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Each with its own culinary tradition

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The world has become largely homogenized. Still, there are regional foods in Mississippi no one's heard of in Wisconsin. And we think that's wrong. We want to hear from Mississippians about fried catfish and Wisconsinites about cheese curds. Along the way, we'll pluck some choice bits — many never before reported — from national archives.


Minnesota

Bundt cake means community – literally

Most Americans today will recognize a Bundt cake when it’s on the table. But for many, the fluted cake with the hole in the middle is particularly reminiscent of the 1950s and ’60s. It was this kind of nostalgia that prompted Marci Hilt to revisit her Bundt pan collection after the death of the pan’s …

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California

‘California burger’ means different things to different people

Badoi Phan, of San Jose, Calif., recounts a typical high school day: “I would walk to my car and wait for my usual gaggle of friends, and, once they arrived, we all headed out to the In-N-Out down the street,” says the 20-year-old college student. “Of course, it was a typical day in San Jose …

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Maine

Allagash pairs Belgian brews with Maine lobster

Who plans a visit to Maine in late November, a time when temperatures drop to Planet Hoth levels and tourist hot spots lay barren and empty, dreaming of the warmer months? What kind of sadistic maniac plans a weekend getaway to the coldest corner of New England? Me, that’s who. I went for beer. For …

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Utah

Utah Pioneer Day means family, food and Jell-O

Pioneer Day and food preservation are essential to Utah’s culture, which is intricately tied to the customs and calendar of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the Mormon Church. Family and community gatherings — often potlucks, picnics and barbecues — are often also religious affairs. Pioneer Day, the official state holiday celebrated …

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Wisconsin

Meat lab on Wisc. campus offers real hands-on learning

To help pay for the semester’s books or a weekend night out, many American college students hold down jobs at the campus library or gym. But when Alex Richter goes to work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he dons rubber boots, a white coat and a hairnet. Richter is a campus butcher. Richter and 15 …

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Oklahoma

Culinary Postcard: A detour for food Zen at Okla.’s Tamuzul

And now for something completely different. “We needed a break from heavy/fried/meat everything,” says Cara Walsh after barbecue in W Virginia, the bourbon trail in Kentucky and hot, hot chicken in Nashville. Fortunately, when Cara and her cross-country dining companion Dylan Byers rolled into Oklahoma City, Okla., they found Tamuzul, a plant-based Mexican restaurant, where they …

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Louisiana

Bayou Teche IPA and crawfish boil ensure a party in La.

When I was about 7 or 8, my parents took my older brother and me on a road trip to visit their friends in Alexandria, La. They loaded us into the minivan at home in suburban Houston and we set off, with the passage from dry Texas into the lush green bayous of Louisiana bringing …

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Tennessee

Culinary Postcard: The strange power of Nashville hot chicken

Every few months, someone we know goes somewhere near Nashville and is lured into town by the siren song of hot chicken.  Cara Walsh and Dylan Byers, whose cross-country dining tour we’re chronicling, are now among the enchanted. Their temple of choice was Hattie B’s, a relative newcomer to the hot chicken scene. Hot chicken got …

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Kentucky

Culinary Postcard: Louisville hotel offers art on the plate and on the wall

Louisville, Ky., of course, means bourbon. And the Cara-and-Dylan cross-country tasting trip certainly involved back roads and bourbon sampling in the Bluegrass State. They found dinner at Proof on Main held up well to the flight of bourbon with which they ended their day. The restaurant’s bar stocks more than 50 bourbons. Proof on Main …

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Minnesota

Rhubarb and soft-shell crabs bookend the seasons

This week we said goodbye to spring and hello to summer at the dinner table. Our first soft-shell crabs of the season (summer) were followed by a rhubarb upside down cake (spring) for dessert. Rhubarb is considered a niche item as far south as Washington, D.C. It grows fine until the heat sets in but …

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