knoxville + tastebuds = 165,000 hits

Follow your tastebuds around Knoxville, Tenn.

You can't fake fresh. Food that is. So they're saying in East Tennessee these days, and Knoxville is one of the places to see if it's so.

Eating way too much is easy there, and figuring out the fresh part is fun. Farm families open their doors and pour up milk, slice cheese, hand over a tomato, add crème fraiche to strawberries and tell you which chefs shop at the farm markets.

That chef shopping helps narrow down the inevitable "Where shall we eat?" question on a holiday. Eat fresh and go to a place that honors such a plan.

Tennessee dedicated staff and a Web site to just that notion: Help match up people who like local and fresh with the producers.

It's easy to meet farming families on their land, chat with them at the many produce markets, sample their stuff and stuff yourself at restaurants cooking fresh.

—Christine Tibbetts,, Dec. 05, 2009