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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.

South Carolina

Chef Sean Brock shares his Southern “Heritage”

I get somewhere between three and eight cookbooks every day. Most of them, I glance at and put aside, waiting for a story that they might fit. Truth be told, many are the same, offering smoky covers full of airbrushed ingredients or screaming about the five ingredients that I Must Cook With Now. But today, …

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Sorghum farmers become accidental artisans

On a recent Saturday morning, Danny Ray Townsend stood stirring a pan of sorghum over a hot hickory wood fire. The breeze came only now and then, wafting through the shed and carrying the syrup’s grassy scent to the crowds gathered around the mule-powered mill. “We’ve got little spoons and we give a hot sampling …

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Both Ga. and Va. celebrate Brunswick stew as their own

It’s Brunswick stew season, and where you celebrate says a lot about who you are. Or, at least, where you’re from. Juicy, sweet and bursting with vegetables, Brunswick stew was a fixture of my Georgia childhood. Long road trips to Florida often meant stopping at The Georgia Pig, a roadside barbecue shack in Brunswick, the …

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New York

Faith and Food: Cooking and worshipping together

Sharing a Shabbat meal On a warm Friday evening, the aromas of onions and meat waft through Barbara Meltz’s home in Stanhope, N.J., as she puts the final touches on her Shabbat dinner. Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, is celebrated every week from sundown on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. On Friday evenings in Jewish homes, …

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Minn.’s cold Surly Hell and hot Jucy Lucy

One of my best college friends grew up in Minneapolis, and each summer I visited him I wondered to myself why I didn’t live there. The lakes shine under the warm sun, there are miles and miles of green public space, the food is fantastic, the culture is welcoming and lively, the sports teams have …

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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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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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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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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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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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