Food is the centerpiece of every human celebration and that traditions enhance the festivities.The heart of our Appalachian culture—in fact, of any culture around the world—is food. No matter how far away from home we move or how different our meals today are from the ones we grew up with, when it is time to celebrate a particular holiday, we feel the need “to go home” to the food and traditions our family associated with this occasion. The Cast Iron Cook-Off® helps all of us reconnect with, maintain and celebrate traditions—the recipes, folklore, cooking utensils, ingredients—and adapt them creatively to fit our current lifestyles while keeping in mind recent findings about nutrition and health. Being rooted in tradition doesn’t mean that we must be bound to or stuck in the past. In fact, it’s the opposite. Change is easier and more effective when you consider where others have already gone and what they discovered does and doesn’t work.