Hilde Lee: Flavors of the Midwest nourish an entire nation | Food & Cooking

I am tired of this “stay at home” time and want to get out and go somewhere. I thought about driving out to the Midwest and then on to Colorado and Wyoming. However, I got very discouraged when friends in Iowa emailed me about their similar trip. Many of the sights such as Mesa Verde, the Indian cliff dwellings, were closed. Not only were the sights closed, but also the parking lots were roped off, with no entry.

I also wanted to go back to South Dakota for the motorcycle rallies, which Allan I attended years ago. Don’t know if I am up to 4,000 motorcycles whizzing by, but they had the biggest, juiciest, most delicious hamburgers in the restaurants.

So, we will have to take an armchair culinary trip, pretending we are there and enjoy the food of the Midwest. For old times’ sake, I would like to visit every state, as I did when I was writing a book about American food.

Join me as, from time to time in this “lockdown,” we will make wishful visits to some of our beautiful country, learn some of its history and enjoy some of its foods.

There is far more variety in the landscape of the Midwest and in the kinds of food available from the once heavily wooded land of Ohio; the rolling grass prairies of Illinois and Iowa; the flatter plains of Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas; and the grass plains of Nebraska and the Dakotas. This Midwest area produces much of our food.

There’s an old local saying: “We may live without poetry, pictures or books — but civilized man cannot live without cooks.” When the first settlers looked at the fat, black soils of the Midwest, they knew the area would produce fat, red meat.

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