Of Cornbread & Hot Skillets
How can one resist the charms of kids cooking up cornbread in cast iron skillets heavier than themselves? This is just what you’ll find in scenic South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, home of Lodge Cast Iron and the National Cornbread Cook-Off. Each spring, ten finalists, selected from amateur cornbread cooks from all over the country, gather for a weekend in South Pittsburg to showcase their well-seasoned skillet skills with some seriously creative cornbread cuisine. Top prizes are no small potatoes. With $5,000 and a new gas range on the line, the competition will be as hot as the Lodge cast iron skillets in the cooks’ ovens. Bleachers—no joke—will be filled with the crowd as the Cornbread Queens—cute as muffins all—help cheer on cooks to gastronomic glory.
If you think of cornbread as a staple side-dish of Southern cuisine (which, by the way, it is) but never the foundation of an entrée, then get thee to South Pittsburgh for this fun and fulfilling festival. Not only is this the one time each year that Lodge Cast Iron opens its doors to the public for a free foundry tour, but the road trip will open your eyes and warm your tummy with some of the wonderful ways to prepare this delicious yet humble cake. For a whole lot of cornbread and camaraderie, head south.