Thursday, January 15, 2015

Regional Resurgence

Years ago, when I was just a couple years into blogging, I wrote a series of posts (here, here, here, and here) lamenting the promotion of global cuisine and flavors over regional ones. The posts were written between 2006 and 2008, a time when, it seemed, the notion of global cuisine was eclipsing regional foods - and some of those local foods were in danger of disappearing altogether.

By 2008, "local" had become more of a buzzword in food culture, though at the time, it had more to do with producers than with flavors. But even then, there were regional movements bubbling under the surface, especially in the south.

Also in 2008, I linked to a map that focused on disappearing regional foods and the power of food regions as a whole. In 2010, I wrote about how psyched the Woodberry Kitchen staff was after I ordered scrapple at brunch.

And in 2012, I wrote a long post about how the rise of southern cuisine's popularity represented a shift in the local/global preference landscape.

Consider this an addendum to that post, a few years later.Today, it's not just southern cuisine that's on fire - it's anything and everything hyper-regional. It's Southern Foodways Alliance gone national. We've come full...half circle. Done a 180 on the global/local front.

This was cemented, for me, a week or so ago, when I read Bill Addison's Eater roundup of the 38 essential American restaurants. Addison includes Woodberry in the mix - which feels right to me, especially since he groups the restaurant with a handful of other places that best represent "Regional Americana." 

There are several in the south - but not all. The Pacific Northwest and New England both make appearances. Probably the southwest could use more representation (the lack of Arizona on the list is a complaint of many commenters) and the Midwest, with just one Minneapolis restaurant, is definitely underrepresented. 

But still, it's nice to see that in there at all. 

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