CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC
Music – “Recipe Hoe Down” from Big Bad Bantam Rooster by Tasha Platt. Released: 2009.
I have often found it amusing to pull some of the “community” and “regional” cookbooks from my collection to find common themes in terms of recipes, and there are many.
A “community” cookbook is a collection of recipes submitted by members of a particular local group, usually intended to be sold as a fund-raiser or as memorabilia, for example, a PTA, church, sports organization, etc. So, then, what is a “regional” cookbook? “Regional” describes things, which relate to a particular area of a country (bigger than local but smaller than national). A few samples from my collection include: “What’s Cooking in Kodiak“, “Utah Dining Car Cookbook“, “San Antonio Sizzles“, “The Great Minnesota Hot Dish“, “River Road Recipes“, and “Best of the Best from the Great Plains“.
However, does “Avocado Pineapple Mold” really reflect the regional cuisine of Kodiak, Alaska?
Can “Seafood Supreme” be all that common in landlocked Utah?
I didn’t expect to find recipes for “Breakfast Burritos” or “Chilaquile Hot Dish” in a regional cookbook from Minnesota,
…or “Louisiana Gumbo” in “San Antonio Sizzles“. Conversely, in “River Road Recipes“, published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, LA, I came across a recipe for the traditional British “Toad in the Hole” and one for “Chow Mein” (always a Southern staple!)
“Spaghetti Pizza“, “Taco Pizza” and “Seafood Salad in Mini Cream Puffs“, were hiding inside “Best of the Best from the Great Plains Cookbook“, which features recipes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
Both my own father and my husband’s father were born in Nebraska, but neither ever mentioned scarfing down a Taco Pizza.
But, no matter what “community” cookbook or “regional” cookbook you might come across, one thing is certain: they will almost always have a recipe for “Cheese Ball” and “Frozen Congealed Salad“!
And, if you ever make it to Kodiak, Alaska, be on the lookout for those locally raised bananas to make “Banana Cream Pie“.
On the other hand, “regional” also reflects not only the available resources for human consumption, but the people, who live in that area. If you look at “regional” cookbooks in that light, every region is packed with a diverse population representing numerous cultures and the recipes they bring are reflected in these cookbooks. Not so strange after all!