We’ve all been there. Visiting a new city, we’ve purchased the perfunctory travel guide that claims to be straight from the mouth of insiders, but in reality includes little more than tourism bureau shorthand and a “restaurant guide” that looks suspiciously like the top hits off of Yelp.
So the next time you are considering a foray into a new region and want the lowdown on the food scene, consider this sweet little collection of slim, heartfelt volumes by The History Press. The series, published as The American Palate (no The Local Palaterelation), is a collection that offers insight to unique micro-food cultures across the United States, with topics that vary as general as Kentucky Sweets or Charlottesville Food, to as deliciously specific as Austin’s Breakfast Tacos.
These books are not so much guides as introductions to the region and food culture at hand (and since most waver around an approachable 120 pages, you can polish them off on the car ride there). They include profiles of regional farms, local recipes, anecdotes of the famous and histories of the locals, and images that capture the region’s cuisinal climate. After all, we don’t just want to know what is on the plate but why it’s on our plates.
Look for titles from writers like Rick McDaniel, Becky Billingsley and Sarah C. Baird, as well as bloggers such as Kat Robinson of Tie Dye Travels, Daniel Anthony Hartis of Charlotte Beer and the writers from The Austin Food Bloggers Alliance.
What’s your favorite little-known food scene throughout the south? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep the conversation going.