The United States is sometimes called the "great melting pot," but anyone who has tried to open a restaurant in more than one American city knows that the pot hasn’t been stirred very well.
Patterns of immigration, local flora and fauna, and different climates have all influenced tastes to create a national mosaic of regional preferences and local idiosyncrasies. So, too, have crazy restaurateurs who thought it was OK to batter-fry pickles, flavor chili with cinnamon and chocolate, or top thinly sliced griddled beef with canned cheese.
In an attempt to clarify the varying tastes of the union, Nation’s Restaurant News mapped some of the flavors and foods that really pop in different parts of the country.
In-Depth: For an analytical and deeper dive into regional preferances and trends, see the March 5 issue of Nation's Restaurant News.