History UsefulNotes / CuisinesInAmerica

13th Sep '16 7:23:17 PM karstovich2
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Closely related to Southern cuisine--so closely related as to be almost indistinguishable--is "soul food", i.e. the traditional cuisine of Black America. As the vast majority of black people in America descend from Southern slaves, this similarity should come as no surprise. What differences there are tend to focus on the ingredients used rather than the actual style of cooking; in general, slaves were given very poor ingredients, so soul food has a greater proportion of dishes focusing on vegetables (okra and collard greens are stereotypical) and offal (the famous chitterlings[[note]]pronounced, if you decide you want to try them, "chitlins" ... unless you like an entire restaurant snickering at you[[/note]]--i.e. pig intestines). Corn-based foods are also somewhat more common, as blacks tended historically to have little access to wheat flour; slaves were generally given the cheaper cornmeal and corn flour, and even after they were freed from slavery, most blacks were too poor to buy anything else. This cuisine was then taken across America during the Great Migrations to the North and West, as Blacks moved away from the South in search of greater opportunity and less discrimination, but kept in touch with their roots; consequently, although to get great Southern food you more or less need to be in the South (or eating at the home of a displaced Southerner), many Northern cities have their own excellent soul food traditions (Harlem, Detroit, and Chicago are particularly renowned) both in restaurants and in the homes of the cities' vibrant black communities. The actual term "soul food" arose in the [[TheSixties 1960s]], by analogy with {{Soul}} Music.

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Closely related to Southern cuisine--so closely related as to be almost indistinguishable--is "soul food", i.e. the traditional cuisine of Black America. As the vast majority of black people in America descend from Southern slaves, this similarity should come as no surprise. What differences there are tend to focus on the ingredients used rather than the actual style of cooking; in general, slaves were given very poor ingredients, and after the end of slavery most blacks were still very poor, so soul food has a greater proportion of dishes focusing on vegetables (okra and collard greens are stereotypical) and offal (the (e.g. the famous chitterlings[[note]]pronounced, if you decide you want to try them, "chitlins" ... unless you like an entire restaurant snickering at you[[/note]]--i.e. pig intestines). Corn-based foods are also somewhat more common, as (again) blacks tended historically to have little access to wheat flour; slaves were generally given the cheaper cornmeal and corn flour, and even after they were freed from slavery, most blacks were too poor to buy anything else. This cuisine was then taken across America during the Great Migrations to the North and West, as Blacks moved away from the South in search of greater opportunity and less discrimination, but kept in touch with their roots; consequently, although to get great Southern food you more or less need to be in the South (or eating at the home of a displaced Southerner), many Northern cities have their own excellent soul food traditions (Harlem, Detroit, and Chicago are particularly renowned) both in restaurants and in the homes of the cities' vibrant black communities. The actual term "soul food" arose in the [[TheSixties 1960s]], by analogy with {{Soul}} Music.
3rd Sep '16 6:47:09 AM Morgenthaler
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Speaking of which... Two different cuisines which get lumped together because they come from Louisiana and start with the letter "C." Both began as colonial-era cuisines from whatever ingredients could be foraged from Louisiana Territory, and have increased in popularity across the US. Creole food used classic 19th-century [[SnailsAndSoOn French recipes]] with local ingredients--e.g. replacing the carrots of the French ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix mirepoix]]'' with the bell peppers of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_trinity_(cuisine) holy trinity]]--with influences from Spanish Caribbean and African cooking. Cajun cuisine is simpler country-folks cooking. The difference arises from the differing backgrounds; Creole cuisine arises from the mixed culture of colonial New Orleans, consisting of direct immigrants from France, African slaves and freedmen, Spanish and other random immigrants, and people descended from the extensive intermarriage among them, while the Cajuns by and large primarily descend from Acadians (people of French ancestry who had settled in Acadia--what is now New Brunswick in Canada) who left for Louisiana after the British more or less forced them out of their homeland during the [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar "French and Indian War"]].[[note]]Acadia had been taken over in 1710 as part of [[UsefulNotes/WarOfTheSpanishSuccession "Queen Anne's War"]], and many Acadians left for Louisiana at that time, but the later war led to a much larger exodus.[[/note]] Culinarily, the main divide separating the two would probably be the incorporation of tomatoes and/or butter in Creole dishes, these being traces of the Spanish and upper-crust French influences, respectively; authentic Cajun dishes, which have remained much closer to French peasant food and have a weaker Spanish influence, eschew tomatoes and generally use vegetable oil as their main cooking fat (traditionally, the Cajun cooking fat was lard, but vegetable oil is ''much'' cheaper). Cross-pollination due to cultural proximity blurs the distinction between them the further you go from southern Louisiana. Both have also updated with French cuisine, incorporating and refining, and now many metropolitan areas around the country feature five star New Orleans-style restaurants.

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Speaking of which... Two different cuisines which get lumped together because they come from Louisiana and start with the letter "C." Both began as colonial-era cuisines from whatever ingredients could be foraged from Louisiana Territory, and have increased in popularity across the US. Creole food used classic 19th-century [[SnailsAndSoOn [[UsefulNotes/SnailsAndSoOn French recipes]] with local ingredients--e.g. replacing the carrots of the French ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix mirepoix]]'' with the bell peppers of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_trinity_(cuisine) holy trinity]]--with influences from Spanish Caribbean and African cooking. Cajun cuisine is simpler country-folks cooking. The difference arises from the differing backgrounds; Creole cuisine arises from the mixed culture of colonial New Orleans, consisting of direct immigrants from France, African slaves and freedmen, Spanish and other random immigrants, and people descended from the extensive intermarriage among them, while the Cajuns by and large primarily descend from Acadians (people of French ancestry who had settled in Acadia--what is now New Brunswick in Canada) who left for Louisiana after the British more or less forced them out of their homeland during the [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar "French and Indian War"]].[[note]]Acadia had been taken over in 1710 as part of [[UsefulNotes/WarOfTheSpanishSuccession "Queen Anne's War"]], and many Acadians left for Louisiana at that time, but the later war led to a much larger exodus.[[/note]] Culinarily, the main divide separating the two would probably be the incorporation of tomatoes and/or butter in Creole dishes, these being traces of the Spanish and upper-crust French influences, respectively; authentic Cajun dishes, which have remained much closer to French peasant food and have a weaker Spanish influence, eschew tomatoes and generally use vegetable oil as their main cooking fat (traditionally, the Cajun cooking fat was lard, but vegetable oil is ''much'' cheaper). Cross-pollination due to cultural proximity blurs the distinction between them the further you go from southern Louisiana. Both have also updated with French cuisine, incorporating and refining, and now many metropolitan areas around the country feature five star New Orleans-style restaurants.
1st Sep '16 12:52:33 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we put [[BlessedAreTheCheesemakers cheese]] on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese.[[/note]]

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#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we put [[BlessedAreTheCheesemakers cheese]] cheese on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese.[[/note]]
1st Sep '16 12:51:40 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we put cheese on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese.[[/note]]

to:

#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we put cheese [[BlessedAreTheCheesemakers cheese]] on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese.[[/note]]
29th Aug '16 10:02:45 PM PaulA
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When it comes to sit-down restaurants, rather like Chinese, you can generally find two kinds of "Italian" restaurant in the US. The ones serving the American-based fusion "Italian American" cuisine are generally older restaurants--[[LongRunner some dating to]] [[TheGildedAge the late 19th or early 20th century]]--in the big cities of the East Coast (and to a lesser extent in the Midwest and the West Coast), and are commonly called "red-gravy places" or "red-gravy restaurants" because of the stereotypical association with tomato sauce (which was for some time--and still is in many cases--called "red gravy" by Italian-Americans on the East Coast and in Chicago, based on a misunderstanding of the correct translation of the Italian word ''sugo,'' which is what many tomato sauces are called).[[note]]On at least one occasion, a non-Italian who had come up with a good recipe for spaghetti sauce was repeatedly, to his consternation, told by Philadelphia-area Italian-Americans that what he was making was "gravy."[[/note]] Unlike Americanized Chinese places, these Italian American restaurants are surprisingly often legitimately fine-dining establishments (with menu prices to match), and if you're willing to forgive the fact that it isn't really food you would get in Italy, it can be quite enjoyable. (It helps that the better places among these have updated with modern Italian cuisine, adapting improved techniques to their traditional favorites and exploiting the increased availability of real Italian ingredients to raise the bar further).[[note]]Artie Bucco's Vesuvio restaurant from ''Series/TheSopranos'' is actually a pretty representative example of this style, although it must be emphasized that (1) relatively few such restaurants are actually hangout spots for the Mob and (2) Vesuvio, being situated in the North Jersey suburbs, is a bit different from what you'd find in the more well-established communities in New York or Philadelphia, or even in Hudson County (the part of New Jersey immediately across the Hudson from Manhattan, containing Hoboken and Jersey City) or Newark (to the extent that such places still exist in Newark).[[/note]] The other kind of Italian restaurant tries to hew more closely to the contemporary cuisine of ''northern'' Italy, so you'll find a lot less tomato and pasta and a lot more pesto and risotto. These are usually newer (established since the 1990s) and are typically pretty arty and expensive, although you can find some that are a bit more reasonably priced. These restaurants, being newer, can be found in any reasonably large metropolitan area in the country (unlike the red-gravy places, which, again, are more or less restricted to the old centers of Italian immigration), as it's a fairly common menu style for an upscale or semi-upscale restaurant.

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When it comes to sit-down restaurants, rather like Chinese, you can generally find two kinds of "Italian" restaurant in the US. The ones serving the American-based fusion "Italian American" cuisine are generally older restaurants--[[LongRunner some restaurants--some dating to]] to [[TheGildedAge the late 19th or early 20th century]]--in the big cities of the East Coast (and to a lesser extent in the Midwest and the West Coast), and are commonly called "red-gravy places" or "red-gravy restaurants" because of the stereotypical association with tomato sauce (which was for some time--and still is in many cases--called "red gravy" by Italian-Americans on the East Coast and in Chicago, based on a misunderstanding of the correct translation of the Italian word ''sugo,'' which is what many tomato sauces are called).[[note]]On at least one occasion, a non-Italian who had come up with a good recipe for spaghetti sauce was repeatedly, to his consternation, told by Philadelphia-area Italian-Americans that what he was making was "gravy."[[/note]] Unlike Americanized Chinese places, these Italian American restaurants are surprisingly often legitimately fine-dining establishments (with menu prices to match), and if you're willing to forgive the fact that it isn't really food you would get in Italy, it can be quite enjoyable. (It helps that the better places among these have updated with modern Italian cuisine, adapting improved techniques to their traditional favorites and exploiting the increased availability of real Italian ingredients to raise the bar further).[[note]]Artie Bucco's Vesuvio restaurant from ''Series/TheSopranos'' is actually a pretty representative example of this style, although it must be emphasized that (1) relatively few such restaurants are actually hangout spots for the Mob and (2) Vesuvio, being situated in the North Jersey suburbs, is a bit different from what you'd find in the more well-established communities in New York or Philadelphia, or even in Hudson County (the part of New Jersey immediately across the Hudson from Manhattan, containing Hoboken and Jersey City) or Newark (to the extent that such places still exist in Newark).[[/note]] The other kind of Italian restaurant tries to hew more closely to the contemporary cuisine of ''northern'' Italy, so you'll find a lot less tomato and pasta and a lot more pesto and risotto. These are usually newer (established since the 1990s) and are typically pretty arty and expensive, although you can find some that are a bit more reasonably priced. These restaurants, being newer, can be found in any reasonably large metropolitan area in the country (unlike the red-gravy places, which, again, are more or less restricted to the old centers of Italian immigration), as it's a fairly common menu style for an upscale or semi-upscale restaurant.
1st Aug '16 7:32:59 PM karstovich2
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* Chicago deep dish, by contrast, is almost like a pie. The crust sides are an inch or more in height, and is filled with cheese, sauce, and toppings. This style was created at Pizzeria Uno, which has since become a national chain; that said, diehard deep-dish fans insist you can't get the style done right outside Chicagoland.

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* Chicago deep dish, by contrast, is almost like a pie. The A layer of dough to form the crust is placed in an oiled pan, with the sides are of the pan--up to an inch or more in height, and high--being lined with crust; the crust is then filled in layers, with cheese, large chunks of mozzarella on the ''bottom'', over which goes the tomato sauce, and toppings.any toppings will be between these two layers (typical for meat toppings--especially Italian sausage, which is often is placed as a solid layer of sausage meat) or mixed in the sauce (typical for vegetable toppings). The reverse layering is because the rather thick pie takes so long to bake that the cheese could burn if placed on top. This style was created at Pizzeria Uno, which has since become a national chain; that said, diehard deep-dish fans insist you can't get the style done right outside Chicagoland.
30th Jul '16 2:21:05 PM MsChibi
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** Americans are, however, relatively conservative in their cheese tastes, going mainly for firm, salty, mild-tasting cheeses and processed cheese foods imitating flavors thereof. Predominant varieties include Cheddar, Colby (similar to Cheddar but softer and milder), Monterey Jack (similar to Colby but white and sometimes sold with minced hot peppers mixed in as "Pepper Jack"), Mozzarella (the cheese of choice for pizzas), Swiss[[note]]a derivative of Emmentaler[[/note]] (no self-respecting deli doesn't offer sandwiches with Swiss), "Mexican" (could be any number of things, although commonly it's imitation Oaxaca; the closer you are to an area with a large Mexican-American population, the better a shot you have at finding the real deal), Parmesan (based on Parmigiano-Reggiano and generally sold ground-up and used as a condiment or garnish), Provolone (only vaguely similar to the Italian cheese of the same name; how vaguely depends on how far from the East Coast you are, with East Coast versions being a reasonable facsimile[[note]]With Philadelphia and New York having particularly good versions; the extra-sharp provolone used on Philadelphia's roast pork and roast beef sandwiches and available for its famous cheesesteaks is, if not authentic, then good enough that visiting Italians overlook the dissimilarity.[[/note]] and more distant ones...um...not), "cream cheese" (a mild, spreadable processed cheese food, vaguely reminiscent of several European soft cheeses), Cheez Whiz, and of course, American cheese and its derivative, Velveeta[[note]]Also note that there's American ''cheese'', which is similar to Cheddar/Colby, and "Pasturized Process American Cheese Food Product", which is the individually-wrapped slices that most people think of when they hear "American cheese"; both PPACFP and Velveeta are specifically designed to melt well rather than to taste good in unmelted form, though people are much more likely to eat PPACFP without actually heating it than they are to eat Velveeta that way[[/note]]. There is an increasing interest in imported and artisanal cheeses--artisanal cheddar production in the US has been a movement since at least TheNineties. With ''very'' rare exceptions (almost all involving cream cheese), cheese is only eaten with savory dishes as opposed to sweet ones.

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** Americans are, however, relatively conservative in their cheese tastes, going mainly for firm, salty, mild-tasting cheeses and processed cheese foods imitating flavors thereof. Predominant varieties include Cheddar, Colby (similar to Cheddar but softer and milder), Monterey Jack (similar to Colby but white and sometimes sold with minced hot peppers mixed in as "Pepper Jack"), Colby-Jack [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs (a hybrid of the last two)]], Mozzarella (the cheese of choice for pizzas), Swiss[[note]]a derivative of Emmentaler[[/note]] (no self-respecting deli doesn't offer sandwiches with Swiss), "Mexican" (could be any number of things, although commonly it's imitation Oaxaca; the closer you are to an area with a large Mexican-American population, the better a shot you have at finding the real deal), Parmesan (based on Parmigiano-Reggiano and generally sold ground-up and used as a condiment or garnish), Provolone (only vaguely similar to the Italian cheese of the same name; how vaguely depends on how far from the East Coast you are, with East Coast versions being a reasonable facsimile[[note]]With Philadelphia and New York having particularly good versions; the extra-sharp provolone used on Philadelphia's roast pork and roast beef sandwiches and available for its famous cheesesteaks is, if not authentic, then good enough that visiting Italians overlook the dissimilarity.[[/note]] and more distant ones...um...not), "cream cheese" (a mild, spreadable processed cheese food, vaguely reminiscent of several European soft cheeses), Cheez Whiz, and of course, American cheese and its derivative, Velveeta[[note]]Also note that there's American ''cheese'', which is similar to Cheddar/Colby, and "Pasturized Process American Cheese Food Product", which is the individually-wrapped slices that most people think of when they hear "American cheese"; both PPACFP and Velveeta are specifically designed to melt well rather than to taste good in unmelted form, though people are much more likely to eat PPACFP without actually heating it than they are to eat Velveeta that way[[/note]]. There is an increasing interest in imported and artisanal cheeses--artisanal cheddar production in the US has been a movement since at least TheNineties. With ''very'' rare exceptions (almost all involving cream cheese), cheese is only eaten with savory dishes as opposed to sweet ones.
20th Jul '16 8:07:46 PM HasturHasturHastur
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* The name Maine immediately evokes the image of lobsters. (Was on their license plate, from 1987-2000.)

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* The name Maine immediately evokes the image of lobsters.lobsters (and, to a lesser degree, blueberries). (Was on their license plate, from 1987-2000.)



* Vermont and New Hampshire are famous for maple syrup,




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* Steak bomb: Similar in theory to the Philly cheesesteak, it is believe to have originated from the Boston area and is now a mainstay of New England delis, grinder shops, and pizza places. Shaved steak (peppered if the place is any good), provolone or mozzarella, grilled onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms are cooked together on a griddle and then crammed into a sub roll; most places (the closer to Boston, the greater the likelihood) will also include salami. It's a gutbuster that is not for those whose stomachs are averse to lots of grease, but it ''is'' very good.
* Pastrami on rye: A classic of New York Jewish delicatessens (though you can also find plenty of very good and perfectly authentic ones in Los Angeles as well, owing to that city's own fairly sizable Jewish diaspora), it is ''always'' (if it can be called authentic) made up of nothing but enormous amounts of hot pastrami and spicy brown mustard on Jewish rye and is usually served with kosher dill pickles on the side.
5th Jul '16 5:03:42 PM nombretomado
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Although America is very firmly beer country today, it wasn't always so. In TheColonialPeriod and up until the presidency of AndrewJackson (more or less), hard cider and applejack--a freeze-distilled brandy made from cider--were the drinks of choice for Americans. In fact, at least one major successful presidential campaign during that era[[note]]That of WilliamHenryHarrison.[[/note]] openly played up the image that the candidate was a [[RatedMForManly rough-and-tumble man's man]] who lived in a log cabin and loved drinking cider. The vast open spaces of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Basins had yet to be settled by whites, and so America--strange to say--was grain-poor. So they made their drinks from apples--which were easy to grow in America's climate and terrain--instead. New England was also big on rum in the colonial period, buying molasses to distill into rum with the proceeds of its triangular-trade shipping fees ("[[Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix Molaaaassssses to rummm, to slaaaves]]...")

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Although America is very firmly beer country today, it wasn't always so. In TheColonialPeriod and up until the presidency of AndrewJackson UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson (more or less), hard cider and applejack--a freeze-distilled brandy made from cider--were the drinks of choice for Americans. In fact, at least one major successful presidential campaign during that era[[note]]That of WilliamHenryHarrison.[[/note]] openly played up the image that the candidate was a [[RatedMForManly rough-and-tumble man's man]] who lived in a log cabin and loved drinking cider. The vast open spaces of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Basins had yet to be settled by whites, and so America--strange to say--was grain-poor. So they made their drinks from apples--which were easy to grow in America's climate and terrain--instead. New England was also big on rum in the colonial period, buying molasses to distill into rum with the proceeds of its triangular-trade shipping fees ("[[Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix Molaaaassssses to rummm, to slaaaves]]...")
25th Jun '16 8:37:36 AM karstovich2
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* In 1981, Wolfgang Puck and Ed [=LaDou=] started Spago, a restaurant that would put just about any topping on a pizza from barbecue chicken to zucchini flowers. Over time almost anything with unusual toppings or seasoned crust has become known as California style.

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* In 1981, Wolfgang Puck and Ed [=LaDou=] started Spago, a restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA that would put just about any topping on a pizza from barbecue chicken to zucchini flowers. Over time almost anything with unusual toppings or seasoned crust has become known as California style.
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