Explore the Arkansas Food Hall of FameJuly 10, 2018
Editor's note: The following is a guest post by Stacy Hurst, Director of The Department of Arkansas Heritage.
If you are in Arkansas for any length of time, you are sure to discover the delicious food and unique food culture of our state. Whether it’s Delta tamales from Rhoda’s in Lake Village, the world’s sweetest watermelon in Hope, or that signature burger and fries from Feltner’s Whattaburger in Russellville, Arkansas is packed with flavors, places, events and chefs that tell a unique story of our people and communities.
As the State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), I find the study of food heritage in Arkansas very interesting and illuminating. Every aspect of food - from the ingredients chosen, to cooking techniques and even portion sizes – conveys a message about our culture. Food is the cornerstone of many important life events, so, not surprisingly, everyone has a story to tell about food. Although opinions may differ, food brings us together and contributes mightily to our shared heritage as Arkansans.
But how do you know where to find these great tastes of our state’s food heritage? DAH just launched the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app to help you do just that. With the app, you can explore the state’s heritage foods, legendary restaurants, remarkable cooks and influential chefs, as well as culturally significant food-themed festivals and events. Each entity listed on the app is a finalist or a winner in DAH’s Arkansas Food Hall of Fame program, so you’ll know they are the best of authentic Arkansas.
If you’re traveling the state this summer and searching for a great local spot to eat, the app will help guide you. Whether you’re in Marianna, Camden, Tontitown or Blytheville, the perfect lunch stop is in the palm of your hand. Simply download the app on your mobile device, whether you use an Apple or Android product, and discover restaurants by cuisine or location. You are sure to find the perfect place to satisfy your taste buds, and learn about our state’s food history in the process.
The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was created to recognize our iconic restaurants and events, our leading proprietors, and our unique Arkansas foods. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, you’ll be able to nominate online and through the app when nominations for 2019 open in the fall. I hope you’ll tell us about your own hometown gems that contribute to the story of Arkansas.
Soak up the flavor of our state as you explore our unique food culture with help from the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame app. It’s available now on your Google Play or Apple App store; simply search for “Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.” For more information, you can visit www.arkansasheritage.com or call (501) 324-9150.
Stacy Hurst was appointed director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage by Governor Asa Hutchinson in January 2015. She is responsible for the work of eight separate agencies that represent the natural and cultural heritage of Arkansas. She also serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, representing Arkansas to the National Trust for Historic Places. Stacy is a life-long Arkansan who grew up in Pine Bluff and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.