Hey, y’all! This project is a few years in the making, and I’m excited that you’ve joined me! I’ve been a vegetarian in Alabama for about 19 years now, and I’ve met countless transplants who are no longer vegetarian or vegan, because they claim, “it’s impossible to be vegetarian in the South.” Well, I call (tofu) bologna! While the Heart o’ Dixie is indeed barbecue country, I’m here to help with an ever-evolving road map for veggie victuals in the Southern U.S.A. and beyond.
I adopted the name Iago the Pixie as an online DJ in undergrad (my show was Pixieland with Iago), so that’s been my online name ever since. I wear many hats in Birmingham as an comp/lit instructor and as a community servant activist who serves on several nonprofit boards. My favourite activities are writing, reading, gardening, eating, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting, hiking, and camping. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old (with only a brief fall off the wagon when I was 16 visiting family in Puerto Rico for the first time and needed to try all the things).
Why Heart of Pixie?
As I mentioned earlier, this has been a pet project of mine for some time. As a longtime vegetarian, I’ve often struggled to find good vegetarian fare in this city. It’s now a blossoming foodie paradise, but some of you will remember when Bottletree was the only place to offer veggie options, and even now I find it’s hard to know which restaurants cater to vegetarians.
Heart of Pixie is the (final, best, most amazing, your favourite) iteration of years of unfinished restaurant reviews, recipe experiments, and a previously failed similar initiative, a vegetarian blog titled The
(Dixie) Hippie Handbook circa 2012-2013, which failed because I was trying to do all the things and really neglected it.
Whats in a name?
The name primarily refers to my aforementioned alter-ego Iago the Pixie, but there’s another context in the phrasing, too. If you’re from Birmingham, I hardly need to tell you that Alabama is often called the “heart of dixie” due to its position south of the Mason-Dixon line and all that. For some Alabamians, there’s some nasty complicated history for the term “dixie” as it relates to the culture of blackface minstrelsy and the confederacy, and it connotes, for many folks, a particular conception of what it means to be Southern.
Well, I’m Southern, too, and this is a Southern-born blog, but my experience as a (vegetarian) Puerto Rican Southern woman complicates the narrative a bit. Thus, Heart of Pixie. <3