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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.


Michigan

Bell’s Amber Ale and pasties offer taste of Michigan

“I wish, I wish, I wish again that I was back in Michigan.” Though I’ve spent a limited amount of time traversing this Great Lakes state, the old saying appeals to me as a longtime craft beer devotee. With more than 130 breweries and brewpubs throughout its broad Upper Peninsula and lower mitten-shaped terrain, Michigan …

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Michigan

Postcard from Mackinac Island

Labor Day marks the end of tourist season on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Most of the summer dwellers and day-trippers have departed by ferry back to Mackinaw City. The more intrepid ones have ferried over to St. Ignace, in the Upper Peninsula, in order to cross the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge—the world’s fifth-largest suspension bridge—back to the …

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Wisconsin

Wrecking ball can’t topple memories of the old Italian neighborhood

Italian-American author Tina De Rosa published a semi-autobiographical novel titled “Paper Fish.” In it, she chronicled the experiences of growing up in an Italian neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. De Rosa wrote her book in 1980, when her childhood neighborhood no longer existed. Years earlier, the city had demolished it as part of a mid-century …

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Washington

Supping in Seattle: salmon, scallops and Sitka and Spruce

Like everywhere else on the planet, Seattle’s food scene is, as they say, “burgeoning.” Seattleites may, however, have an unfair advantage. Every steep hill you come down reminds you that you’re on the banks of Puget Sound, beyond which lies the Pacific Ocean. What I’m talking about here is salmon. And halibut, clams, octopus, mussels, …

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Massachusetts

Mass. appeal: Mystic Brewery’s Saison Renaud and beer-battered fish

The people of Massachusetts have been brewing for centuries, since shortly after English pilgrims docked the Mayflower on Cape Cod in 1620 because they’d begun running out of beer. That libation was preferable to the brackish and potentially hazardous water aboard ship, as our friends at Serious Eats explain. The Bay State has long been synonymous …

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Illinois

Translating “cheesecake” into Polish

When you think of Polish food, pierogies and kielbasa may come to mind. But Liisa Ecola’s Chicago grandmother broke the mold: she is remembered for her cheesecake. Large numbers of Poles began arriving in Chicago in the early 19th century when unrest rocked their homeland. Today, they are among the city’s three largest European ethnic …

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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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