?) cast iron skillet.
This week a story went out about a metro Atlanta police chief turning himself in after parking in a handicapped spot to get a biscuit at Chick-Fil-A.

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