June 24, 2004
Food Section Digestion - June 24, 2004

Special Flyover States Edition

New York Times - The paper of record shows its coastal bias by proclaiming Vermont the "most important center of American cheese craft east of California". I've got nothing against Vermont or its cheeses, but the inability of the coastal media to imagine anything but corn, soybean, and cows are going on in the vast middle part of the U.S. (you know, New Jersey to Nevada) is maddening. Maybe its just me, but I think they make some pretty fine cheese up in Wisconsin. (Just to beat this particular horse to death - this site indicates Wisconsin is making 350 types of artisan cheeses, twice the number California produces)
One coastal state where great things happen with seafood is Alaska. Yukon River king salmon are making their way to the lower 48 for the first time in 20 years and Timothy Egan's on it.

Down in D.C. at the Washington Post, Candy Sagon is wondering when martinis got so damn expensive. $15 for a splash of vodka and olives does seem high. The Post gives us a nice light dinner suggestion with Tuna, Pasta, and Lemon.

In the center of the NYT's flyover land, The Chicago Tribune's Chris McNamara notes the local rise of Latin-style grilling utilizing thinner, tougher steaks marinated well with a variety of spices, and cooked quickly over high heat. Cristina Minor advises us to think about the food-related sayings we use like "cool as a cucumber" or "apple of my eye". Sounds pretty nutty to me.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch site STLToday indicates Wisconsin isn't the only cheese-making state in the Midwest. A couple from Wisconsin have started a sheep farm in Missouri, bringing 300 heads and a lot of sheep milk cheese and smudge (sheep-milk fudge) to the Show-Me State.

In the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Dimon Kendrick-Holmes proclaims "Today we've got two fresh corn casseroles for you". And I've got one link for you.

Those in our audience with little nippers will appreciate the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's article on how to avoid food wars with your kids. I was surprised to read that picky eaters often turn into overweight kids. "What do you mean you don't want the pickled beet casserole?"

In Birmingham, they love the governor... No, wait, I mean in the Birmingham News, they love chefs Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings who are propelling the Alabama city onto the national food scene. Southern chefs, now your hot cross buns are burning fast?

I'm trying not to show a bias against southern cities, but I'll admit to not loving super-conservative Dallas (What does Dallas have that Fort Worth doesn't? A nice city fifty miles away). Maybe the Dallas/Fort Worth's Star-Telegram's Amy Culbertson is from the Fort Worth side. She interviews Louisville, Kentucky native Ronnie Lundy about heirloom tomatoes in all their wonder and variety. Lawrence Davis-Hollander's Tomato Festival Cookbook is also mentioned in the article.

Are you familiar with Vietnamese food? Polly Campbell of the Cincinnati Enquirer acquaints her readers with the two Vietnamese restaurants in town and gives an overvue of Vietnamese cuisine.

BONUS: Slate carries Sara Dickerman's advice that gourmets shouldn't snub the freezer. Pretty timely with Meg's post about making Raspberry cordials from frozen fruit.

EXTRA SUPER-DUPER SPECIAL BASEBALL AND POLITICS BONUS - The new and entertaining blog Chicagoist (Motto: "We're not Gothamist. Really.") carries a story about Kerry Wood hot dogs and ketchup for Republicans (you know, not Heinz?).

Do you have a food section you'd like to see covered? Do you know any good food sections that we aren't covering? Mail me (with a photo of your pet) and let me know.

Please note, we use the electronic editions for much of our work, so stories profiled here may be in the previous week's or next week's print edition. Also, many of these sites may require you to register. If you're not comfortable registering your real e-mail account, I suggest signing up for a "burnable" account at Hotmail or Yahoo to use just for these sorts of things.

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