Ten Iconic Foods To Eat In The United States

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Ten Iconic Foods To Eat In The United States

“Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our anti-materialistic, otherworldly, New Age spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should be as content with a  Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu and seaweed slime.” Edward Abbey  

Nearly every major state in the US has their great culinary specialties. I don’t plan my trips around a specific food item but I definitely include it in my itinerary. Here is a list of some must eat foods in America. They are in no particular order. I have tried some and I will try the others when I get there. 

 Lobster Roll, Maine

Half the fun of eating a lobster roll in Maine is the bun filed with butter or mayo and lobster, the other half is eating it somewhere that you can smell the sea. My first Maine “lobstah” roll was in Portland’s Old Port district, where cobblestone streets are lined with 19th-century brick buildings housing restaurants and boutiques. The restaurant was a hip spin on a seafood shack, with indoor picnic tables. You can get a lobster roll in Maine in both Mcdonalds and  7-11. I eat lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Maine and it is always great. 

Beignet, New Orleans, Louisiana

Beignets are pillows of fried dough covered in a mound of powdered sugar. Don’t breathe in when you take your first bite or the sugar goes into your lungs making you cough. Cafe Du Monde is the iconic beignet establishment serving them since 1862,  Exploring the city, you are never far from a hot beignet if the low blood sugar feeling strikes. 

 Copper River Salmon, Washington

Copper River salmon is prized for its bright color and fatty meat and is said to be the best salmon in the world, Sockeye and King filets sell out quickly. It is available fresh from mid May to the end of September and comes from Alaska. If you are lucky enough to be in Seattle in the summer, you can eat it in many restaurants.  It is the best salmon you will ever eat. The fishmongers at Pike’s Place market in Seattle throw the fish around, which started as a way to save time and ended up as a tourist attraction. 

 

Key Lime Pie, Florida

The Florida Keys are iconic for many reasons. Hemingway fished there, the Beach Boys wrote songs there and it is still the best place in the world for Key Lime Pie. Key limes are smaller than the traditional limes sold in grocery stores. The fruit is yellow and usually just fall off the trees when they are ripe.  Add  sugar, carnation milk and aa graham cracker crust and you have the traditional pie.   Just about every restaurant in Key West serves one. 

Deep Dish Pizza, Chicago, Illinois

At three times the height of a New York style pie, Chicago’s deep dish pizza can be intimidating for those who are accustomed to thin-crust pizza. The crust is lighter than it looks followed by a cheese layer and topped with a chunky tomato sauce. Any toppings are contained within. I am a pizza fan and I did love this pizza when I lived in Chicago. 

King Crab, Alaska

 Alaska is America’s “Last frontier” known for its bitter winters and natural beauty. Seafood is a specialty in Alaska but Alaskan King Crab is the most sought after meal. I like it the old school way – boiled with a side of drawn butter and maybe  a few lemon wedges. Many of Anchorage’s best restaurants serve it this way. 

Hoagie, Philadelphia

The Bf is from “Philly” and he says the food doesn’t get more iconic than a hoagie. It was declared the official sandwich of Philadelphia in 1992. The hoagie is a built-to-order sandwich on a long Italian roll, typically filled with deli meat and cheese, garnished with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, and finished with a drizzle of oregano-vinegar dressing. it is never heated or toasted.

Barbecue, Texas

I feel like I’m going to be intimidated the first time I walk into a Texas barbecue joint.  First of ail it will be my first time Texas and it’s food you have to eat with your hands. I also feel that people who eat Texas barbecue are able to consume a lot of meat. I’m definitely going to look for a place with a line of people around it and the aroma of wood smoked meat. I will have to ask them what to order and definitely try the sides which could be fried okra or salad with ranch styles dressing. Hopefully I will be on line next to someone who has eaten there before.

Crabcakes, Maryland

Baltimore and the surrounding Chesapeake Bay area are known for serving exemplary crab cakes. The ideal crab cake according to those who know, should have no visible evidence of breading, not be perfectly formed and contain as much pure sweat crabmeat as possible. Asking for the best restaurant for crab cakes in Baltimore is like asking New Yorkers for the best pizza, you are bound to get a lot of passionate recommendations. 

 Fry Bread, Wyoming

Fry bread is the history of the Native American population.The United States forced Indians living in Arizona to make the 300-mile journey known as the “Long Walk” and relocate to New Mexico, onto land that couldn’t easily support their traditional staples of vegetables and beans. To prevent them from  starving, the government gave them canned goods as well as white flour, processed sugar and lard—the makings of fry bread. Fry bread ( like Jewish matzoh) is the food of survival. Eating fry bread would mean that I was in Wyoming for the first time and learning about Native American culture.

Stay safe,

JAZ 

Ten Of The Coldest Countries In The World

Ten Of The Coldest Countries In The World

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” —Robert Frost

I‘ve lived in Southern California for a long time. I do not do cold very well. Neither does my body. I have a weird autoimmune thing where my fingers and toes turn blue very quickly from cold resulting in circulation problems.  I don’t usually consider very cold trips, but there are some places i will have to go. The places on this list are cold. They have some beautiful white scenery. They are amazing countries. The only thing is – it is very, very cold.

Antarctica is the coldest country in the world. It is the Northernmost place on planet earth and gets little to no sun all year round. There are no native human Antarcticans. Nobody conquered anybody and it really was discovered. People who travel to Antarctica are tourists or they work on scientific research stations. No one actually lives in Antarctica the way they do in the rest of the world. If you want to go to Antartica on your own without a tour, you need permission from your government and you have to show how you will have no environmental impact. It is an environmentally sensitive place. The last  flight out of the South Pole is in February and there is not another one till November so plan your trip accordingly.

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Greenland is the  world’s largest island located  between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.  When you hear the word Arctic you know it is cold. Eighty percent of the island is covered in ice. the other twenty per cent is inhabitable. Greenland has an Arctic Tundra that is being affected by climate change. so you might want to see it soon.  Tundras are among the earth’s harshest landscapes. If you’ve missed the Northern Lights, you can see them here three hundred days a year. Icebergs are visible everywhere.  They do have a short  summer season. People live in Greenland. There are flights from Iceland, Denmark and Canada which are other cold countries.

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Iceland. Take a look at the name. The country is cold. Iceland is a road trip and best done in summer. If you are thinking of road tripping in the winter in the snow, I hope you are in a four-wheel drive. Seat warmers are a good thing. Iceland is one big photo-op so be prepared to take a lot of pictures. Also Icelanders love ice cream.

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Russia. Parts of Russia are very cold-like Siberia.The world’s coldest city is Yakutsk, located in Yakutia a republic in Siberia. I can not go there because if you wear glasses outside the metal will freeze to your cheek making them difficult to remove without taking out part of your face. Five to ten minutes a day outside in winter can cause pain. Clothing for maximum warmth is fur. It is expensive but it’s a good investment in your future of not freezing to death. If you drive to work, you will need to run your engine all day.  Winter lasts about seven months. This doesn’t sound like a trip for everyone.

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Kazakhstan. The best time to travel to Kazakhstan  is not in the cold biting winter. It would not be my personal choice. The danger in winter is frostbite and stupidity. Things fall on your head – ice slides off a roof, large icicles drop from branches trees fall.  Stay away from narrow slippery streets. You will never dress right – no matter how much clothing you wear. You will be too hot inside or too cold outside.You cannot predict it.

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Canada. Parts of Canada are effing freezing. (I’m running out of cold adjectives.) Winnipeg, Manitoba has the coldest winter weather of any major Canadian city. It ranks first for the lowest average temperatures. Snag Yukon is the coldest city in North America. Canada is frigid dark and cold in the winter. You will have no trouble getting into restaurants, museums and events  because most people are home. It is beautiful in the summer.

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USA. Alaska is one of our states. Weather in Alaska in the winter is cold and dark. Days are short to very short, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t skiing, dog sledding,  ice skating and viewing the Northern lights. They are big on winter festivals and hotels and tours are fifty per cent off. Do you know why? because it is cold, cold, cold. It’s not deadly cold like some other places. But cold enough to wear a heated jacket and carry a supply of handwarmers.

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Finland is close to the Arctic Ocean and the Northern winds bring the cold. It is one of the  northernmost places in the world with a population.The cold does not disrupt their life. They have well heated houses, cars, saunas and food. Lapland doesn’t get any light from December to mid January. Lapland is the official home of Santa Claus so of course it is cold. Santa never looks cold. 

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Estonia is the most northern of the Baltic countries and has very cold winters. It’s always below  freezing and snowing with plenty of cold air coming in from Russia. The best time to visit Estonia is not winter.

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The capital of Mongolia which is Ulaanbaatar, is described as the coldest capital city in the world. It is cold from October through April. No other capital city demands as much tolerance, fortitude, and strength from its citizens than Ulaanbaatar does. I guess the next time you are cold, it could be worse, you could be living in Ulaanbaatar.

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-8-17-19-pmNone of these beautiful winter photos were taken by me.

Fly safe,

JAZ