“When life hands you dirt plant seeds.” Philosopher and Author, Matshona Dhliwayo
Alabama’s prosperous Black Belt has taken note of the wise words and utilized the regions’ local treasures to produce some of the state’s most delicious flavors from sweet confections to savory sausages. Named for its rich, dark, nutrient-rich soil, the 23 counties wrap the state’s midsection like a belt, tying together Alabama’s Civil Rights history and a celebration of southern tradition.
Attracting more and more visitors each year, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association launched the “Feed Your Adventure – Flavors of the Black Belt Trail”, where adventurers can enjoy nine themed trails promoting the specialty food and drinks and the culture of the famed Black Belt region.
As you prepare your fall travel, consider a trip through the back roads of the Black Belt. While you watch the leaves change you can travel one of their 9 outlined trails to taste the flavors and experience the culture for yourself. Inside the trail brochure, Duke, an adorable roady canine, outlines the “cold drinks, good eats, and back road treats.” He shares his favorite stops along the 9 trails including places to stay, where the locals eat, what to do, and even a shopping checklist to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the delectable local creations. Each trail is color-coded for ease, so you don’t miss a thing! A few highlights along the trail are:
Cheesy Bites… Smokin’ Sauces: This trail covers Perry, Dallas, and Lowndes counties, taking foodies to local grocery marts like Mark’s Mart where they can pick up the famous chicken swirls, Uncle Clyde’s BBQ Sauce and snack on Joyce’s Cheese Straws. Be sure to check out the Orrville Farmers Market too; you won’t be disappointed with this place that has it all.
Spirits on the Plains: Covering Lee and Russell counties including the well-known lemonade from Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn. Then, spend happy hour with a tasting at SoulGrown favorites, John Emerald Distilling and Red Clay Brewing. Before you hit the road, make a pit stop at Mama Mocha’s Coffee Emporium for fresh craft coffee and homemade baked goods.
Syrup Makin ‘N’ Bacon Jammin: Finish the trail in Montgomery and Macon County with sweet southern staples! No one does syrup and bacon better than Alabama and Montgomery’s own Alaga. On top of the historical stops in the Capital City (and incredible local markets filled with local provisions), be sure to venture off the beaten path to explore Shana’s Place Butcher Shop in Shorter for an unrivaled selection of various meats and her famous Bacon Jam! . Pack your bags and plan to jazz it up for the night with a stay at The Zelda Suite in the Fitzgerald Home and Museum.
Pam Swanner, Director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association says “ALBBAA believes this is a great way to highlight the local specialty food creations, small business owners, cultural attractions and historical sites that make the Black Belt region of Alabama a truly special place.”
In addition to experiencing the trails, make sure to download the “Passport” from the brochure for a chance to win the grand-prize drawing of an adventurous weekend getaway to Lakepoint State Park. To be eligible, you’ll need to visit at least three of the nine themed Trails and have your passport stamped by a minimum of three retail locations found in each Trail’s Shopping Checklist. A purchase of any item sold by the store qualifies, but a purchase is required to enter the drawing.
Support local Alabamians by enjoying the Flavors of the Black Belt Trail this fall!