Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More on Regionalism

A while back, I lamented the lack of fantastic regional cooking at the high end of the cooking food chain. I firmly believe that that's still the case - fancy restaurants have a look and feel that resists too much regional customization. But over the course of the summer, with piles of steamed crabs and Old Bay-soaked everything behind me, I decided that maybe that's OK. Maybe it's not so bad to leave the regional cooking to the masses.

Either way, the combination of rednecks and regional cooking makes it's way into the September issue of Food & Wine. Author Benjamin Wallace spends some time with Mario Batali, as he lights up the infield at a Charlotte NASCAR race. I've been to a NASCAR race (and yes, that's why I feel justified in making the "rednecks" comment - I'm not excluding myself, and I'm certainly not excluding Cooper, who's been to many) - and while I don't recall any truly superior cooking, it's not hard for me to believe that Batali's being sincere when he says, "NASCAR represents American regional cooking at its most supreme."

Which brings me to my acceptance. As long as regional flavors continue to reign supreme someplace, I guess I can deal with globalized haute cuisine. I guess.

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