Entries sought for Mountain Heritage Day traditional foods contest

Residents across the region are invited to participate in the traditional foods contest at WCU's Mountain Heritage Day.

The Mountain Heritage Day traditional foods contest will include competitions in canned, dried and baked goods.

Residents from throughout the region are invited to enter their canned, dried and baked goods, and their best honey, pumpkins and squash, in the traditional foods contest held annually at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day festival.

The 2010 Mountain Heritage Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 25, on the WCU campus in Cullowhee.

The foods contest, titled “A Gathering In,” is coordinated jointly by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service’s Jackson County Center and WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center. Competitions in honey, pumpkins and squash are new additions to this year’s event.

The featured recipe contest, the “Best in the West Honey Recipe,” will highlight the importance of bees and beekeeping in the region. “The honey recipe does not have to be original, but the entry must be made from scratch and must include honey,” said Peter Koch, education associate at the Mountain Heritage Center.

Another competition will be held for extracted honey with categories in light, dark and comb, and pumpkin and squash growers are invited to bring in their best whole vegetables for judging. “We hope lots of local residents will plant those squash and pumpkins now and come on over to Mountain Heritage Day,” Koch said.

Ribbons will be awarded to the top three entries in youth and adult divisions. A grand champion will be selected from each of the divisions of canned goods, baked goods, heritage foods conservation, honey and vegetables.

Food entries will be accepted at the Mountain Heritage Center at specified times during the week leading up the festival.

For more information about the foods competition or to obtain a contest guideline booklet, call Cheryl Beck at the Jackson County Center at 828-586-4009 or Koch at the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129, or visit www.MountainHeritageDay.com for a downloadable booklet and entry form.