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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.


Maryland

The shaved-ice man brought endless summer

  Every summer of my childhood, the same ritual repeated itself. Scott Styer, the local shaved-ice man, would turn his truck down the sloping drive of my neighborhood pool in Potomac, Md., and switch on “The Banana Boat Song” over the loudspeaker mounted to the roof rack of his Toyota truck. Scott ran a seasonal …

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California

Monterey Bay offers fish for the whole family

During a recent Skype session with my 3-year-old granddaughter who’d just moved to Carmel, Calif., I heard all about the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the amazing octopus with his great, big TENTACLES! When I visited recently, the aquarium and fish market were high on our “to do” list, so off my daughter and I headed …

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Maryland

Stillwater Gose and Md. crab soup a trip to the shore

I have always been attracted to in-between things — amorphous, ambiguous areas where no single identity dominates. That’s how I see Maryland. Somewhat Southern, somewhat Northern, the state’s 12,407 square miles mash up historic urban centers, quaint college towns, winding country roads and bucolic shoreline. And that’s how I also see Maryland’s brewing culture. It …

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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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