Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Eastern Heartland Cooking

The grouping of states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois enjoy a common  culinary tradition. The strong patterns of cooking and eating are originated from Dutch, English and German colonist. Men and women across this area depended on the fish and game they found in abundance. They planted incredibly productive farms and orchards. Their cooking was enriched by the diverse styles and tastes of the new wave of immigrants who followed them. All these elements combined gave the foundation to archetypal American food, or what in France would be called the country's cuisine bourgeois. The Eastern Heartland cooking is stick-to-the-ribs stuff, more plain than fancy, given the roots to substantial meat dishes, dumplings, breads, pies.

There is a range of foods in the region, from the sea-food, and  shellfish native to Long Island's waters, to the corn-and-pork sturdiness of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Indiana and Illinois farm kitchens, to the wonderful fish and game of Michigan's forests. It is a region where country cooking flourishes at its most impressive - but it is also the region that through the influence of two of its cities, Quaker Philadelphia and polyglot New York, taught the entire country how to enjoy the finest sophistications of the table.

 
Photography: Ida Tomshinsky, 2016

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