Dressing or stuffing? Pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Brine, baste, roast or deep-fry the bird? What you consider to be the “correct” answer to these and other culinary questions about our nation’s annual Thanksgiving feast depend largely on where you live.
“Have a rice day” is the greeting you'll get in Crowley, Louisiana. Rice has reigned in this self-proclaimed “rice capital” of the Cajun prairie since the late 1800s. Crowley's rice history goes back to the completion of the railroad, which led to the sale of abundant prairie land rich for growing the crop. Several advances in equipment, technology and plant varieties all led to the grain prospering in this region of Southwest Louisiana. Rice fields still dot the landscape today.
The phrase “As American as apple pie” has a lot of meaning to the farmers of Central Pennsylvania. Each fall, local orchards burst with apples of many colors and tastes: 72 different apple varieties grow in this region! One family has made the art of growing and selling apples their business for the last 63 years. On a 500-acre farm in Biglerville, Penn., four generations of the Hollabaugh family tend the land to produce enough apples for their own market as well as for wholesalers who buy half of the 100,000 bushels they harvest each year.
Just by visiting Telluride, you put your body to the test. Can you withstand an altitude of 8,750 feet without getting altitude sickness? People who come to this popular mountain town are generally looking for the type of adrenaline-filled holiday that is packed with skiing, mountain biking and hiking, rather than lounging by a pool all day. It’s no wonder that the town’s cult cocktail, rightfully named “The Flatliner,”is made to get you tipsy yet keep you going for hours. Just don’t die (or pass out).
Named one of the “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century,” Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has written six books on vintage tiki drinks and cuisine, co-created the app Total Tiki for iPad and iPhone, is the owner of tiki bar Latitude 29 in New Orleans, and sells a line of tiki barware with Cocktail Kingdom. If that's not enough, his cocktail recipes have been printed in publications around the world, and it's safe to say he's an expert on rum.
It took about 24 hours. By that time, I was hopelessly, helplessly in love. Luckily my husband felt the same way. We swooned at every sultry bite of andouille sausage in our freshly prepared jambalaya. “I could eat this every week,” I said. He nodded in agreement, mouth too full to speak. My love affair with New Orleans, Louisiana, was not unexpected. The cuisine has been my undisputed favorite for decades. You’d think with such high expectations, New Orleans would disappoint, but instead, the grand dame of a city surpassed them all.
It’s that time of year again, when we deck out in red, white and blue to celebrate our nation’s independence. Virginia is indisputably the birthplace of our country: it’s home to the first permanent colony of settlers at Jamestown and played a leading role in the American Revolution. Nicknamed the “mother of presidents,” Virginia was also the birthplace of eight of our leaders, including George Washington, our first president, and Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—who not only played a role in the birth of our country, he helped give birth to modern American cuisine.
Make no mistake about it: Key lime pie simply tastes better in the Florida Keys than anywhere else. Must be the sunshine. Key limes are yellow, not green, and they’re essential to making an authentic key lime pie. That’s the one aspect of the pie that everyone agrees on.
Georgia-born Chef Virginia Willis's cookbooks have become staples for southern cooking. Need a foolproof chess pie or cornbread recipe? Consult Bon Appetit, Y'all. What about a lighter version of cheese straws or chicken and dumplings? Just pull the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y'all off the shelf. With five previous cookbooks under her apron, Willis also serves as an editor-at-large for Southern Living and writes a regular column “Cooking with Virginia” for SouthernKitchen.com.
Songwriter Jimmy Buffett coined the term “boat drinks” in his 1979 song by the same name. Otherwise known as cocktails garnished with umbrellas, and often containing rum and fruit juice, boat drinks are a summer staple—especially in the Gulf South. You'd be hard-pressed to find a restaurant or bar in neighboring Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, that doesn't serve some type of rum-flavored drink. These warm Gulf waters and white sand beaches are the perfect backdrop for sipping a summer concoction.