Southern Living has announced the winner of its Tastiest Towns in the South poll that ran earlier this year. The magazine selected 10 finalists based on a number of criteria (which y'all can see in the press release after the jump), with the winner selected by reader votes over a period of about a month. And while New Orleans didn't win, we can't complain with this: Lafayette was named the tastiest town in the South. Go Ragin' Cajuns!
The April issue of Southern Living will have more on the winners over in Acadiana, while that issue also (they tell us) showcases each of the cities' "tastemakers and chefs, recommends the perfect eating day in town, and more." And while New Orleanians might smart a little bit about not winning this thing, let's revisit what Lafayette's Independent weekly wrote back in January: "Lafayette needs this more. New Orleans is known across the globe for its exquisite cuisine. Let's let Lafayette get a little famous for the same thing." Besides, this is yet more evidence of the increased or renewed respect for the awesome Cajun culinary traditions. So congrats are in order to our neighbors in Acadiana. Lafayette is one tasty town, y'all deserve it.
SOUTHERN LIVING HONORS NEW ORLEANS AS ONE OF THE ‘TASTIEST TOWNS IN THE SOUTH’
IN ITS APRIL ISSUE
The Juxtaposition of Old-World Charm with New-World Diversity that Continues to Make the Crescent City So Compelling, Reports the Magazine
New York, NY –To celebrate the many distinct hometown flavors that define today’s Southern cuisine, Southern Living named the “10 Tastiest Towns in the South” and let consumers decide the winner. Over a half-million votes were cast and each town is profiled in the upcoming April 2012 issue, on newsstands March 23. For the full story, go to: southernliving.com/tasty.
While Lafayette, Lousiana took home the top award, sister city New Orleans is honored for the “juxtaposition of old-world charm with new-world diversity,” writes Senior Editor Paula Disbrowe.
The magazine looks at the tastemakers, chefs, artisans and restaurants that give each food destination its distinct localflavor. It also outlines “the perfect eating day” and features recipes created by the Southern Living Test Kitchen that highlight the iconic ingredients of each city.
“Southern Living veered way off the hot sauce and barbecue trail to get at the deeper story of who and what is shaping the South’s incredibly rich, diverse and delicious culinary landscape,” said editor Lindsay Bierman. “We’re pleased to highlight the South’s vibrant food scene in each and every town we profile.”
“After Katrina everyone started to dig deeper,” Susan Spicer, chef at Bayona and Mondo, tells Southern Living. “People recognized what could be lost, and the notion of preserving our traditions became even more important.”
“The perfect eating day” includes going “old school with beignets at Café Du Monde,” followed by visits to Cochon Butcher, Domenica, La Petit Grocery and Restaurant August reports Southern Living.
The Southern Living Test Kitchen created a recipe for Café Brûlot Bread Pudding which combines two NOLA favorites — coffee and bread pudding—into one divine dessert.
The Southern Living Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” are:
Lafayette, LA: Cayenne-spiked Acadiana
Baltimore, MD: Harboring Chesapeake flavor
Birmingham, AL: Refined Southern comfort
Charleston, SC: A homegrown heirloom revival
Charlottesville, VA: Toasting Jefferson’s Legacy
Decatur, GA: A suburb made from scratch
Houston, TX: A distinct ethnic twang
Louisville, KY: A bourbon-soaked renaissance
New Orleans, LA: A gumbo of beloved excess
Raleigh, NC: Where farm fresh never expires
Southern Living editors chose the Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” based on 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
The public can still enter for a chance to win a $2,500 trip to the Tastiest Town of their choice until Monday, April 30, 2012, 11:59 EST on www.southernliving.com.