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Friday, August 21, 2009

Regional and 60's cuisine

My wife’s cousin sent an email from her home in Cincinnati recently and talked about her boyfriend’s birthday dinner coming up. It will include bean soup and cornbread, two of his favorites. Bean soup and cornbread? Sounds OK but probably not everyone’s favorite.

We all have our favorite foods and those of you who have been around a while can remember when food choices and tastes were a lot different from what we have now. There are also regional tastes from around the USA that make some mouths water while making others wonder how anyone could eat that stuff.

Each region of the country has its particular cuisine. Here are a few samples: In Cincy, we had Skyline Chili which I considered outstanding and "goetta," which my wife loves but I have no interest. It is a weird combination of oatmeal, sausage, spices, and I don’t know what else. Cincy also has Graeter’s ice cream which is the best in the world. I’ve tried them all and no brand I have ever tried can compare and that includes Ben and Jerry’s.

If you are from the New Jersey-Pennsylvania area, you probably like cheese steak sandwiches, pizza, subs, and hot dogs. There is also a strange item called "scrapple" which looks like some kind of meat loaf. DG can tell us about that.

The South has brains and eggs with grits on the side, the Mid-West has meat and potatoes and Bar-B-Que, California is the home of burgers with chains like McDonald’s, Fat Burger, Bob’s Big Boy, Carl’s Jr., and In-‘n-Out originating there along with some Mexican chains. In Arizona, Mexican food rules with some regional items from other areas.

If you grew up in the 1960s you may remember the introduction of these items during that decade: Gatorade, Sprite, and Tab became popular drinks. It was also the time when Bugles, Cool Whip, and Doritos came along. McDonald’s Big Mac, Spaghetti O’s, and Taco Bell Restaurants also evolved in the 1960s. How lucky we were to enjoy those treats!

More 60s favorites: Fondue (I never saw the point of dipping a piece of bread in chocolate or cheese) Steak Diane (That was excellent and my wife still makes it), and salad bars (no, thanks!). The 60s was also the era of the 3 for 1 happy hour. You had to be tough to make it through those.

Any additions from your areas?

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