Regional Foods

Photo by Golubovy

I talked about how food around the world differs and the influences of culture and religion on those dishes. I thought it was pertinent to mention that food just around the United States is vastly different. We have dishes that identify with specific areas such as New England chowder, Maine lobster, New Orleans gumbo, and Tex-Mex. You can basically go on a culinary tour just by taking a road trip with the states that neighbor you. I want to talk to you a bit about how these areas influence the dishes and create a unique flavor profile.

The main things that create different dishes from region to region are the availability of certain ingredients. Coastal states will usually have many more dishes that have seafood, and it will be the predominant meat in most of the dishes. Dishes in areas with lots of flat land and cattle country will tend to have a lot more beef and other meat-based dishes. Produce is also highly affected by the site in which the dish originated. We see a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in dishes in California, Oregon, and Florida. That being said, it is primarily dependent on what is available seasonally within those locations. Take a look at this article that talks about farm to table and seasonal ingredients.

People also bring a significant influence on the food that is found in these regions. Parts of California and Texas can have a heavy Mexican impact due to them sharing a border with Mexico. There is a hybrid of American Mexican food found in these areas that is like no other. People bring a significant influence because we can meld cultures through food and experimenting with different ingredients. If you want to learn more about cultures and how they can melt, look at this article; it brings up some exciting points.

Hopefully, this is inspired you to look at the foods in your town and see how they have been influenced by different cuisines. It is a great way to experience the culture and the people. Hence, it’s certainly important to go in brace yourself in these areas. Let me know what your favorites are, and hopefully, you find a new dish that becomes your absolute favorite. Let me know on Twitter what interesting dishes you discover.

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