Watch Cooking Channel

The Making Of: Across the Country

Back in 2011, when the biggest thing going on in England was the Royal Wedding, we got to thinking: How could we properly commemorate a year in which we’d be watching the Summer Olympics and voting in a presidential election? What collection of dishes would scream Americana and help us champion our national pride? We turned to our Kitchens, tapping into their culinary prowess and vast research library to help us define the full breadth of American cuisine. Soon we realized that each of our 50 states has its own unique and quirky food scene. How were we to choose the best eats from sea to shining sea?

But then it became clear: We didn’t need the best dishes in America (we’ve got Jeffrey Saad to help us with that), but the most distinctive. What one dish defines each state, we wondered? So we turned to you, our fans and resident state experts, to tell us about your state’s most iconic dishes. And tell us, you did, taking to Facebook, Twitter and commenting on Devour to show us how passionate you are about your local staples.

A spread of recipes in development and cross-test stages.

Armed with our list of 50, we asked the Kitchens to re-create the voted-upon dishes — and that’s when things got fun. This was no ordinary list; sure, there were some staples like peach pie, French fries and clam chowder, but there were also recipes with interesting names (Funeral Potatoes?) and some foods most of has had never heard of, like Lefse, Chislic and Salmon Candy (salmon WHAT?). Our chefs were challenged with the task of researching and writing recipes for these regional specialties, doing their best to replicate local flavors. Over the course of two weeks, they would prepare the recipes and set them out for tasting (called “development”), and then prepare one, two or even three revisions incorporating the testers’ feedback (called “cross-testing”).

Chefs explain their recipes while our test kitchen and culinary editorial staff taste and provide commentary.

From the first spoonful of Chile Verde to the final slice of Mississippi Mud Pie (and yes, there were several), participating in this project was nothing short of an adventure. We scored some insider chef tips (“chimichangas are great for breakfast the next day, when the flavors have melded”) and learned some smart substitutes (Can’t find huckleberries? Blueberries will do.). We discovered that pork roll is not a sandwich, but a cured meat that’s then tucked into a sandwich and that there is nothing somber about Funeral Potatoes (they are a positively delightful cornflake-topped cheesy potato casserole).

A pulled pork sandwich is piled high for photographing.

Once the recipes were developed, tested, cross-tested and tied with a bow, 52 dishes (one for D.C. and a traditional election year-themed cake) were prettied for their glamour shots. Some recipes were photographed more artfully (salty-sweet salmon candy balanced atop pink sea salt blocks) while others were shot to illustrate the way state natives might consume them: Nebraska meat pies on a fast-food tray, lobster rolls on a seaside picnic bench. When all the shots were completed, they were displayed for all to admire: beautiful, delicious photographs tacked to a bulletin board in rows.

Admiring the delicious end results.

 Want to go deeper behind the scenes? See all our pictures of this project, from start to finish.

Then, check out Across the Country in 50 State Dishes for all the recipes and the stories behind them.

*All photography by Roberto Ferdman.

Tags:

Comments (2606)

  1. Make money online posted 12/20/2012

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  2. ceiling lights posted 12/20/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  3. learn more posted 12/20/2012

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  4. sacramento it support posted 12/20/2012

    sacramento it support…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, on the other hand, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  5. High Risk Merchant Transactions…

    [...]very few internet websites that take place to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]…

  6. newark it support posted 12/20/2012

    newark it support…

    [...]just beneath, are a lot of entirely not related sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re surely really worth going over[...]…

  7. unifi package posted 12/20/2012

    unifi package…

    [...]The facts talked about in the post are a few of the most beneficial available [...]…

  8. Machu Picchu Tours posted 12/20/2012

    Machu Picchu Tours…

    [...]although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they’re truly really worth a go by means of, so have a look[...]…

  9. alex & company boston posted 12/20/2012

    alex & company boston…

    [...]check below, are some completely unrelated internet sites to ours, having said that, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  10. Cardsharing server posted 12/21/2012

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  11. san francisco posted 12/21/2012

    san francisco…

    [...]The data talked about inside the report are a number of the most beneficial out there [...]…

  12. icra avukati ankara posted 12/21/2012

    icra avukati ankara…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nevertheless seriously really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular discover about Mid East has got far more problerms at the same time [...]…

  13. around the world travel posted 12/21/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  14. entrar hotmail posted 12/21/2012

    entrar hotmail…

    [...]although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are in fact worth a go by, so possess a look[...]…

  15. primer posted 12/21/2012

    primer…

    [...]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but don?t get a whole lot of link enjoy from[...]…

  16. personal trainer class posted 12/21/2012

    The Slave of the Husband…

    Seeking forward to finding out further from you afterward!……

  17. Nabisco posted 12/21/2012

    Nabisco…

    [...]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  18. Seattle WA Website posted 12/21/2012

    Seattle WA Website…

    [...]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they are really worth a go by way of, so possess a look[...]…

  19. austin owner financing posted 12/21/2012

    austin owner financing…

    [...]Here are a number of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  20. lida posted 12/21/2012

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  21. lida posted 12/21/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  22. Making Money Fast posted 12/21/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  23. Buy Youtube Views posted 12/21/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  24. shon moss posted 12/22/2012

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  25. Escort Koln posted 12/22/2012

    Escort Koln…

    [...]the time to study or check out the content material or websites we have linked to beneath the[...]…

  26. We Care Health Services posted 12/22/2012

    We Care Health Services…

    [...]one of our guests lately proposed the following website[...]…

  27. free slot machines posted 12/22/2012

    free slot machines…

    [...]very few internet websites that occur to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly worth checking out[...]…

  28. area code list posted 12/22/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  29. muay thai san diego posted 12/22/2012

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  30. online payday loans posted 12/22/2012

    fantastic net web websites…

    Great online website under! As most definitely kinds own websites greatly correct completely up quick! Specifically what specifically web site business suppose you tend to be combating? Will i simply create a internet marketer evaluate a distinctive va…

  31. mma coach certification posted 12/22/2012

    Healing’s Dragon…

    to search out troubles to enhance my website!I suppose its okay to generate usage of a handful of of the ideas!!…

  32. uk gambling posted 12/23/2012

    uk gambling…

    [...]we like to honor a lot of other world wide web web pages on the web, even though they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[...]…

  33. hotels in marrakech posted 12/23/2012

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  34. naturally beautiful girl posted 12/23/2012

    Healing’s Dragon…

    to uncover issues to improve my website!I suppose its alright to generate use of a couple of of your respective ideas!!…

  35. personal loan posted 12/23/2012

    personal loan…

    [...]The details talked about in the post are some of the very best obtainable [...]…

  36. Cipto Junaedy posted 12/23/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  37. ammunition posted 12/23/2012

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  38. Best Driving Lessons Wakefield posted 12/24/2012

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  39. survey bypass posted 12/24/2012

    survey bypass…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single understand about Mid East has got more problerms also [...]…

  40. how to articles posted 12/24/2012

    how to articles…

    [...]Here is a good Blog You may Come across Exciting that we Encourage You[...]…

  41. blogging posted 12/24/2012

    blogging…

    [...]one of our visitors not long ago encouraged the following website[...]…

  42. IaaS posted 12/24/2012

    IaaS…

    [...]that will be the finish of this article. Here you will discover some sites that we consider you?ll appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  43. web directory posted 12/24/2012

    web directory…

  44. more info posted 12/24/2012

    more info…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I like but really don’t get lots of link love from[...]…

  45. Merrill Boring posted 12/25/2012

    a great exceedingly pleasant document…

    Document view difficult extremely intriguing around any type of web online website that we totally preserved every single child fav….

  46. Los Angeles Psychic Development…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but really don’t get quite a bit of link love from[...]…

  47. شات سعودي كام posted 12/25/2012

    شات سعودي كام…

    [...]just beneath, are quite a few totally not associated web-sites to ours, even so, they are certainly worth going over[...]…

  48. chat random posted 12/25/2012

    chat random…

    [...]that is the end of this write-up. Here you will come across some websites that we feel you?ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]…

  49. funeral policies south africa posted 12/26/2012

    The Silent Shard…

    This will likely possibly be fairly useful for some within your jobs I want to don’t only with my blog site but…

  50. search engine company posted 12/26/2012

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c