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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

brunswick stew festival

Photo by What We're Eating
There are a lot of food festivals in Richmond, at least one every weekend when it hits peak season. The Brunswick Stew Festival has always been my favorite.

I don’t have a weird love of stew or anything like that and I did not grow up eating it. I actually called it New Brunswick stew for an embarrassingly long time. The only reference I had was New Brunswick, New Jersey where some of my college friends grew up. I did think it a little odd that Richmond would host a festival dedicated to New Jersey stew, but apparently not odd enough that I asked anyone about it. No one corrected me.  I eventually figured it out. It is kind of like how my Mom always calls Panera Bread, Panero. It makes me giggle, but I just let her do it.

 For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about when I say Brunswick stew, the basics of the recipe go something like this, tomato base, lima beans, vegetables and meat.

The variations on the stew are what make the Brunswick Stew Festival fun. Each group has their own signature way of making it and anyone tasting gets to cast their vote for their favorite.

I think that people’s preference of stew recipes can tell you a lot about their personality. For example, Evan likes his stew on the runny side with a lot of spice and is not as picky about the meat or beans. I like mine a little on the thicker side, with chicken as the meat and just a little spice. I don’t eat beans, but I just pretend that the beans are not in the stew and it works out surprisingly well.

From this, I will draw the conclusion that in life, Evan is a pretty go with the flow kind of guy. He likes things to be a spicy and exciting, but is not picky about anything extra thrown in the mix. I think it means that I prefer things to be thick and chickeny.


  1. I wish I had made it to the Stew Fest but was in Urbanna for Oysters instead! I grew up eating healthy portions of the yellow can (you know what that is I'm hoping, it's a Richmond classic!!! If not I can fill ya in ;) ) Love the personality conclusions drawn from the choices on stew, crack me up but hey, I mean why not?!?!

    1. Stephanie, I have no idea what this yellow can you speak of could be...

    2. Are you serious?! The one and only Mrs. Fearnow's!! Grew up with it here in VA. So, funny story, I work with a couple with the last name of Fearnow and didn't think to even make the link between them and the yellow can I grew up loving until I did a brunswick stew post and their grandfather who owned the business responded haha. I still get comments on that from like 2 years ago with people looking for it? They sold company a few years back but think you can still get in some stores. Of course it's not exactly the same but for a canned soup (which I don't usually love) it's pretty darn good. Maybe a bit nostalgic too ;) If you can find it give it a try!! :) If you look in the comments section he writes about the original ingredients in how it's made - kinda interesting!(squirrel anyone??)

    3. just read through your post, so cool!