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Watch: Nashville Food Culture Was Born on Sundays

The origins of hot chicken and big family meals on the day of rest

Introducing How We Eat, a new documentary-style series from Eater that explores regional foodways — the traditions and history behind a community’s home cooking and restaurant culture. On today’s segment, Eater visits Nashville to learn how Sundays played a vital role in the city’s culinary identity.

Traditionally a day of rest with little else besides church on the agenda, Sundays in the South became prime time for large meals with family and loved ones, when ingredients were splurged on and bigger cooking projects undertaken. But the foods that were once reserved for family gatherings have now become staples in the region all week long.

At Silver Sands Cafe, a 50-year-old meat-and-three in downtown Nashville, chef and third-generation owner Sophia Vaughn recently became the first member of her family to open the restaurant’s doors for business on Sundays. Her goal: To “catch all the people coming from church” by serving the type of slow-cooked comfort food befitting the day.

To learn more about Silver Sands — as well as the story behind Nashville hot chicken, which legend states was also born on a Sunday — watch the video above.

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