of the late 1600s who found their way to Charleston,
South Carolina, and somehow over the years this
recipe made its way to Missouri.
Q: What items in a food basket speak instantly
to you of this region?
A: Anything barbecue, such as barbecue sauces,
grill tools, spices, rubs and hardwood charcoal.
This would say Midwest to me because people really
like to grill and smoke foods here.
Q: For someone visiting the region for the first
time, what dishes would you tell them not to miss?
A: You need to get to Cincinnati for chili and
homemade coffee cake, Indiana for Hoosier cream
pie, around the Great Lakes I’d suggest fresh fish
like lake perch or walleyed pike (just sautéed) or
smoked whitefish, Wisconsin for artisan cheeses,
Kansas and Nebraska for steak. Not to be missed
are the bake sales throughout small Kansas towns.
“Midwest cooking is all
about abundance and bounty
and eating from the garden.
It’s the real taste of homemade.”
Q: Off the top of your head, what is the best
food taste for each Midwest season?
A: In the fall, it’s apples, for the winter I’d say
pot roast, spring would be asparagus and wild
morel mushrooms, and finally, summer fresh fruits
made into homemade ice cream, such as peaches-and-cream or strawberry ice cream.
Q: You note that “food tells a story.” What’s
a particularly juicy Midwestern food story?
A: We didn’t really get good steaks until the late
1800s and that’s thanks to Midwesterners. The
Texans had their longhorns, but their meat was
stringy. The English brought over Herefords, but
they only had meaty front quarters. One day a
Texas longhorn had a clandestine affair with a