Modern Pioneer - - Front Page - By Michael Pend­ley

Unique, re­gion-spe­cific tastes from around the U.S.

Tra­di­tional meat stews have ex­isted since be­fore the writ­ten word. Hunter­gath­er­ers world­wide would boil what they could find in a hol­lowed rock, an an­i­mal skin or, later, in clay pots. Dif­fer­ent re­gions of the world de­vel­oped dif­fer­ent styles of stew us­ing lo­cal in­gre­di­ents.

As the United States was set­tled, im­mi­grants from around the world ar­rived here with their own stew recipes. They used the same recipes with in­gre­di­ents from their new home to make new re­gional dishes. While these new stews fea­ture dis­tinct in­gre­di­ents, they share a few sim­i­lar­i­ties, too. Chief among these is the in­clu­sion of lo­cally sourced meat and pro­duce. Since these stews were of­ten meant to feed a large crowd, they reg­u­larly in­cluded sev­eral meats, with each fam­ily sup­ply­ing a small amount of what­ever was on hand.

Be­cause of this com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, cook­ing up stew drew crowds from all around. In time, these gath­er­ings be­came reg­u­lar fes­ti­vals. Recipes were fur­ther re­fined, and re­gional dishes were born. Let’s sam­ple some of these re­gional stews and their ori­gins, and I’ll pro­vide a few recipes for you and your fam­ily to try at home.

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