April Monthly Mouthful

Every food blog tells a story; a story about what they like to cook, a story about what they like to eat; and a story about the place that influences both of these things (their hometown). For this month’s Monthly Mouthful, we wanted to learn the stories of some of our favorite food bloggers. We asked: “What is your favorite thing to eat that represents your hometown? Please share where you are from and a recipe for the dish if you have one!”

From Australian pavlova to Wisconsin cheese curds, you can read these great stories after the jump!

Lydia from The Perfect Pantry:

I was born in New York City, one of the great food capitals of the world. Yet, despite the amazing number of restaurants, the foods I love, that represent my hometown, are not gourmet dishes at all. Bagels, sour pickles, black-and-white cookies, pretzels: these are the things that say “New York” to me. I’ve never made any of them in quite the same way we eat them in New York, but thank goodness for street vendors and bakeries and delis that do!

Nicole from For The Love of Food:

This is a slightly difficult question for me to answer. I grew-up with 2 homes: southern Florida and southern Texas. So, while I have now lived in Germany for longer than I have lived in Texas and longer in Miami than either of those two locations combined, I consider myself neither a Texan nor a Floridian. However, when it comes to sharing my favorite food item that represents my home town, I will have to go with Cuban ham croquettes (croquetas de jamon) which are a staple in any Miami grocery store and Cuban bakery. For years, after moving away from Florida, I dreamed of being able to make these, but I could never find a recipe that seemed just right. One day I came across a good-looking recipe online, but it took me another year to try it out for sheer fear that it would be too difficult! Such nonsense! It was so easy that I felt so silly for putting it off for so long. Actually, this week I even picked up enough ingredients to make a double batch! Here is the recipe with step by step photos: Cuban Ham Croquettes – Croquetas de Jamon.

Tenina from Steamoven Cooking:

My favorite thing is always dessert and from Australia it has to be Pavlova or fondly known as just ‘Pav’! Named for the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, it is designed to represent the flounces and airyness of a tutu. My recipe has a twist, with a hit of chili, but that can be left out without any detriment, though it is del-ish!

Stef from Cupcake Project:

Among other things, St. Louis is known for its toasted ravioli. It’s basically your standard ravioli, but breaded and deep fried. Of course, I had to make a cupcake version of toasted ravioli to celebrate the St. Louis food! I made sweet toasted ravioli filled with apple and cinnamon and used them to top an apple cinnamon cupcake. It was delish! Check out the toasted ravioli cupcake recipe on my blog.

Melissa from Alosha’s Kitchen:

Living in southern California provides me with a literal melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Asian food of all kinds is prevalent, especially here in Orange County, and I am sure am glad for it. But Asian food is in many other places as well, so if I had to think of one thing that is truly defined by SoCal alone, it would have to be coastal Mexican fare. And nothing represents that more simply than the fish taco. In my mind, it must be battered, as were the ones I ate for the first time in San Diego. Crunchy, tangy, spicy perfection. Still one of my favorite things to eat. I don’t have my own recipe, though I’ve just slightly tweaked the sauce on the one I do use. And I recently wrote about them here.

Karen from The Rambling Spoon:

I grew up in Wisconsin, and I’m a true cheesehead. I miss cheese (and wine) the most while I’m traveling through Asia. My favorite thing to eat at home requires little preparation. Just slice open a bag of fresh, squeaky garlic-dill cheese curds and pop them into your mouth. Best when eaten as an appetizer during “cocktail hour,” a Midwest ritual.

Christie from Fig and Cherry:

Prawns on the BBQ! Yes, I’m Australian. We have the most wonderful seafood here and BBQing it in the sunshine is a true delight. Here’s a recipe for Sweet Chilli BBQ prawns. And for a sweet finish, try my Tropical Fruit skewers with Vegemite Caramel. Yes, that’s right – Vegemite caramel. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

Kristen from Food Renegade:

Unfortunately, my home town of Leander, Texas has no cultural or food heritage. Where I live, we can grow vegetables pretty much year round, too. We’re also a relatively small town that is being engulfed by Austin and slowly turned into a suburb. We have a handful of restaurants, and only got our first grocery store last year! So, if I had to pick something that I thought felt like Leander, it’d be something humble and agreeable to most Texans. So, I nominate the hamburger. Not some fast-food McDonald’s variety, but a real, honest-to-goodness hamburger from a handmade and uniquely seasoned patty. I’m imagining a pound of grass-fed ground burger mixed with an egg, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and plenty of salt, pepper, and garlic. Divide that into patties and grill. Serve on a grilled whole wheat bun with the veggies of your choice. There you have it: the humble, satisfying, hamburger.

For more hometown stories, click here.

As always, thanks to everyone who participated! If you were not contacted for this month’s Monthly Mouthful and would like to be included in future Monthly Mouthfuls, please e-mail us at chewonthatblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Share your own hometown recipes and stories  in the comments below!

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  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera @ SweetsFoods

    Hi Hillary!

    I see South America empty. At least I want to put a typical recipe from my country Uruguay of a delicious beef Chivito.
    Although I’m not a usual recipe food blog, this “sandwich recipe” worth to eat it :)
    A Hamburger or Sandwich Recipe? None – a Delicious Uruguayan Chivito!


  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Fantastic round up Hillary! Loved the question this month – it made for some excellent responses and a whole lot of new recipes. Genius! :)

  • http://healthy-delicious.com LK- Healthy Delcious

    my hometown doesn’t really have a dish, but we did have a huge garlic festival every year so crazy garlic things (liek garlic ice cream 0always remind me of home

  • http://cravepublishing.com/steamovencooking Tenina

    Hey Hilary, LOVE the new logo, you clever things!! Another great post for Monthly Mouthful as usual!!

  • http://aloshaskitchen.blogspot.com Melissa

    Always love the roundup (ham croquettes mmm) and great work on the logo Hillary!!

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    An interesting read. Thanks.

  • http://kitchen.Amoores.com/ JMom

    Great job on the new graphics! I love how you showed everyone’s location :)

    If I hadn’t been a procrastinator and sent in my answer on time, I would say that my favorite thing to eat that represents my hometown is pork bbq. Specifically, NC chopped bbq.

    Coincidentally, my favorite food from my birthplace, the Philippines, is still the roast pork! LOL!

  • http://www.savory.tv Heidi / Savory Tv

    Having grown up in Detroit, an area with many Greek immigrants, my first job in high school was as a waitress at the Lafayette Coney Island, a diner with orange vinyl booths and some of the best coney dogs you have ever tasted. It’s best to visit or order online the real thing, but this is the closest recipe! http://www.ehow.com/how_2194204_detroitstyle-coney-island-hot-dog.html

    PS. Absolutely not healthy, but amazingly addicting! You must serve chili fries with this as well!

  • http://www.weightlossmethodreviews.com/routines-to-lose-belly-fat-quickly.php Fat Belly Billy


    I’m in England, and although we have all sorts of food here (and they say the favourite British food is curry!), I think the one that sums up Great British Grub for me would be the Steak and Ale pie. Tender pieces of prime steak, mushrooms, onions, plenty of seasoning, and of course some Real Ale. Of course you need to be in a nice country pub with a roaring fire, plus of course some roasties and some fresh veg, and a pint of the real ale to wash it down…
    Oh yes!


  • Phil E. Drifter

    Born n’ raised in Philadelphia, PA, home of the infamous Philly Cheesesteak!

    What you’ll need:
    • ‘Steak-umms’ http://shopuncleharrys.dukestores.duke.edu/images/miss%20041.jpg
    • 1 white onion
    • a few mushrooms
    • 6″ roll
    • olive oil
    • your favorite sliced cheese (american, swiss, monterey jack, etc)
    • jalepeno slices (optional but I always use 3-6)

    1 Start with a 10 or 12″ cast iron pan over medium/medium-low heat and coat the bottom with oil liberally; let it warm up while you
    2 Chop your onion from it’s north pole to cut it in half then cut one half across it’s equator (you only need 1/4 of a regular fist-sized onion) then slice it up longitudinally… toss them into the well-oiled pan
    3 chop up your mushrooms and add them to the pan
    4 take 1 (or two) steaks and break it up over the pan so that 8-15 pieces of steak fall into the pan; stir/flip with metal spatula so the steaks are on the bottom and the onions and mushrooms are on top or generally not inhibiting the steak pieces from being on bottom; you may want to lower the heat just a bit to prevent your onions/mushrooms from going from sauteéd to withered/burned; cover with lid
    5 let fry for 2-5 minutes, stirring once or twice during that time
    6 when your steaks are brown (visibly ‘cooked’) mix it all around and then, with a pot holder, lift one end of the pan and drag the onions, mushrooms, and steaks up against the wall of the pan while the remaining oil drains down to the other side; lay the pan flat on the burner again, slice your roll and lay it sliced faces down so it can toast; lay 2/3 1″x3″ slices of cheese over the steak/mushroom/onion mixture, cover with lid, and set timer to 2 minutes
    7 when the timer is done take the lid off the pan and turn the burner off. Use your spatula to slide it under the roll so you can lift it out of the pan and flip it over onto a plate. place a few jalepeno slices on the bottom side of the roll, then use your spatula to scoop up your steak mixture onto the bun. It’s important after you put the mix onto the roll that you close the roll and give it a firm press, to contain the heat.
    8 close up your stove, make sure you turned the burner off, put the lid back on the pan and slide it to the back to cool.
    9 enjoy!

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