“There is no love sincerer than the love of food,” George Bernard Shaw said.
I love bagels and I love pizza, but according to every New Yorker I’ve ever mentioned that to, I’ve “never had a real bagel or slice of pizza”. This is probably true, and since I have nothing to compare it to, I’ll just have to take their word for it.
I don’t know NY bagels or pizza but I know Texas brisket. If you laid out my DNA strand, you’d probably be able to detect some brisket emojis along the way, which brings me to my point…
I worked a catering event last night (in NC) and brisket was on the menu. Catering staff gets to eat the leftovers (homeless shelters here won’t accept food that has been on a buffet). I had already eaten when a co-worker who hadn’t, asked me how the brisket was. My honest response was that it was just okay, with the qualifier that my opinion was very biased as a 7th generation Texan. Texas brisket is customarily smoked for 12-24 hours until the fat edges congeal with the meat, and it melts in your mouth. Forks aren’t necessary if it’s done right. This brisket had good flavors but it was dry, and the fat hadn’t been rendered. It would not have received the Texas stamp of approval but that didn’t stop my co-worker from exclaiming that it was the best brisket he’d ever eaten.
I can’t explain it, but his proclamation made me cringe. I instantly wished I had a plate of chopped beef from Rudy’s Barbecue to shove in his face. I wanted him to know what I know, and I wanted it to be a taste bud revelation to him.
I’m embarrassed to admit this,but I actually lost a little sleep over the brisket incident.
I’m so far away from home but my roots are deep, and I’ll always identify as a Texan.
Regional foods are such an integral part of our backgrounds, even our identities.
Whether its New England Clam Chowder, Louisiana Jambalaya or Canadian Poutine, the foods that are native to our particular regions can cause pride to swell and connect us to home.
Which foods do you connect with your region? Which foods do you sorely miss (if transplanted)?