There are some foods that are so tied to their region, eating them is like a hug from home. Expats seek creative ways to get them shipped or find the closest equivalent in their new city. In the first installment of Hungry for Home, contributor Cara Reedy pines for St. Louis' Provel cheese.
When I moved to New York eleven years ago, I got a lot of blank stares when I told people I was from St. Louis. Some people would say genius things like “Oh right, you have that arch,” or my favorite, “I’ve been in the airport, is there anything in the city?”
People went out of their way to tell me I spoke weirdly. Cab drivers consistently tried to take me on long rides around the city, thinking I was a tourist. I got really homesick after six months.
To cheer myself up I decided to make a St. Louis-style, crisp-crust, square-sliced pizza. I went to my local grocery store to buy supplies. They had everything I needed except the most important ingredient, Provel cheese.
Provel is a little hard to describe. It’s processed, gooey, a little smoky and when heated is takes on the qualities of molten lava. It’s really just delicious and it tastes like home.
Remember back in May of 2011 when we gave away all our stuff and road-tripped down to Florida in a Judgment Day caravan to warn people about the impending Rapture? How about 153 days after that when the world similarly failed to go kaplooey?
Shockingly enough, we used those opportunities to ask people how they'd chow down if they knew it was going to be their last meal on Earth. Seeing as we're up against Armageddon (again), according to the Mayan calendar (sort of), here's a little inspiration for a final feast.
Out of 378 responses, the most frequently mentioned foodstuffs were:
[Editor's note: We ran this post a while back, but because so many people are traveling for Thanksgiving, we wanted to share the great advice in the comments below and ask you to shout out more of your hometown favorites.]
Our managing editor gifted Mr. Velshi with the signature dish of her homeland - a can of Skyline Chili Spaghetti, in the hopes that it would sway him to accept her offer of a position as Eatocracy's official Spokesanchor/Taste Tester (he has since been named our Senior Junk Food Correspondent). He, in return, waxed rhapsodic about poutine - a meld of fries, cheese curd, gravy, and, according to him, a soupcon of rancidity from infrequently changed fryer oil.
Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe. Today's contributor is CNN photojournalist Ken Tuohey.
I was just 10 years old when my dad was accepted to the University of Nebraska to complete his Masters degree. I didn’t want to leave the sunny beaches of Southern California, but as a kid, moving halfway across the country sounded exciting. I know better now.
I vividly remember driving through the seemingly endless cornfields, wading thru the city streets with snow up to my waist as we walked to an evening matinee and the fanatical “Big Red” fans who made the town of Lincoln look as if the apocalypse had whenever a football game was in town.
And there was one other thing: the runza.
It’s a delicious hot pastry, filled with ground beef, onions, and cabbage, and was brought by German-Russian immigrants to the United States. It’s a close cousin to the Kansas favorite, the bierock, and it’s m-m-mmm good.