Holiday Flavors Across the Country December 20, 2016
Same season, different flavors. Take a trip around the United States of Food to discover what ingredients and dishes epitomize the winter months and holiday season in your neck of the woods.
For some, winter is synonymous with sub-freezing temperatures, puffy coats, and comfort food (we’re looking at you, mac and cheese). But for others, the notion of a “winter wonderland” is something they’ve only read about in books. For these folks, the month of December is their cue to slather on the sunscreen, bask in the sunshine, and fire up the BBQ. Needless to say, the holiday season looks and tastes different depending on the region. And since the HelloFresh family spans from sunny Southern California to frosty New England and everywhere in between, we turned to all of YOU to see what holiday foods and flavors make an appearance on your table.
Will these trends resonate with everyone? Definitely not – and we wouldn’t want them to because this very diversity is what makes the good ol’ US of A so fabulous. But we do hope that, regardless of the region you call home, everyone can be inspired to get cooking and embrace the different holiday foods and flavors that unite us all in one, big, delicious HelloFresh family.
1. Seattle, Washington…Salmon
Thanks to its close proximity to the Pacific, Seattle is renowned for seafood. Just ask any Seattleite what their favorite fish is and you’ll incite a fair share of heated debate between freshly shucked oysters, whole branzino, flaky cod, and sweet prawns. But the crème de la crème of nautical cuisine in this snug corner of the Pacific Northwest is salmon, and it’s one of their go-to holiday foods.
Recipe: Roasted Salmon with Crispy Potatoes, Burst Tomatoes, and Green Beans
2. Los Angeles, California… Citrus
Los Angeles and citrus go way back to 1840 when the state’s first commercial citrus farm was established. And with the thermometer measuring a balmy 65ºF in December, it’s no surprise that everything from lemons to blood oranges make an appearance on the holiday menu.
Recipe: Citrusy Pork Tenderloin with Wild Rice and Kale
3. San Antonio, Texas…Chiles
Holidays in the Southwest come packed with heat thanks to pungent chile peppers. With more than 200 varieties ranging from warm to blisteringly hot, there’s bound to be one that suits your fancy (even if it means piling on a dollop or two of cooling sour cream). In fact, the official “state question” of Texas’s neighbor to the west, New Mexico, is “red or green?”
Recipe: Smoky Beef and Poblano Chili with Kidney Beans, Cheddar Cheese, and Sour Cream
4. Raleigh, North Carolina…Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas
If you’re not from “The Tar Heel State,” the combo of collard greens and speckled black eyed peas may sound a little strange, but there’s actually an abundance of good fortune hidden in the culinary combination. Beans symbolize prosperity and greens symbolize money (hence the color). So together the two are unbeatable, which may explain why these holiday foods are enjoyed just before the ball drops.
Recipe: Israeli Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens, Fenugreek, and Roasted Eggplant
5. Minneapolis, Minnesota…Wild Rice
If you’ve eaten wild rice before, odds are it hailed from Minnesota. This nutty and slightly chewy grain is native to the northern Great Lakes region, was deemed the official state grain in 1977 (who knew such an honor existed?), and makes an appearance on most Midwestern holiday tables.
Recipe: Charred Kale and Plum Salad with Wild Rice, Ricotta, and Honeyed Walnuts
6. Boston, Massachusetts…Cranberries
Make your way to Red Sox territory around the holidays and you’re likely to find tart, scarlet-colored cranberries on the dinner table. Although the fruit is a common holiday food across the entire country, it holds a special place in the hearts of New Englanders considering it thrives on low-lying sandy bogs in the region’s chilly and damp climate.
RECIPE: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Cranberry, Sweet Potato, and Arugula Salad
7. New York, New York…Winter Squash
Come December, the temperature in the “Big Apple” hovers just above freezing, and odds are there’s at least a 50% chance of some sort of precipitation at all times. So once the holidays hit, New Yorkers can be found cozying up to creamy and sweet winter squash. So no, squash isn’t only for Thanksgiving. Shocker, we know.
Recipe: Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto with Feta and Pepitas
Squash any and all fears you have about cooking with squash with the help of this handy guide. Oh – and if you’re looking to try some more unique holiday foods, Rebecca, RD is here to help.
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