The sixth annual Arkansas Foodways Symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute at the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College at Little Rock.


The Arkansas State Archives, along with the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, will present the event, according to a news release.


“Our annual foodways symposium celebrates the historical, cultural diversity in Arkansas by showcasing our state’s rich heritage through food,” said Julienne Crawford, curator and interim director of the Arkansas State Archives. “We are thrilled to focus this year’s symposium on the fascinating history and delicious foods of Greek communities in Arkansas.”


The foodways symposium’s theme is “Opa! A History of Greek Foodways” with a free lunch prepared and served by students and staff at the college’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute. This year’s event will include presentations by Jeanne Spencer on the History of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and Gus Vratsinas on Little Rock’s Greek Food Festival. Eva Sargant and Peri Leak will demonstrate preparing Greek pastries, according to the release.


The event is free, but seating is limited. Seats must be reserved by Sept. 10. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/arkansas-state-archives-18255509263 or by calling 501-682-6900.


Teachers can earn up to three professional development credit hours by attending the event.


The annual foodways symposiums, which the Arkansas State Archives organizes, connect hundreds of people with Arkansas’s culture, history and food every year. Special speakers talk about the history of the food and the communities from which they came, chefs demonstrate cooking techniques and the ethnic-themed lunch brings audiences taste-experiences, according to the release.


Past symposiums include: Everything Old is New Again: The Arkansas Foodways Movement (2014,) The Roots of African American Foodways in Arkansas (2015,) Southern Fried Schnitzel: German Food and Culture in Arkansas (2016,) Fruit of the Vine: Arkansas’s Italian Communities and Foodways (2017) and From China’s Farmland to Arkansas’s Delta: A History of Arkansas’s Chinese Immigrants (2018.)


“Food plays a central role in how people identify themselves. Food reveals where we came from and who we are,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the department. “It’s important to preserve our food heritage and, thereby, preserve our unique culture, history and identity — that’s exactly what our Foodways Symposium does.”


Arkansas State Archives is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world. The State Archives has two branch locations at Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington, according to the release.


Details: www.archives.arkansas.gov or 501-682-6900.