Depending how close to the coast you are, you will tend to see a gradual change of culinary delights, because seafood plays such a major influential role the closer you are, of course – especially in the seaside states like Maine (known for its fresh fish, live lobsters, oysters, calamari, and clams), Florida (known for its fresh fish, tuna, clams, crab, shrimp, and sometimes alligator), Virginia (known for its fresh fish, crab, shellfish and oysters), and others. The further west that you travel, the more comfort and heavy foods you will find. From Philadelphia’s famous rib eye beef and cheese loaded steak subs to Chicago’s extremely thick, slow cooked pizzas, which are filled with inch upon inch and layer upon layer of various cheeses and chunky tomato sauce, while typically being stuffed with mushroom, sausage, pepperoni, eggplant, and more. Two other popular regional dishes is Boston’s hearty clam chowder and New York’s rich and creamy cheesecakes.
West Coast USA
The West Coast is loaded with famous eateries, high end dining and specialty local cuisines. For example, everybody in the world knows about Seattle’s famous coffee. But also, while we’re speaking of beverages for a moment; of all of the places in the world outside of France, there are few, if any, known for vino like San Francisco and the surrounding areas of California are – with hundreds of wineries bursting with flavors, the Cali wine scene has never been so attractive. Throw in the spicy influential flare of Mexico’s culinary traditions and great seafood from the Northern coast (especially the infamous salmon of Alaska), and you have a culinary goldmine.
As I talked about earlier, all popular culinary styles of the world are influenced by what’s available in their particular region, and the South is far from an exception. The Caribbean has a firm grasp over the top food influences in the southeastern region of the United States, with New Orleans’ Cajun flare and Jamaican jerk spice styles, while Mexico takes over with their influences in the southwestern regions of the states. Texas and surrounding states love their spiciness and their meats, and that’s combined perhaps the best way possible – in a chili stew, loaded with meat, veggies (but not beans), chilies, and more meat, and more chili. The spicier taste to enhance the sweat above one’s brow means the food was prepared to utmost perfection.
Now that you’re hungry and your mouth is drooling, I urge you to plan a trip to some of these destinations, to travel, to live well and of course, to eat even better – for most of these popular culinary delights are copied elsewhere, but nothing is quite the same as true authentic local cooking.
(Photo via bellissimogrande.com)