Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hungry for 'The Hunger Games'? Check Out the Cookbook, N.C. Filming Sites

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 7:39 AM

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I think I may be one of the last people on the planet who still hasn't read The Hunger Games, the young adult adventure trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. But then again I've never read a Twilight book or any of the Harry Potters, so maybe I just left my young adult tastes behind after young adulthood. I do acknowledge the power of the Hunger Games series, particularly after my girlfriend spent an entre weekend not speaking to me with her nose buried in her Kindle. And when I saw all three of the books show up on my Amazon account in 48 hours.

With the movie opening tomorrow (actually midnight tonight), Hunger hysteria is at a fever pitch. If you want to participate in more than just watching the story unfold in high-def in front of your eyes, here are two more visceral opportunities for you.

From what I understand, the heroine of the book is a resourceful backwoods kinda girl with a talent for hunting and cooking all types of small real and made-up animals in her battle to survive. For you Bitesters who want to try to recreate some of Katniss' recipes, there is now the Unoffical Hunger Games Cookbook.

The book is logically heavy on wild-game recipes, but if you are interested in dishes like "French Bread from the Mellark Family Bakery, Katniss' Favorite Lamb Stew with Dried Plums, Rue's Roasted Parsnips, Gale's Bone-Pickin' Big Game Soup or Capitol-Grade Dark Chocolate Cake," then this might just be the book for you. Or one of your many, many friends who are hooked on the series.

If you want to get even deeper into the movie, the North Carolina Department of Tourism has compiled a list of the locations where the movie was shot in addition to some other tourist attractions that might not necessarily have been the exact scenic shots used, but which still are representative of the sort of woods where a post-apocalyptic deadly game of hide and seek might just take place.

Yeah, I know it's a stretch, but if this sort of thing interests you, then check out the full release after the jump:

12 Great Places to Experience ‘The Hunger Games'

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  • visitnc.com
Picture the mountain forest where Katniss and Gale hunted. Imagine the stand of trees that spit fireballs at terrified Tributes. Envision a gleaming city where schemers jerked the reins of power.

Makers of the new “The Hunger Games” film found those settings and more in the diverse landscapes of North Carolina. They shot their adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel on locations and soundstages across the western half of the state.

With the movie’s March 23 release, you can see their results and follow their cues to create your own “Hunger Games” experience — complete with film locations, star hang-outs and sites that tap the novel’s spirit.

DuPont State Recreational Forest
Brevard
Welcome to the arena, a dramatic landscape of waterfalls, pines and poplars, hideaway lakes and fishing streams. Hit the trails and see if you can spot Katniss’ pond, the place where Peeta camouflaged himself and traces of the pyrotechnics from the fireball sequence. Shots of the airstrip were fashioned into the aerial view of the train speeding toward the Capitol. dupontforest.com

Henry River Mill Village
Hildebran
Pull off Interstate 40 at Exit 119 and drive by the abandoned Henry River Mill Village, which stands in for the Seam and the Mellark family bakery. Beware: The village is private property and posted as such, but the new Hildebran Heritage Museum can help satisfy curiosity. hildebrannc.com

Uptown Charlotte
With its urban sheen, North Carolina’s largest city presents the Capitol’s over-styled residents and the unlucky District tributes at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Knight Theater and other locations. It’s quite a show. www.charlottesgotalot.com

Uptown Shelby
Private warehouses west of the South Lafayette Street hub accommodated the Reaping, the Hob and other District 12 sites (plus the paparazzi’s would-be perch). Visit the restaurants and shops that served the Hollywood visitors — Pleasant City Wood Fire Grill was a favorite. Ask locals about their encounters and keeping mum about Miley Cyrus’ visit to see beau Liam Hemsworth (Gale). www.uptownshelby.org

Navitat Canopy Tour
Barnardsville
Rue would have loved soaring through the trees at Navitat, one of a dozen or so ziplines in Western North Carolina. In real life, Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) climbed aboard with then-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens. Another reason to visit: Pre-Games scenes with Katniss and Gale were filmed nearby at Coleman Boundary (aka Big Ivy) in Pisgah National Forest. www.navitat.com; www.fs.usda.gov

Craggy Pinnacle Trail
Blue Ridge Parkway
The lake beside the Cornucopia quenched the Career Tributes’ thirsts, and so it is with the North Fork Reservoir, where the Games’ bloodiest action was filmed. Because the reservoir is tapped for drinking water, access is restricted, but hikers can catch a glimpse or two from the Craggy Pinnacle Trail, accessed at the Craggy Gardens visitor center above Asheville. The trail leads to a grassy area with a view of the reservoir, then to the pinnacle, where the crystal blue water is part of the panorama. Visitors are advised to follow the law and stick to the established trail, the better to minimize damage to the environment. www.blueridgeparkway.org

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Bryson County
A Hunger Games tribute would do well to attend Survival School at the NOC, which has 40 years of experience teaching people to thrive in the great outdoors. Wilderness first aid, animal tracking and trapping, friction fire, wild foods and medicinal plants are among the topics covered in a progression of courses and specialized workshops. www.noc.com

U.S. National Whitewater Center
Charlotte
Gamemakers would no doubt love to tap the talent behind this multi-adventure wonderland, home of the world’s largest manmade river. The long list of activities includes survival programs for adults and families as well as rock climbing, which reportedly enticed Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) during the “Hunger Games” shoot. usnwc.org

NoDa neighborhood
Charlotte
On North Davidson Street, the historic NoDa neighborhood has become Charlotte’s hippest, most artsy destination, home of galleries, bars, microbreweries and lively restaurants. “Hunger Games” cast members found their way to Cabo Fish Taco and Amelie’s French Bakery, among other places. www.noda.org

Downtown Asheville

Lexington Avenue Brewery, Wasabi, the Laughing Seed … there’s a long list of spots that attracted cast members during their sojourn in Asheville. Fans can book rooms at the hotels where the stars stayed (Hotel Indigo, DoubleTree by Hilton Biltmore) and enjoy the same laid-back hospitality extended to the actors and crew members based here for the shoot. www.exploreasheville.com

Troy & Sons
Asheville
With his craving for white whiskey, Haymitch would have stashed case upon case of the moonshine made here from heirloom Crooked Creek corn, grown on a nearby farm. And Haymitch wouldn’t have broken the law to buy it. www.troyandsons.com

Nature Research Center
Raleigh
Anyone looking for the lowdown on jabberjays and tracker jackers is advised to try the new wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Opening in April, the Nature Research Center will offer a Meet the Scientist experience, in which visitors can pick researchers’ brains. And who knows? If these lab wizards can reverse-engineer a dino-chicken (yes, they’re working on one), they might know how to go about making …… or stopping … a hissing humanoid reptile or wolf mutt. naturesearch.org

See you in line tonight at midnight. I'll be the guy listening to a podcast on his iPod standing next to the really excited (albeit sleepy) pretty blond kindergarten teacher.

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