The range of the local food found all around the USA is stunning evidence of nature’s bounty on this diverse land. Across the country, chefs are exploring different culinary skills by letting local ingredients inspire their menus. This farm-to-table journey is a delicious one to follow. It seeks what is in season and sustainable providing food enthusiasts a taste of fresh ingredients and local experiences rich in regional diversity. The impact of the farm-to-table movement is not just restricted to food, but also inspires flavors of craft beer and wine.
Tex-Mex all the Way, Texas
If there’s one element that unites restaurants across Texas’ Tex-Mex spectrum, it’s the aroma of tender meat, locally grown chilis, and uniquely blended spices sizzling away. Beans and rice get thrown into the mix, with hot tortillas of corn or flour bringing the ingredients together. Fundamentally, Tex-Mex is a regional and heritage cooking style heavily influenced by history. As a culinary gateway to Latin America, San Antonio provides a delectable overview. The presence of heritage cooking is especially strong here, and you’ll find outstanding examples of both Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican cuisine in the city.
Local Island Favorites, Hawaii
Hawaii’s farmers’ markets are unmatched in their beauty and abundance. Shoppers are regularly rewarded with fresh-picked island flowers, seasonal produce and local coffee. The islands are home to a tremendous diversity of traditional foods and topping the list of favorite local eats is the ultimate island comfort food: the plate lunch. Tradition dictates the food on aplate lunch which includes two scoops of white rice, creamy macaroni salad, and an entrée such as chicken katsu, beef teriyaki, or kalua (meaning cooked in an underground oven) pork. Shaved ice is the perfect island confection on a warm day, with light fluffy flakes of ice topped with sweet syrups made with local fruit. Fresh-fried malasadas, a traditional Portuguese doughnut tossed in sugar is the perfect end to any meal in Hawaii.
Upcoming Food Extravaganza, Idaho
Complementing the varied natural and cultural landscape of Idaho is a thriving food scene propelled by noteworthy chefs, craft beverage producers, locally sourced ingredients, and exciting food tours. Southwest Idaho, which includes the capital city of Boise, is famous for its locally-grown ingredients and diverse food scene. Idaho has several regional flavors one must try, starting with trout. The town of Buhl, located southeast of Boise, is the world’s largest producer of rainbow trout. Idaho is also famous for its potatoes, and local restaurants get creative with this American classic. The Idaho ice cream “potato” which is ice cream rolled in the cocoa powder that looks just like a spud is another local food to remember. The state is also famous for its wine countries in the Snake River Valley region that are a perfect example of the seamless integration of food and drink in a farm-to-table setting.
Farm-to-Glass at Yakima Valley, Washington
The Yakima Valley is fast becoming the craft beverage center of the Pacific Northwest. Inspired by the quality of local hops, winegrapes, and other fruits, Yakima Valley artisans are handcrafting beverages that significantly promote this locally grown or homegrown movement. The Yakima Valley is already known for its 80-plus wineries and more than 5,200 hectares of vineyards. Established in 1983, it’s the region of Washington’s oldest appellation and produces roughly one-third of its total grapes. Guests visit the place to learn about and taste a product they won’t find anywhere close. Yakima Valley is also now becoming known for its fine locally crafted beers. There is a 360-plus hectare hop farm that specializes in growing hops for the burgeoning craft beer industry owned by the Bale Breaker Brewing Company. Artisans of Yakima Valley are also hand-crafting cider made from locally-grown apples with a unique and rich taste.
Craft Beer Paradise, Oregon
Oregon is a key producer of hops and barley, two essential ingredients of beer. With one of the highest numbers of breweries per capita led by Portland, known as “Beervana,” which is home to the most breweries in the world, Oregon has the perfect recipe to experience the USA’s flourishing craft beer culture. Every region of Oregon offers a barrelful of breweries. Bigger cities like Portland, Eugene, and Bend are international destinations for beer enthusiasts. The annual Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the oldest craft beer celebrations in the country, drawing tens of thousands to Portland’s waterfront for a summertime celebration of the state’s best beer. Oregon beer culture continues to tap into new innovations, from award-winning sour beers and a 100 percent gluten-free brewery to advanced micro-irrigation hop farms to the USA’s first and only beer spa.