Southern Foodways Alliance Shares Food Stories from the South on Broadcastr

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The Southern Foodways Alliance and Broadcastr today announced a partnership to highlight the cultural organization’s archives of culinary history for a mobile audience. On Broadcastr, anyone can discover the “Tamale Trail,” or reveal the secrets of Southern barbecue, online at With the iPhone and Android apps, people can visit places and hear stories stream automatically into their headphones.

Broadcastr's mobile technology is new, but food and place have always been deeply connected.

Today the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) and Broadcastr announced their partnership, bringing the non-profit organization’s archive of oral histories about the diverse food cultures of the American South to mobile users everywhere.

The free Broadcastr app for iPhone and Android allows anyone to hear audio stories, narratives and memories tagged to their surroundings. It’s an intuitive and rich way to discover the history and community embedded in every place.

“We have an extensive archive, full of stories by the people behind the food, and it’s our mission to share it widely. Through Broadcastr, we can contextualize and spread the oral histories we’ve gathered,” says John T. Edge, Director of the SFA. “Mobile technology is new, but food and place have always been deeply connected.”

Travelers through the South can use the app to listen to the histories behind Southern foods and discover restaurants, bars, and hidden gems, all told in the voices of the people behind the food. The app creates a unique augmented reality experience, playing stories about a user’s location automatically as they move through the world.

“Every story on Broadcastr is pinned to a GPS coordinate. From a restaurant review to a personal message to the experience of Louisiana fishermen in the aftermath of Katrina, stories get their context from place,” says Broadcastr co-founder Scott Lindenbaum, “Each story in the SFA’s archive has always been deeply tied to a specific place; Broadcastr allows those stories to live in those places and be heard by the people visiting there.”

As part of their collaboration, Broadcastr and the SFA will jointly present a recording tent at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, hosted by Union Square Hospitality Group, in New York City in June. The annual event in Madison Square Park brings together the country’s top pitmasters and attracts over 100,000 people to sample the award-winning barbecue.

The SFA is working to create a comprehensive collection of barbecue oral histories for its project documenting “The Southern BBQ Trail.” By collecting stories and memories of hometown joints from thousands of aficionados, the recording tent at the Block Party will help the SFA gather a rich vault of barbecue history and anecdote.

Block Party attendees will also be encouraged to share their stories by downloading the app and recording on their own, helping create a small-town feeling of connectedness and shared community within the large festival.

Stories gathered at the Block Party, along with Broadcastr’s archive of over 7,000 audio stories, can be accessed from anywhere via an interactive map on its Web site, Stories on the map include user-generated content as well as precedent-setting audio from over 100 cultural, arts, historic and entertainment organizations that are using Broadcastr to amplify their message and engage with their communities.

About the Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We stage events, produce documentary films, publish compendiums of great writing, and — perhaps most important — document and map our region’s culinary standard bearers through oral history interviews. We’re talking fried chicken cooks, barbecue pitmasters, bartenders, ham curers, and row crop farmers.

The SFA is a member-supported organization of more than 800 people. Chefs and academics, writers and eaters: all are active participants. In the Atlantic Monthly, Corby Kummer dubbed the SFA “this country’s most intellectually engaged (and probably most engaging) food society.”

Visit the SFA on the Web:
On Twitter: @potlikker

About Broadcastr
Broadcastr is a new social-media platform for location-aware audio. Our free app — available on Web, iPhone and coming in April 2011 to Android — lets people easily create and share recordings on an interactive map. Mobile users can stream location-aware audio about their surroundings automatically. We’re building a digital layer of history, memory and voice in the world around us all.

On Twitter: @broadcastr
On the Web:
And on iPhone in the iTunes app store.

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Kate Petty
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