I’m in the middle of a week-long trip exploring Georgia, Florida, and Washington DC with various writing pals while pestering them to introduce me to their favorite regional cuisine. They’ve all been willing, and to the best of my knowledge, haven’t tried to poison me yet.
Some of the culinary highlights so far:
- She-crab soup and jicama slaw at the Boor’s Head Tavern in Savannah, Ga. This was my first Georgia meal, enjoyed in the company of the lovely and talented Elizbeth Flora Ross. As if that weren’t fabulous enough, I paired it with a delicious Captain’s Porter from Moon River Brewing Company in Savannah. I think I left drool marks on the table.
- I’d be filthy rich (as opposed to just filthy) if I had a nickel for each time critique partner Cynthia Reese has gushed about low country boil in the 6+ years we’ve been working together. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, so I swooned when we got to order it at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island, Ga. low country boil is a mix of corn, potatoes, shrimp, and sausage, served with a whole lot of Old Bay Seasoning and butter. Ours included the addition of crab legs, mussels, and crawfish. Words can’t adequately describe how much I loved this meal. I would have taken off all my clothes and rolled in it, but didn’t want to miss getting even one morsel in my mouth. Here are the photos:
The aftermath of the low country boil.
- Not to be outdone, the delightful and hilarious Harley May took me out for Cuban sandwiches upon my arrival in Florida. I’d never heard of Cuban sandwiches before, and they blew me away with their beautiful simplicity. Made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread, this was a perfectly scrumptious sandwich I might even be able to replicate at home someday if I could figure out how on earth to make that amazing bread.
This little culinary tour has me thinking about when my Italian brother-in-law visited the U.S. several years ago. When he asked us to introduce him to typical American food, we were stumped. Is there such a thing? Or does it vary so widely from region to region that it’s impossible to nail down?
We eventually concentrated our foodie overview on highlights from the Pacific Northwest. We stuffed him with grilled salmon, razor clams, Oregon bay shrimp, and lots of fresh local produce. In the end though, I think his favorite meal was the big lumberjack breakfast at Camp 18.
What sort of cuisine defines your region? Or let’s cut to the chase here – what will you feed me if I come visit you?