The South is a glorious part of the United States, we’ve lived, loved, eaten and celebrated life there since we were born and it is a huge and important part of our dna.
We now live in Texas which is the equal to the South but is in no way to be mistaken for our southern neighbors in fine states such as Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
When Southern Living shamelessly placed Houston in their “Tastiest Towns in the South” article we saw it for what it was. A ploy to sell a few more issues of their magazine and that’s about it. Yes, we have a deep love for Houston food and it is a short drive to “the South” from there but Texas is not now, nor ever was part of the geographical region commonly referred to as such.
Southern Living editors purportedly chose their top ten “Tastiest Towns in the South” according to the following criteria:
Food as a cultural identity: The unique food or ethnicity that defines a particular Southern region.
Growth of a culinary-minded community: The influence that the culinary industry has on the local community and tourism.
Diverse cuisine at a variety of price points: Accessibility to hearty, flavorful meals at any budget.
Local, sustainable food practices: The focus on sourcing products from local purveyors to geographically define where each meal comes from.
Hot chefs on the rise: The influence of the area’s culinary talent in the media and pop culture.
Abundance of buzz-worthy food events: The number of festivals in the area that celebrate all things food and drink.
They might as well include market share, as that’s clearly what they were going for with their inclusion of Houston. It is a vast market.
For an encore we expect Southern Living to do an article entitled “Top 10 Tastiest Towns In Mexico”…..and include San Antonio.
That would make as much sense as putting Houston in an article about Southern food towns.
We expect more from a high caliber publication like Southern Living.
The list of towns:
Baltimore [!] We’d love to hear from a Baltimore writer who soaks in those warm magnolia scented breezes up that way.
Birmingham: The heart of the South and a grievously under-rated food town.
Charleston (SC): A great pick
Charlottesville (VA): Never been
Decatur (GA): They probably meant Atlanta and just got confused
Houston: A short drive from the South+huge nationwide media presence=nonsensical inclusion on list.
Lafayette (LA): Worth inclusion for Johnson’s Boucaniere alone.
Louisville: Suspiciously northern for our taste. We love Louisville and have enjoyed numerous, delicious meals there.
Raleigh: Another fine choice.