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History of the Beignet

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Beignets – Cafe Du Monde

Light, fluffy, delightful things come in small square packages according to the history of the beignet. If you’re not familiar with these guys then think donuts without the hole, sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Beignets are traditionally served fresh and hot, which also makes them a common breakfast dish in parts of the America South.

Unlike traditional donuts, beignets are made with choux pastry. Now, if you didn’t grow up in a home that smelled of fresh baking than perhaps the term choux pastry is foreign to you. Choux pastry is dough made up of water, butter, flour and eggs. What makes it choux pastry is that there is no agent like yeast helping it to rise. Rather the raise occurs thanks to  moisture from steam.

Typically choux pastry is used to make baked goodies but beignets on the other hand are fried. Additionally, some places have taken up the habit of making beignets with yeast dough, which changes the texture of the beignets, but rest assured the deliciousness remains.

Although the traditional beignet is simple sugary dough, fried and powdered, these days you can find yourself an altogether different beignet animal. Beignets can be stuffed with a fruit filling or piped with chocolate or cream, regardless of their filling, the powdered sugar remains.

Who Done It                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

As with all things great, everyone wants to claim ownership or at least claim some sort of connection to the ownership. The history of the beignet therefore has a whole lot of volunteers claiming ancestry. Although popular theory indicates that the beignet is a French invention alone, the reality is that these sweet little treats may have been introduced to Europe courtesy of the Moors.

The Moors, or medieval Muslims, invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 7th century and took power in Spain and neighboring countries. The Muslim courts have a rich food history and many of these foods made their way into Spanish cooking.

Records of the Arab donut, zulaabiyyah indicate it has been around since at least the 9th century, long before the French version. Another version of the donut called luqmat al-qadi has been around since at least the 13th century.

There are a variety of reasons to believe that is the Caliphate that brought these sweet treats into the heart of Europe, one of them being the fact that creating a beignet is an expensive undertaking.

Beignets are fried which means the heavy use of fats, something only the rich could afford.

The word beignet however has a French connection and the fritter itself is tied to 16th century France and Mardi Gras festivities. The real intrigue appears with the inference that the beignet may have been transported to the land of the Eiffel Tower via Spain. In fact the French term for little fried dough balls in the Middle Ages was Spanish beignets.

Additionally a version of the beignet exists in Muslim, Christian and Jewish histories as a morsel to feast on while breaking the fast. Although modern religious traditions have created deep divides in religion, 7th century Andalusia had members of all three religions living side by side.

Fast forward to 18th century America and the story of the beignet changes drastically. There are several theories about how exactly the beignet came to be in the United States of America. One of the theories credits the arrival of the famous beignet to Ursuline nuns in the 18th century.

Another equally popular story is the arrival of the beignet care of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. The Acadians are the descendants of French settlers in Acadia which in present-day covers a large swath of Eastern Canada, specifically the Maritimes. The Acadians were deported from Canada during British rule in the 18th century with large numbers of them resettling in Louisiana or returning to France.

Regardless of who actually introduced the recipe, there is agreement that it did come from French settlers. Although today the beignet is often found in fancy cafes, its American origins stem from housewives in tiny little kitchens in the South.

Women would knead the dough for the day’s bread and take from that dough ball a smaller portion to fry up for the morning’s breakfast. These fried pieces of dough, often sweetened with honey, would be sent with the men out into the fields and so the odern breakfast beignet in shi-shi coffee shop has very humble beginnings.



Today the beignet is not humble grub, but rather something that deserves a pedestal as a café feature. The famed Café du Monde in New Orleans is famous for its beignets which it serves up alongside chicory-laced coffee. The beignet and chicory coffee combo has historical roots itself. Coffee was scarce in the 18th and 19th centuries and as a result, drinkers added chicory to create a more robust flavor.

The history of the modern beignet may be murky but what is clear is that a hot, soft, plump, doughy piece of powdered sugary goodness is much beloved.

How to Make the Best Grilled Chicken Ever

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Grilled Chili Chicken Breasts


Grilled chicken is a classic to order whenever you go out to eat, especially with some restaurants introducing the addition of iqf low sodium chicken breast to menus, but if you’re whipping one up at home then it’s time to learn how to make the best grilled chicken ever. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to start creating your own recipes. Maybe, with the help of these Freelance Ghostwriters you’ll even create your own cookbook! You may note that the chicken you’re served up at your favorite restaurant has one thing that your home-cooked version doesn’t: moisture. Yes, it’s true and you know it. Grilling chicken at home can often turn into a cardboard affair. Chicken breasts are notorious for their ability to quickly convert from an edible dish to shoe leather.

So what’s the secret to getting juicy chicken at home? Having a good grill would be a good start, and you can have a look at some Grill recommendations by Kwerto if you’re grill is not up to scratch to cook a meal like this. Well, it’s all in the technique of course. Or you could always cheat, Air Fried chicken breast is becoming more and more popular because it retains its juiciness with little to no effort! Still if you’re stuck on the grill – With a few little tricks and tips you will be well on your way to grilling succulence chez toi, so grab your notepad and let’s get started.


The chicken that you know today is a result of a variety of factors. Our present-day chicken’s ancestor originates in India as a common water fowl. This chicken traversed all of Europe before it made its way to North America when English and French settlers set up colonies.

Now, your tasty chicken of today didn’t just emerge as a result of its transport from Europe to North America. The original chickens brought over to the New World had the singular purpose of laying eggs. A by-product of these broiler chickens were chickens sold for consumption.

During WWI red meat was rationed while chicken was not. As a result of greater chicken consumption, greater emphasis on the quality of chicken emerged. In fact, contests were held to encourage producers to produce better chickens. The original broiler chickens produced tough meat as they were free range. The new chicken was more carefully taken care of to produce a softer meat, with a particular focus on breasts and legs.

As the quality of chicken improved so did consumption. Although the prohibition on red meat was lifted once the war was over, the popularity of chicken continued to grow.

The Second World War resulted in women going into the workforce. The end of the war didn’t change the shift in society and having two earners became the norm. Two earners meant zero stay-at-home cooks which in turn meant families needed quick fixers for dinner. Often times these quick fixes came in the form of take out marls or frozen dinners. And you guessed it, a popular and inexpensive dinner often included chicken.

These days chicken isn’t just a quick meal option but rather a healthy food choice. Chicken is a fantastic source of protein and as long as you’re eating the right cut, it’s also low in fat. Of course, if you’re health conscious then you likely want to cook your chicken in the healthiest way possible, and you can’t get much healthier than the grilled version.

The Shoe Leather Problem

The most popular chicken cut for grilling is the chicken breast. It’s chock full of protein and lacking in fat. The lack of fat means a simple grill can suck out what little juice the chicken has and leave something akin to a piece of your old shoe. So how do we get a succulent piece of chicken? Here’s how: Follow along:

Pound it out

Chicken breasts are for the most part thin on the edges and thick in the middle which makes them difficult to cook evenly. What you want to do is take all of your day’s stress out on your chicken. You’re going to slide your breasts into a plastic bag, then using a mallet you’ll pound the breasts until they are uniform in thickness. Make sure you do not pound them out too thin or you will risk drying them out (1″ thickness is good, ¾” isn’t bad).

Slip it some salt

Getting the right amount of salt into your chicken will reformulate your chicken protein so that it holds onto moisture better. Combine ¼ cup of salt with 4 cups of water and slide four chicken breasts into the brine. Let the chicken brine for 45 minutes. Once you’ve brined, make sure you rinse chicken and do not add more salt to the chicken when grilling.


Oil your grill and heat it to approximately 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts over direct heat and cook for approximately 2.5 mins. Per side. And voila, you should have a divine, succulent piece of chicken breast.


Your basic chicken breast can be ho-hum but the great thing about this meat is that it takes in flavor like nobody’s business. A simple marinade can take your plain Jane chicken breast from hmmm to the best grilled chicken ever. Try out these simple marinade recipes for a pump of flavor. Try to marinate for at least an hour or even overnight if you can.

Best Ever Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

Best Ever Grilled Italian Pesto Chicken Recipe: Grilled Italian Pesto Chicken

Best Ever Grilled Chili Chicken Recipe: Grilled Chili Chicken Breasts

How to Make the Best No-Bake Cheesecake Ever

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Best Ever No Bake Cheesecake

Whoever invented the no-bake cheesecake sure must’ve been a whimsical person. It takes some serious whimsy to combine two of the most decadent things on a table and make them into one best ever, beautiful thing.

If you have been deprived of this delightful marriage of soft cheese and cake due to incarceration on another planet then let us entertain you.

Cheesecake the American way is typically a bottom crust that is often made out of cookies or graham crackers. The next layer is the filling which is contains cream cheese and sugar and the topping can be any number of things like fruit or caramel.

However, this is your very basic explanation as American cheesecake is a creation unique to its own. If you order up a cheesecake in London you may very well get one loaded with nuts and dry fruit.

On a trip to Europe your order of cheesecake will take on a whole other consistency as countries like Italy use Ricotta instead of good ‘ol American cream cheese.

As long as we’re talking about the best cheesecake ever we might as well talk a little bit about who made this whimsy happen. Or we would if there was a scientific way to track that down.

It is likely that a version of cheesecake popped up hundreds of years ago in ancient Greece. Cheesecake isn’t the only thing to just pop up as the ancient Greeks are rumored to have been a very sexually vivacious people. The use of things like sex toys may have been an open secret! Anyway, back to cheesecake. Move forward to the 14th century and there are claims that the first cheesecake is an English brainchild.

The one thing we can know for sure is that the American cheesecake came some time after the invention of cream cheese in America in the 19th century.

And America sure does know how to pull out all sorts of delicious treats from the kitchen. So let’s make the best no-bake cheesecake ever a la Americana.

See Recipe: The Best No-Bake Cheesecake Ever

The beautiful thing about cheesecake is that it can bend and mod to whatever season you’re in. So if apples are in season, you can easily substitute strawberries for peeled and cored apples and you can even throw in some nuts. Or if you’re feeling like any other fruit, it’s very easy to add it as a topping, the cream cheese filling is very welcoming.

The filling
The basic cream cheese filling is silky and satisfying, you can never go wrong with it, but you can add to it if you wish. You can add 3 tbsp of cocoa to make the above cheesecake a strawberry and chocolate heaven.

If you’re feeling coffee-ish you can easily add 1/3 cup of brewed coffee to give your cheesecake another level of flavor.

Now here’s a little secret if you’ve ever just wanted to nosh on just a bite of cheesecake, but had no desire to whip up a whole cake. You can whip up that delicious cheesecake in a few minutes flat:

See Recipe: Best Ever Mini No-Bake Cheesecake

The cheesecake wants to be yours so add your own favorite flavors and put your name on it.

Happy cheesecaking!

Foods of the Midwest

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Foods of the MidwestThe mysterious midwest of the US isn’t just understated, it’s got a whole lot of pent up energy the world knows nothing about. Case in point, there is a delicious little juicy ball called a Juneberry that makes its home there, and most people haven’t ever heard about June or her deliciousness.

The U.S. midwest refers to north, central portion of the country. States in the midwest include but are not limited to Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The region provides the US with a wealth of grain and has also traditionally produced large amounts of all-American beef and pork for country-wide consumption. The region also has a large dairy industry so there is a lot of milk and other forms of dairy found in cooking.

The original settlers of the Midwest were British, however a large wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe changed the make up and the local cuisine. The cuisine reflects not only those foods that are locally available, but also the lifestyles the immigrants brought over.

Waves of immigrants of Poland and Ukraine brought over foods like goulash and perogies while the Italians brought their love of good cheeses and meats. The Germans brought sausage and sauerkraut while the English brought handy dishes like cornish pasties. All of the old world influences married with local food wealth to create a very interesting, rich cuisine.

The Casserole
If you’ve ever enjoyed yourself a nice, hot, comforting casserole on a cold winter’s day you can thank the Midwest for that. Casseroles are essentially a protein, a starch and a liquid thrown into one big glass dish and baked into hot gooey perfection. Casseroles can feed a lot of people and require a short time to make. In fact casseroles can be made out of just about anything including some combo of leftovers and new stuff. A typical casserole can include steak, potatoes, carrots and chicken stock or something as simple as tuna and pasta.

Deep Dish Pizza
Perhaps it’s an ode to the Italian love of cheese and good meats or maybe it represents Midwest heartiness, but you cannot talk about the Midwest without talking about Chicago’s very own deep-dish pizza. You’ll find a visitor few and far between who would even think of leaving without trying a deep dish of their own.

A deep-dish pizza will resemble more of a pie than a pizza since its edges are high and the pan that it’s baked in is deep so you get a whole lot of gooey, cheesy medium-thick crust, topped with tangy tomato sauce and toppings as you like.

Hot Dogs and Brats
It is likely the German immigrants that gave the midwest it’s love and popularity for the amusement park staple hot dog. In fact the Coney Island Dog of Chicago is famous for its all-beef juiciness topped high with onions, relish and mustard. Wursts are popular at summer bbq’s and with a throwback to the ol’ days some people still saturate them in some beer before firing them on the grill.

Cincinnati Chili
If you thought you had a love affair with chili, you ain’t got nuthin on the people of Cincinnati and their serious relationship with the saucy ground beef stuff. You see ordering chili in Cincinnati might even require a short lesson from a local.

First of Cincinnati chili is a little sweet with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg on top and secondly if you order yourself just a bowl full of chili everyone will know you’re not a real Midwesterner.

Chili in cincinnati can be served up with one or all of the following: spaghetti, cheddar cheese, beans and onions. And yes, Cincinnati chili is not made with beans and sticks to a pot full of ground chuck in sweet, tomatoey sauce.

The Loose Meat Sandwich
This particular Midwest sandwich hasn’t made it far out of the Midwest but is extremely popular in the region. As the name suggests, you are actually eating loose meat in the form of ground beef, seasoned and cooked and stuffed in between two slices of bread or in between a bun. In fact there’s even a fast food chain that provides these puppies all day long in every state within the region.

Although, Polish in tradition, the perogie has become a favorite in the Midwest. The potato-filled pockets of dough were introduced to the region by immigrants from Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Perogies also come stuffed with cheese as well as other times and are enjoyed with sour cream.

Cornish Pasty
Cornish pastries were introduced to the Midwest by British settlers. Cornish Pasty is essentially a pastry stuffed with vegetables and meat, a food that is both filling and easily portable. Although cornish pastries have been adopted into many Midwestern kitchens, they were originally the choice of local miners as a handy portable lunch.

Juneberry Everything
Juneberries are native to the Northern part of the U.S. in the center and east. The berries are bright purple and plump and due to their abundance are popularly used in all sorts of desserts. So if you’re in the midwest be sure to try a Juneberry Pie or a slice of toast with some locally-made Juneberry jam. Native Americans have been utilizing the juneberry for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes as well as foodstuffs.

The Midwestern part of the U.S. enjoys cuisine that differs significantly from other parts. While in other U.S. regions the local produce changed the types of foods that were cooked, in the case of the Midwest many food styles were brought over from the old world and enhanced with the abundance found in the new world.

One thing you can be assured of if you go on a Midwest food adventure is that your dishes will be hearty and your stomach full of old world stick-to-your bones goodness.

Foods of California

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If there is one place in America where you will find the opposite of American food, that is in the sun-worshipping, bikini-clad state of California.

Many people reference “American Food” as a type of cuisine, but the United States of America is such a large, expansive country that the foods found in certain regions, or even certain states, is often distinctive from the American stereotype.

“American food”, to most people, means burgers, pizza, hot dogs, packaged sweets, and mostly anything that is considered considered unhealthy. “American food” means the opposite of fresh or natural. This stereotype is really unfortunate because there are culinary cultures all across the United States that offer truly unique, fresh, healthy, and delicious food. California is one region in the United States that sets itself apart from that “American food” label. California has it�s own unique food culture, and a lot of that has to do with the fact California is incredibly fertile. The Mediterranean climate and rich soil give Californian farmers the ability to grow a wide variety of crops. This abundance has influenced the cuisine of California in a big way.

Health Conscious Eating

If Californian cuisine is known for anything, it is known for its emphasis on health. This does not mean diet food. This does not mean weight loss shakes. This means true, old-fashioned health food. California is home to a very wide diversity of crops. Because Californians have access to such diversity, their diets tend to be rich in produce. Perhaps because that variety is so available, Californian chefs and eaters put emphasis on seasonal, local, and organic produce. Just some of the crops grown in Californian soil are grapes, strawberries, avocados, melons, walnuts, olives, almonds, dates, and figs. These ingredients are incredibly nutritious, and they make up the bulk of the Californian diet.

One way to get a look into Californian�s unique take on health is to look at how Californians have tackled the all-American staple: the pizza. Sure, pizza is not considered a health food, but Californian cooks have turned that idea on its head. California style pizza is not simply cheese and sauce on bread. California style pizza is covered in produce: asparagus, spinach, kale, and artichokes all show up to keep things exciting. California takes pizza and makes it not only nutritious, but delicious.

Coastal Seafood Focused Eating

It�s no surprise that seafood is very popular in California. With the entire west side of the state running along the North Pacific Ocean, seafood has been making its way to Californian tables ever since humans have lived there. Not only does seafood fit the Californian health-focused priorities, but, thanks to the proximity of the ocean, it tastes super fresh.

Sushi is now ubiquitous across the entire United States, and that is thanks primarily to California. Sushi has been eaten in Japan for ages, but it wasn’t until Californian chefs started to play with the cuisine and make it their own that sushi became the staple cuisine it is today. Almost every single sushi restaurant in the United States features the classic California roll: cucumber, crab, and avocado. These are not classic Japanese ingredients. These are ingredients found and loved in California.

Latin Influenced Eating

The history of latin influence in California is as long as the state�s founding. That latin influence is seen mostly clearly today in Californian cuisine. Latin American cuisine is as much part of American culture as the others the country has adopted over its founding, with restaurants such as Francisca Restaurant available to share the culture with those who are interested in great food. One of the types of cuisine that is very popular is “baja”-style. Baja style food is derived from Baja Peninsula, a region in Mexico that extends off of California. The food found in the Baja region has had a large influence on Californian cuisine. The flavors found in Baja cuisine are incredibly fresh and light and feature seafood. The most common item is the baja fish taco. These are grilled fish tacos, usually served with lightly dressed cabbage slaw and lime.

Another style of latin food found in California is the Mission style. This usually refers to a type of burrito that originated in the Mission District in San Francisco. A break from the typical beans, cheese, meat formula, Mission burritos include a wide variety of ingredients such as pico de gallo and rice. This type of burrito has spread across the country and has become quite popular.

How to Make the Best Lemonade Ever

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Best Lemonade Ever

Best Lemonade Ever

Have you ever felt the delicious satisfaction of double-quenching your thirst, you’re about to and you’re to do so after you learn how to make the best lemonade ever.

What exactly is the double quench of thirst you may be asking and I shall be happy to oblige with an answer that will make you look forward to the experience. Being outside on a super hot day can have you panting like a dog. Now, go for a run on a super hot day and then walk home by way of a path that provides all that is good in nature except water.

So by the time you get home, you are not just panting like a dog, but your tongue feels like it’ got dust bunnies on it and the only thing that hits the back of your throat when you swallow is hot, dry air. This is what we would call a double-quench required situation. You not only want to drink something, but you want something supremely cold to hose down that quench.

This double quench can only be achieved by a glass of homemade lemonade and there are several reasons why. First off, the lemonade zing is refreshing in itself and is one of the necessities of a truly refreshing experience. Secondly, we’re talking fresh lemonade of the homemade variety.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have this lemonade while enjoying a hot summer day in your luxurious pool, probably designed through some pool builders firm. Homemade lemonade can be your go-to drink for any summer occasion, be it a pool party or some other social gathering, and you can make it dirty as well.

When you make your own lemonade you use fresh lemons and that is a necessary in a truly refreshing experience. And finally, the lemonade must be homemade because that’s the only way you can achieve the right balance to get that second quench. A double quench can easily be lost if there is too much sugar present, which often is when you’re consuming store-bought versions of lemonade, but at home you can balance that just right.

The lemon requires warmth for cultivation and it is believed it may have first been discovered in India. The fruit then made its way into the Levant and over to Europe. Some historians believe that the lemonade as we know it today may have had its inception in ancient Egypt. An old Egyptian script details a drink made of lemon and mint.

Others however, would argue that the precursor to modern day lemonade may have come from India itself. In India a concoction called “skangvee” is similar to lemonade. Regardless of its origin it made its way to America to extinguish the thirst of a country full of soon-to-be lemonade lovers.

In fact, for many of us, the lemonade takes us back to the dog days of summer when we weren’t quite old enough for a real job, but were old enough to want things that we didn’t have the money to by. And so during those summers we opened up a lemonade stand with our good neighborhood friend. This lemonade concoction often catered to our young palates which meant a whole lotta sugar with some lemon and water.

Fast forward to today and surely our tastes have become a little more refined. These refined guys like lemonade but they need the lemonade nuance just right and so let’s whip up a batch of the best lemonade a person’s ever had ever.

Recipe: The Best Lemonade Ever

Placing your lemons in the hot water helps you to release the lemon juices which means you’ll get more liquid when you squeeze those lemons. Additionally you can adjust the amount of sugar if you and your family/guests tend to like more sugar or less sugar.

The mint gives the lemonade a lovely flash of freshness almost like a third level of quenchness.

The great thing about lemonade is not just its gorgeous fresh flavors but also the nutritional content of the lemon itself. Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C, not to mention the fact that they are a great way to give your whole system a cleanse (just ease up on the sugar).

Enjoy the most delicious lemonade you’ve ever had ever!

How to Make the Best Pizza Dough Ever!

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Kneading Pizza Dough

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore they say. And why shouldn’t a pizza pie find its way into a love song, pizza itself is a whole lot of love in one delicious bite. I mean, we’ve all been seduced by a mere glance at a slice of pizza at least once in our lives. Hell, just typing this is making me think about things like an online pizza order.

It is truly hard to find a really terrible pizza since cheese can make almost anything better, but there are some significant difference between a forget-about-it-in-a-minute pizza and a delicious work of art.

Of course the absolute essential ingredients and the ones that can make all of the difference are the sauce, the cheese and the crust. Some pizza connoisseurs may even say that the crust is everything.

It’s a crust thing

And if you really think about it, the crust does in fact have a whole lot of responsibility. The crust is the carrier, the stage if you will, of everything that comes next, that goes on top. Without a good crust you’ve just got saucy meat and veggies.

In order to get the best crust ever you need to know how to make the best pizza dough ever and that is no fly-by-night task. However, once you master the making of the perfect pizza dough you’re never going to want to make it in any other way.

Recipe: The Best Pizza Dough Ever

Recipe: Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Your very own best pizza dough ever

You’re going to find that it will take you a few tries until you get your pizza pie exactly as you want it. Remember it is important to use good quality ingredients and if you’re ever in an Italian supermarket, pick yourself up some finely-ground flour for your next pizza, you will feel the difference.

Yes, dialing up your local pizza shop is a tad bit easier than having a flour fight in your kitchen, but you really can’t beat that scent of fresh pizza baking in our oven. That scent is definitely worth the pizza arm workout and the flour in your hair.

Foods of the Southwest

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If you like your tongue exploding with flavor in every bite then you’re going to love the foods of the southwest. Any cuisine that considers chili peppers a main ingredient will most definitely have some verve to their vroom and why should the verve to Southwest food be any different.

When we’re referring to the American Southwest we are referring to the states in the bottom right corner of the country such as New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Although states like California and Utah fit the southwestern bill, some of the cuisine you find in those states will differ from what is typically known as southwestern cuisine. You will see many signs for restaurants popping up everywhere promoting all of these different and wonderful foods. Restaurants want to appeal to their customers, so they’ll plaster pictures of these glorious foods all over to entice people in and have them try something that they’ll want more.

While Southernwest food is worth appreciation, so is the food from other regions of America. Every state has its own specialties, native recipes, spotlights diners and restaurants. Take, for example, Tampa, Florida is known for its Cuban Sandwich. At such locations, you can find various restaurants of top chef stars that can sate whatever your palate is carving. You can learn more about these places through websites similar to Food could be our basic need; however, we have made it a hobby that people can now blog about and share their findings with the world.

Southwestern food is one such commodity, an interesting mix of flavors with Spanish influences as well as some of the earthiness found in traditional Native American cuisine. Additionally, the hot climate comes with a distinct set of fresh fruits and vegetables, which play a big influence in dishes that are historical to the area.

Additionally nouveau Southwestern cuisines has become wildly popular in recent years. The unique blend of bold Texas flavors coupled with the zing of Mexican deliciousness has resulted in a cuisine that is big in portions, big in delicious and has slowly made itself one of the big love cuisines of the country.

Interestingly enough, the rise of Southwestern food was not entirely by accident. A meaningful push in the 80s by a number of famous chefs helped in turning Southwestern cuisine from a regional oddity to a cuisine that is nationally embraced.

However don’t get it twisted, although there may be one name for the style of cuisine, the flavors differ from state to state.

Popular southwestern dishes


This deep fried dough called sopapilla can be served up sweet or in place of bread, but one things for sure, you’re going to find a whole lot of it in the southwest. The dough has Spanish roots and one variation or another of it can be found in countries all over South America. In the U.S. it’s served in place of your typical roll or is lovingly dished up after dinner with a drizzle of honey.

Oooh, and let’s not forget another favorite. You can also find the sopaipilla playing the typical roll of taco. The same fillings you would find in a taco like beef, lettuce and the like can are also found stuffed into a sopaipilla and a double-helping of sour cream.

Cactus Fries

There’s nothing quite as southwestern as cactus fries. Cactus fries are in fact made out of real cactus that’s had its prickly parts removed. The fries are dipped in a spiced batter and fried up as a delicious alternative to potato fries. You can find these cactus guys served as a side or a snack of its own with dipping sauce.

Chili Con Carne

So what’s this fancy “con carne” addition to good old-fashioned chili? Chili purists will tell you that chili does not include beans while chili con carne can. A chili con carne then is a stew typically made with beef along with the addition of beans, tomatoes and other ingredients like garlic and spices. Chili has a unique history going back to the days of explorers and tough times on the road (or mountain).

What is one to do when exploring the trails with little money but a whole lot of hunger? Well, one might pound together some beef fat, meat and spices, store them as a brick and take that brick on the trail. Travelers, explorers did exactly that and so when it came time for supper all they needed was some hot water to throw their beef brick in to cook up a chilli worth its salt.


It’s a cross between pizza and a cheese sandwich but then infinitely better in its own way. The Quesadilla is the Southwest’s answer to supreme comfort food with a twist. Thin tortillas are stuffed full of cheese and can include veggies like bell peppers and onions as well as chicken or beef. The tortilla is folded into a half moon and baked so you have a nice baked pouch of yummy goodness served up with a side of sour cream and salsa.


The chimichanga has a whole lot going on from being stuffed, fried and oozing with delicious flavor. A chimichanga is held together by a thin tortilla, inside that tortilla you’ll commonly find shredded chicken, rice and cheese. This whole caboodle is wrapped up into a tight little package and fried for another level of flavor – soft on the inside and a whole lot of crispy on the outside.

It is safe to say that popular cuisine in the southwest is heavily influenced by its neighbors south of the border. Many of the dishes found in southwest restaurants have pure Mexican flavor, but that flavor is given a twist that can really only be made in America. The twist can come in the form of an additional ingredient within or a slightly different method of cooking.

Southwestern food is fusion at its best. Meals are always chock full of flavor and full of color and variety. Southwestern food is comfy with a twist of spice so you’re always assured of food that’s delicious and is gonna hit that Friday night comfort food spot spot even if it’s Wednesday afternoon.

Foods of the Deep South

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Butter. Boom. Now you understand a little something about the Deep South. Deep-fried butter. Bo- um no. That is just a little too far.

The point is, when a chef from the deep south decides to cook, she means it. There’s no dilly-dallying with fat and sugar reduction and certainly no one is going to start reducing the salt and flavor. Cuisine from the Deep South reflects that time when food was about family, comfort and slow-cooked loving.

Before delving into the delights of cuisine from the deep south let’s break down what exactly the Deep South is. The Deep South refers to the south and eastern portion of the United States. Although there is some debate about which states actually compose the actual Deep South, the area definitely encompasses Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.

Deep South cuisine is heavily influenced by cuisines from around the world including a heavy dose of Acadian which itself is a mix of French, Native American, African., etc.. In addition to influences from around the world is the influence of what exactly is available locally.

Foodstuffs like corn and squash play heavily in meals as they are available in abundance locally.

Local dishes include:

Chicken Fried Steak

This particular concoction represents a whole lot of Deep South decadence. So you feel like eating chicken and you feel like eating steak, so what do you do? If you’re in the south you do up your steak like you do up your chicken to get the best of both worlds. That means you breed your steak and then deep-fry it as you would chicken Typically the cuts used for chicken fried steak are round or chuck steak. The steak is served with a creamy gravy on top.


This flavorful stew has characteristics of similar dishes coming from Spain as well as France. Jambalaya is a delicious combination of meat, rice, stock and seafood. The Creole version of the dish includes tomatoes while the Cajun version doesn’t. The combination of ingredients in a jambalaya can differ from cook to cook which makes it one great way to utilize all sorts of ingredients you have in your refrigerator. Jambalaya is viewed as a hearty dish to enjoy in large gatherings. Its delicious flavors are a result of a slow cooking process and a little Southern cooking finesse.

Collard Greens

This super green dish is quite popular thanks to it being locally grown and fairly easy to cook (you can make it hard if you want to). Collard greens are often combined with other greens like turnip greens or spinach as well as some sort of animal protein like ham. They are cooked up stovetop and served often with other delicious dishes like the aforementioned chicken fried steak. By the way, collard greens are a great source of Vitamin K and C aas well as a good source of fiber so that’ll help you balance that chicken steak out.


This delicious speciality is about as Southern as you can get. Okra is not native to the US. The vegetable was likely brought to the United states some time in the 19th century. The veggie grows amply in Asia and in the Middle East and also made its way to Africa several hundred years ago. The popularity of okra today is linked to the south’s strong African roots. One of the most popular ways to eat this viscose veggie is by rolling is by dipping it in batter and frying it up – almost like an okra fry. In fact deep-fried okra can be found at many restaurants in the South. Another popular way to eat the dish is in the French-African dish gumbo which is a stew that often features okra.

Chicken and Dumplings

A mainstay on Southern menus, both at home and when dining out, chicken and dumplings is a simple but hearty dish.

Chicken is boiled in spiced water, once cooked the chicken is removed and and strips of dough made from flour, shortening and water (or milk)are dropped into the same water. These two hearty items are plated together for the chicken and dumplings traditional dish.

It is believed the dish has French roots. Today the chicken is often boiled with onions and celery while traditional versions would’ve had no veggies at all.

Fried Green Tomatoes

These guys are exactly what they sound like, fried green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes coated and fried. The Southern Fried Green Tomato is often coated in cornmeal although flour will do when necessary. Thanks to this particular dish, lovely tomatoes that didn’t get a chance to ripen due to chilly weather have been given a home on dining plates. However, due to the popularity of this dish, the green tomatoes that are served up today are often purposefully picked ahead of schedule. A green tomato is sturdier than its red counterpart which means it is far easier to coat and fry. Plus the tartness of a green tomato goes particularly well with a crunchy, fried exterior (some would say).


If you don’t a slice of delicious cornbread accompanying your southern-style meal, you’re being cheated. Cornbread is as southern a staple as you can get. Cornbread, as the name suggests, is bread made from cornmeal. Corn is plentifully grown in the region with Native Americans incorporating corn meal into their cuisines prior to European settlers arriving. It is believe it was the local Native American tribes that first introduced cornmeal to the settlers. The settlers then used the cornmeal in dishes that would have traditionally used flour – and there we have the beginnings of cornbread. Cornbread can be made in a variety of ways including the traditional baking method as well as steaming or the particularly popular skillet version.

Southern Food clearly sautees to its own tune. The flavors found in Southern dishes don’t shy away from bold nor do dishes shy away from fat and creaminess. If you’re looking with food with comfort that you can serve family style than southern cooking is where it’s at. The simplicity of cooking methods as well as simplicity in techniques by no means equals simplicity in flavor. You’ll have to go South to find out – and if you can get a seat at a Mama’s table – you’ll be hooked.

History of Chile

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Some anonymous Mexican poet said, “There is only one thing as sizzling, red and hot as my beloved maiden’s lips and that is Mexican chili.” Well, there is no denying that chilies can be placed in the category of hot and sexy, perhaps like that lovely maiden’s lips but the Mexican connection is questionable.

While you may have some friends from Mexico who like to share the story about how Mexico brought chilli to America, next time you hear it, you should interject. As far as chili is concerned, Mexico can certainly not take the credit.

Well, then who takes the credit? From where this sizzling spice that we use every now and then, was first used? How it became a part of the diverse cuisines from the south to the north of Americas? How it was welcomed in different areas and what is the chili’s unique relationship with that specific part? I promise that if you keep reading, by the end of this article you will get answers to all such questions. So take a chili pill and see where it takes you.

What is Chili’s homeland?

While chili lovers were always available in the world, even before the time when historians cared to write about this spice, each and every one of them would love to declare his homeland as the birthplace of Miss. Chili. You think that the Mexicans are so proud in this respect? Ask some Indian man and he would say that Chili and India are almost inseparable. He would explain how chili is in his blood, in the wind that blows there, in the waters that flow and in their folklore. Yes, this reminds of The Mistress of Spices, but Indians are not alone to claim the guardianship of chili. Ask some Chinese and he would tell you how Chili and Sichuan are two parts of a one entity.

However, as simple as this question might appear, its answer is not simple at all. One of the main reasons why it is very difficult to answer this question is the thousands of years old existence of Chili. Chili actually took birth before the history and history can hardly tell us that this amazing spice which is the “most wanted” spice of the world is almost 6000 to 7000 years old. The traces of chili are found in the South America. While Mexico can only be a wild guess, but there are some other very important places like Ecuador, Peru or Bolivia. Chili simply does not leave any reliable traces in Mexico, although historians believe that it is actually in Mexico that Chili took birth.

While some researches prove that the first use of Chili was made in Mexico and it was awkwardly used not as a spice in some ancient Mexican cuisine, but it was used to make a beverage. Hmm! Chili beer! Care to take a sip? However, there are some other researchers who insist that Mexico is not the home of Miss. Chili, but actually took birth in the mountains of Bolivia and Brazil. Such chili historians are unable to prove whether after the birth Miss. Chili decided to take Brazilian nationality or the Bolivian. Judging from Luciana Zogbi’s looks, I bet that Chili was one of her ancestors. However, sooner and not later, through birds and humans, chili spread throughout the South America.

How chili became part of American food?

As it has been mentioned earlier, in some parts of Mexico chili was used to make spicy beverages. However, because the human beings were evolving they decide to make chili a thing for dinner. Perhaps the mustard or spicy sauce that you like today with your beef burger, is the granddaughter of chili. Chili was actually used as a part of some ancient Mexican sauce. Considering her usefulness, since the very beginning of her culinary career Miss. Chili was not only used as a food ingredient, but it was also used for pharmaceutical and even ritual purposes.

Now, next time when your Indian friend tries to brag about how ‘holy’ chili is to them, tell him that had Christopher Columbus not have taken birth, they would have never tasted the silly chili. Yes, it is true. Indians should know that to them Columbus was not only the discoverer of America, but of chili too. He met chili on his way and declared that it was also a pepper: how genius, I would have declared it sugar. So, how chili reached India? It is interesting. It went from Spanish merchants to Portuguese merchants to the Indian ports. Vasco de Gama takes the credit!

Coming back to how chili gradually became part of the American cuisine, we have to go back to Mexico. Although we refuse to accept the Mexican claim that chili is their national, we only accept their claim just as much as that of almost all South America. However, one dish that is particularly mentioned when it comes to the origin and use of chili, is the Chili Corn Carne. This is a Mexican dish and it mainly relies on meat and chili.

Talking of Chili Corn Carne, I cannot help but mention its US variation, and that is Vegetarian chili. As the name suggests, it is a vegetarian food. Then there is Chili Verde, which is a New Mexican delicacy, and it takes too much pork as well as too much chili. Chili is actually very famous in Southern states of the USA; it is the official dish of Texas too.

Coming back to Mexico, we should not forget an old chili delicacy and that is Tex-Mex cuisine. Tex-Mex is simply native-foreign food and it is made of chili. While it was made in Native American lands, the idea was foreign and this gave it its unique name. If I am to mention some relatively new chili delicacies, I will obviously recommend the Cincinnati chili, which is just a variation of the Texas chili. However, it is cooked a bit differently and it is topped with chopped onion and red kidney beans. Amazing! Huh! If you love some more, try Original San Antonio Chili or Joe Cooper’s Chili.

While there are many chili delicacies that we are sure about, something that we cannot be sure about is the true homeland of Miss. Chili. So, if you ask again where is she from, it would be such a chili question.

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