Envious at the commercial success of Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisines, the folks in one part of our country are testing the waters for a new one. It's called Cascadian Cuisine.
OK, I'll give you a few minutes to figure out where that might be.
The answer is the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. We call it the Pacific Northwest. That has a nice ring to it, and it calls to mind the kind of food that's so yummy from there: salmon, coho, razor clams, Hama Hama oysters, sweet onions, great baking potatoes, asparagus, cherries, apples.
And then there are the wines, including Pinot Noir from Oregon, big, juicy reds from Columbia Valley in Washington, racy whites from Okanagan Valley in B.C. Last I heard, none of the wine producers called their region "Cascadia."
Those of us who have spent some time in that region know the cooking style leans toward simplicity. It's ingredient-centric and less influenced by Hispanic cuisines than California is.
I heard about this because a Canadian outfit called International Culinary Tourism Association sent me a survey to ask my opinion. Near as I can tell, the Canadians are not too happy about "Pacific Northwest" because that's too U.S.-centric. Washington and Oregon are in our Pacific Northwest, but British Columbia would be their Pacific Southwest.
Why Cascadia? Because the Cascade mountain range runs through Oregon, Washington and up into British Columbia. This is dumb for two reasons. First, what makes the region special for food is the ocean and the farmland, not the mountains. And second, I don't know of anyone, American or Canadian, who uses the term Cascadia (or Cascadian).
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — July 22, 2006 12:05pm ET
Bryan Angley — Albany, NY — July 22, 2006 2:17pm ET
C Abbott — N. Vancouver, B.C. — July 22, 2006 6:27pm ET
Bruce Schoenfeld — Boulder, Colorado — July 23, 2006 2:57pm ET
Tom Miller — Vestavia Hills, AL — July 23, 2006 5:43pm ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — July 23, 2006 9:35pm ET
Brandon Redman — Seattle, WA — July 24, 2006 1:34pm ET
John Deyoung — July 24, 2006 2:33pm ET
Ron Zimmerman — Woodinville, WA — July 24, 2006 2:38pm ET
Doris Nelson — Salem, Oregon — July 25, 2006 12:52am ET
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