American Regional Cuisine - American Regional Cooking
American Regional Recipes and History

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Rediscover the flavors and traditions of true American cuisine!

The following information, history, and recipes come from my cookbook called
I'll Have What They're Having: Legendary Local Cuisine.

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American Regional Cuisine articles by Linda Stradley of What's Cooking America.

This section of my web site is a celebration of one of the world's greatest cuisines - American.

It tells the story of what Americans eat and why. Many people think that American food has become homogenized and nationalized, but the following articles, history, and recipes show that American regional cuisine is very much alive. It has expanded to include new and exciting foods and dishes that we now call our own. Most of us grow up taking local specialties for granted. It is when we move away that we realize our beloved dish is missing and just how much we enjoyed it. Even if we can find it in other others of the country, it never tastes quite as good as when we had it in our hometown.

The United States first developed as distinct regions isolated from one another, much like individual countries. New immigrants tended to settle according to nationality, forming tight urban and rural communities with strong threads of languages and cuisines. In each region, the people brought with them their customs and adapted them to indigenous food and ingredients. Americans have taken Old World cuisines and combined them with regional ingredients and traditions to create foods uniquely American. Local restaurants have kept most regional cuisine alive. Throughout this country, local eateries revive and continue to redesign classic regional dishes.

It has been a challenge to search out the origins of the foods we eat and their culinary histories and traditions. Together, the recipes and stories tell a wonderful tale. Let us also discover cooking trends and culinary fads and fashions of today.

These pages are a "work in progress," and it will take me some time to completely finish the different regions. If you have any regional foods that I have left out, please let me know. I welcome your input, history, and family recipes. Check out the following regions of the United States (just click on the below underlined regions).


Deep South
Alabama - Arkansas - Florida - Georgia - Mississippi

Far West
California - Hawaii - Nevada 

Great Lakes
Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota -
Ohio - Wisconsin

Delaware - Maryland - New Jersey -
New York - Pennsylvania -
District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)

Country Fried Steak

Colorado - Iowa - Kansas - Missouri - Nebraska -
North Dakota - Oklahoma - South Dakota

New England Clam Chowder

New England
Connecticut - Maine - Massachusetts - New Hampshire - Rhode Island - Vermont

Pacific Northwest
Alaska - Oregon - Washington
Idaho - Montana

Kentucky - North Carolina - South Carolina - Tennessee - Virginia -West Virginia

Arizona - New Mexico - Texas - Utah

South Central
Louisiana - Mississippi


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