It’s sadly incomplete, but this map from National Geographic is an embryonic start to my sort of dream map for finding unique local specialties, not only in the U.S., but wherever I go in the world. I mean, they don’t all have to be weird like “Livermush” (see North Carolina’s contribution to the map the above link takes you to), but alerting travelers to local cuisines and unique flavors is a good start!

I mean, without my husband telling me the state question in New Mexico is “Red or green?” I don’t think I’d have known. I mean, my answer is nearly always, “GREEN!” But it’s good to have the choice!

Now I know, however, that I missed something special when we were in Buffalo, NY, so I’ll have to go back.

I’d love to expand the list. I mean, sampling the various BBQ sauces is a must in Kansas City (Arthur Bryant’s, Jackstack/Smokestack, and Oklahoma Joe’s come to mind). In New York City, you’ve got to have a street vendor’s hot dog and really good pizza (might I suggest Grimaldi’s?). In New Orleans, although it’s hard to narrow it down, beignets and gumbo come to mind. We had several people (kindly) point us toward shrimp and grits before we headed to Charleston, South Carolina.

But what else might make the list in this fair country of ours?