In the latest installment of Foodie Views, our occasional look at Birmingham’s food bloggers, we turn to Angela Moore, who, aside from her work as development director for Urban Ministry and sometimes the religion writer for the Birmingham Times, is a fiercely dedicated culinary explorer. She tells us why her hometown eats stack up against the best.
Weld: When it comes to food, what’s your philosophy?
Angela Moore: My food philosophy is food is as much about the memories as it is about the meal.
Weld: What made you decide to become a food blogger and when did you start?
Moore: I decided to become a food blogger after flooding social media outlets like Facebook with my thoughts about, experiences with, pictures of and adventures in food. I started Angela Eats the Ham officially March 2015 and have enjoyed every bite and blog post since.
Weld: I understand that you became a foodie at an early age. Do you know where that great love came from?
Moore: I’m a Southern-bred, Alabama woman who comes from a long line of other women who were skillful unofficial chefs in their own circles. My mother, and those no longer with us like her mother, my father’s mother, my great-grandmother and great aunts were the kitchen masterminds behind some of the most mouth-watering concoctions known to man. Because of that, growing up, I preferred to spend time in the kitchen watching them cook rather than doing things the average child might have enjoyed. That’s where my love affair with food began.
Weld: Do you concentrate on a certain kind of food or are your tastes eclectic?
Moore: I have an affinity toward soul food, Southern food and American comfort foods, especially if they’re done with a kicked up or fancy twist. I also love Mexican cuisine.
Weld: Do you have any idea how many different places you’ve eaten?
Moore: Yikes! Is too many an acceptable answer? I would have hundreds of places is as close to the truth as I can offer.
Weld: Are you fearless, or is there anything you’re afraid to eat? How do you approach the unknown food?
Moore: I’m definitely fearless. I’ll try anything at least once, but in my recent years I’ve developed an allergy to shellfish. So I’m very careful about eating shrimp or lobster.. .which are two of my favorites.
Weld: Is there anything you’ve eaten that you’ll never eat again?
Moore: There’s an international version of a Coca-Cola product that I sampled at the World of Coca-Cola. It’s either from Africa or Europe, I can’t remember, and that’s on purpose. It definitely tops my list of “never again in life will I ingest this.”
Weld: What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
Moore: There have been so many great things I’ve eaten specifically in Birmingham! Grille 29 is tops on my list for beef short ribs, duck and bacon gumbo and warm sour cream fudge cake with vanilla bean ice cream sprinkled with sugar. WE Community Café has the best vegan carrot cake and swiss chard enchiladas. Leonard’s Barbecue and Burger Hut on 6th Avenue has the best whiting fish sandwich with a Grapico on the side. Fleming’s offers the most succulent medium-plus prepared steak and chocolate lava cake in my book. My go-to for breakfast is the oatmeal buttermilk muffin and cheese grits from Urban Standard or brunch at Dyron’s Low Country where the Tanglewood Farms fried chicken practically tap dances on your tongue when you bite it.
Weld: Is there any food that works as a kind of a touchstone for you – that is, if a restaurant serves this item you always have to try it?
Moore: My touchstones are all things chocolate desserts and pork belly.
Weld: What’s the most important thing you want readers to know about your blog?
Moore: I want readers to know that my love for food comes from a place that I can’t help but want to share it with others. My palate has experienced a lot of amazing foods in Birmingham and through travels. I’d place the things I’ve eaten right here at home in the ‘Ham up against the most fru-fru of establishments and down home hole in the wall spots anywhere in the country. I’m a frugalista so I often don’t spend too much on the places I go, but again, what we have to offer here is world-class food and I want all of my readers to know it each time I experience it.
You can read about Moore’s culinary excursions at angelaeatstheham.com.
Are you an unsung food scribe? A wordsmith with a culinary bent? Will you write for food and do you have the readers to prove it? Or do you have a favorite local writer who makes you devour every word and bite? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.