Posts Tagged ‘American dishes’

Trends Across the Country: East Coast Seafood

Old Bay Steamed Maryland Crabs

To celebrate this year of the Olympics and a presidential election, Cooking Channel asked fans what dishes represent their states and then worked with our kitchens to create original recipes for each of the 50 states. (Read all about the project here.) Each state has its own unique food scene, but we couldn’t help but notice some trends across the map from coast to coast.

Every state has its iconic dish that stirs up all kinds of pride. It sparks countless arguments over where to get the ultimate version, whose grandma’s recipe is better or what ingredients are completely sacrilegious to the original. Even the way you serve and eat the dish can separate true locals from pretenders.

To represent my home state of Maryland, Cooking Channel fans were 100 percent accurate in nominating Old Bay steamed blue crabs. Every summer growing up, my family would drive an hour and a half just for dinner on the Chesapeake Bay’s eastern shore, where we’d feast on crabs at a dockside place with rustic picnic tables covered in butcher paper (the only way hard-shell crabs should be served).

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A Chef’s Perspective on Preparing America’s State Dishes

Young Sun Huh discusses a dish with the culinary team.

By now you’ve seen our list of 50 dishes (plus one for D.C. and an election year-themed cake) that represent American cuisine, and have read our behind-the-scenes blog post all about the creation of this huge project. (Oh, you haven’t? Trust us — it’s worth a couple clicks.) Our chefs up in the Kitchens were super busy (and sometimes super stumped) preparing regional dishes from all 50 states, from classics like peach pie and lobster rolls to some crazy-sounding dishes like Lefse, Pastys and Chislic.

We sat down with Chef Young Sun Huh to walk us through her recipe development process, and share some of her favorite memories from this fun collaborative project.

Cooking Channel: You prepared and tasted a lot of dishes. Which one were you most surprised to find yourself going back for second (or third) helpings?

The dish that stole everyone's hearts (and stomachs).

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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.

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A Dish for Every State?

Some dishes are so iconic of America, they bring us together at the table no matter where we live. I’m talking burgers, mac & cheese, pizza, French fries, apple pie, pancakes, etc. (Just ask Jeffrey Saad of United Tastes of America — he’s tried them all.)

But lately we’ve been wondering what dishes are unique to each state. If each state had to pick a dish that really defined it, what would it be?

Our Kitchens did a little research and came up with an interesting list of foods noteworthy to each state. Many are what you’d expect — Deep Dish Pizza in Illinois, BBQ Brisket in Texas, Peach Pie in Georgia, New Jersey’s Italian Subs.

The research found some curious dishes, too — Funeral Potatoes in Utah, Kansas’s Burnt Ends, Sauerkraut Balls in Ohio — not to mention some really odd-sounding ones. Burgoo in Kentucky? Chislic in South Dakota? Spam Musubi in Hawaii? (Apparently it’s a sushi-sized bite of grilled spam atop a block of rice, wrapped in seaweed. We can’t wait to try.)

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