Recently, I've had the opportunity to do some traveling and as part of that traveling I have sought out regional foods. Isn't that the great thing about traveling?
So in Springfield, Illinois I had the Horseshoe Sandwich.
The basic horseshoe is an open faced sandwich with meat, french fries and a cheese sauce. There are variations of the horseshoe including an Italian horseshoe that was also enjoyed on this trip.
In St. Louis, Missouri we had a few opportunities to eat BBQ.
At one of the BBQ restaurants we ate we tried boiled peanuts. A true regional food, I liked the boiled peanuts and actually preferred them to "regular" peanuts.
Community cookbooks reflect foods of their region. So they provide a wonderful glimpse into the types of foods available to our ancestor's community. Regional recipes sometimes seem a little strange to those not living in that community. I remember once looking at a recipe for picked eggs and wieners (not in separate jars but the same jar) and thinking that was strange. But it was a great glimpse of the foodways of this particular community.
Regional foods come about for so many different reasons, transportation, ethnic and religious influences, local chef inspirations. Sometimes, especially for our ancestors, the food might be reflect what is available locally.
Consider this recipe for Eskimo Ice Cream found in a cookbook from Nome, Alaska, Nome's Own Cook Book complied by the Ladies Aid Society of Federated Church (1946). My guess is that most of my readers won't be trying this recipe anytime soon.