ELKIN, N.C. – The
Surry Sonker Trail now has eight stops serving the county’s popular local
dessert. Southern On Main recently joined the trail after opening in July in
When Marla Stern, chef and owner of Southern On Main, learned about Surry County’s signature sonker, she called her mother to consult on a recipe. Stern grew up on a farm in Foscoe in Watauga County, and each summer her family canned and froze blueberries. That tradition led Stern to create a blueberry sonker that is the primary flavor offered at the restaurant.
“I personally like a lot of crust on my sonker,” Stern says. “I tried several, and some had hardly any crust. But I made sure mine has plenty. I like to mess around with the recipes and mix them to come up with a favorite.”
Similar to cobbler, sonker consists of cooked fruit and a crust. Some have a liquid batter poured on top of the fruit, others have a rolled dough for their crust, and others are prepared on the stove top with a dropped-dumpling crust. Each recipe depends upon family tradition.
Stern bakes her sonker in the oven and serves it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In addition to blueberry, she will have apple, peach and sweet potato versions.
The region’s sonker dates to the early 1800s. The dessert was a product of frugal home cooks who didn’t want to waste any over-ripe fruit.
“It’s so nice to be a part of a small town with a heritage that everyone cares about,” Stern says. “It’s nice to participate in the culture and traditions and be a part of keeping them alive.”
Located at the corner of Main and Bridges streets in downtown Elkin, Southern On Main occupies the building that formerly housed Twenty One & Main. The restaurant serves upscale Southern comfort food for lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.
In addition to Southern On Main, the Surry Sonker Trail includes: Down Home Restaurant in Mount Airy, The Living Room Coffeehouse and Winebar in Pilot Mountain, Putters Patio & Grill in Dobson, Old North State Winery in Mount Airy, Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy, Rockford General Store in Dobson and Roxxi & Lulu’s Bakery in Elkin.
The trail was created in January 2015 by the Tourism Partnership of Surry County. Each of the eight stops serves a different style of the dessert.
To receive a newly-updated Sonker Trail brochure map, which has all the info needed to enjoy a day or two along the trail, call (800) 948-0949, or go online at: www.SonkerTrail.org.
In : Media about Elkin
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