Is it a cookie? A cake? A pie? A dessert sandwich? When it comes to the Maine whoopie pie, the answer is all of the above. In its most basic form, a whoopie pie is made up of two dark chocolate cake discs about the size of a hamburger bun with a layer of sweet, creamy, thick white frosting sandwiched between them. While the origins of the treat are up for debate, Maine claims to be the birthplace of its invention: The first whoopie pies came out of a Lewiston, Maine bakery in 1925.
One ingredient with mysterious origins pops up in dishes across St. Augustine, Florida. In the early 1500s, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sailed his Spanish galleon through choppy coastal waters in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth. Ponce de Leon was the first documented European to explore Florida’s northeast coast. In 1513 he traveled to a territory inhabited by Seminole Indians. After the Spanish settled what is now the city of St. Augustine, the oldest continuously-inhabited city of European origin in the United States, along came the French, English and free Africans. During that migration, at least one ship contained what has become St. Augustine’s favorite pepper: the datil.
I’ve been happily munching on Pennsylvania Dutch food for almost 50 years. My parents, and their parents before them, and on back, were born in central Pennsylvania, more or less ground zero for the cuisine. But trying to classify it isn’t easy, even for me. To begin with, the name is a misnomer: Pennsylvania Dutch fare has spread to Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and the Midwest. Tomake it more confusing, it’s not Dutch, either. The term evolved from the word “Deutsch,” the German word for German, which referred to German-speaking settlers who immigrated long ago to the Keystone State.
In today’s crowded restaurant scene—where traditional favorites are joined by new dining venues almost constantly—it can feel like you’ll never get to every hotspot you want to check out. In such a market, it’s easy to imagine that chefs would foster a spirit of competition, thinking that somebody else’s restaurant has to fail in order for his or hers venture to succeed. Fortunately, in many communities and for many chefs, that is not the situation: Chefs often feed their creative souls through collaboration and cooperation which best shines through during special dining events that showcase the talents of all involved.
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.
Food authorities rank Chicago restaurants atop the nation’s best: Bon Appetit named Chicago the “2017 Restaurant City of the Year.” The James Beard Foundation moved its awards event from New York to Chicago. Zagat and Conde Nast echoed the accolades in 2018.
Nestled in the state of Idaho is a resort famed equally for its winter skiing as its summer golfing. Since it was built in 1936, Sun Valley Resort offers a multi generational travel destination no matter the season. Popular with Hollywood celebrities and sports stars, locals and visitors, this is America’s original destination ski resort.
If it’s possible to “lionize” a pig, no American cuisine does more to elevate the humble animal than Southern cooking. From North Carolina whole hog to Memphis ribs to St. Louis pork steak, Southerners love some swine!
Home to less than 4,000 residents, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California is a wonderland for gourmands, with a jaw-dropping 50+ restaurants situated within its one-square-mile area. If that statistic amazes, consider the little town’s location: Tucked away two hours south of San Francisco on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea benefits from the bounty of the Pacific plus ultra-fresh foodstuffs delivered from the neighboring Salinas Valley.
The mere thought of chocolate can bring smiles. Cacao has been used to uplift the spirits of those lucky enough to get their hands on it since it was first discovered. These days, there’s great news for all chocolate lovers: Not only can chocolate satisfy sweet teeth, it’s chock full of antioxidants and other health benefits—let that fact quell any guilt you may feel about indulging in bars or truffles! To help ensure you’re never without a sweet treat—especially on vacation!—trust your taste buds to these 10 drool-worthy chocolatiers and chocolate-making tours across the U.S.A.