Perhaps someone should invite Calvin Trillin to Knoxville's Biscuit Festival.
In last week's New Yorker magazine, Trillin filed another of his delightful reports about food out in the heartland—this one on the Delta Hot Tamale Festival in Greenville, Miss. Mississippi and hot tamales?
Trillin mentions meeting John Craig, described as the Biscuit Boss of the International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville.
Knoxville's festival was described as a festival to bring people downtown and Trillin writes, "I would guess that any number of cities have tried celebrating a local food specialty as a tonic for a lagging downtown, just after it became obvious that doing some prettying up on a block or two that's been closed to traffic—what I've always thought of as the hanging-basket approach to downtown revitalization—didn't work."
Trillin does give Knoxville credit for not trying to swipe the Biscuit Capital of the World moniker from Natchez, Miss. There is also a lament for White Lily Flour now being milled in the Midwest.