10 Best Regional Foods in America
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The U.S. boasts an array of regional culinary creations that offer insight into the history, climate, and culture of the place. Though there are way too many to list, here are 10 different foods that are sure to whet your appetite, from po-boy sandwiches to key lime pie.
Its origins may be a bit unclear, but there's no denying that Maine and lobster rolls are a match made in seafood heaven—it is the official state sandwich, afterall. New Englanders take pride in the hefty chunks of chilled cooked lobster meat lightly tossed with mayonnaise and served on a toasted hot dog bun. Though there are many twists on the recipe, including warm butter in place of the mayo or the addition of celery and a plethora of spices, true purists prefer their lobster rolls to be pretty bare bones.
Visitors can find this extravagant, yet humble, sandwich served at almost every restaurant in Maine, but there are a few places that bring it to new heights, including Shaw's Fish & Lobster Wharf in New Harbor, Bagaduce Lunch in Brooksville, and Waterman's Beach Lobster in South Thomaston, among many others.
The history of sourdough bread is closely related to the men who came to San Francisco in 1849 in pursuit of gold. These 49ers would buy bread "starters," a fermented mixture of yeast, water, and flour, to bake fresh loaves on the trail, but discovered a sour flavor to the bread unlike anywhere else in the world. It's because San Francisco's climate produces wild microorganisms unique to the area, giving the bread its tangy bite. Seasoned miners even came to be known as "sourdoughs" for their time spent fermenting in the mines.
Meanwhile, a French baker by the name of Isidore Boudin struck culinary gold when he combined the sourdough starters with French baking techniques. The finished product was a loaf of bread, crusty on the outside and light and airy with a bit of a tart kick on the inside. Sourdough bread is now sold all over the city, but you can still buy it from the bakery that started it all, the Boudin Bakery.