American Food and Drink
American Food Culture
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Food Shows and Festivals
Every June Food & Wine Magazine attracts many thousands of visitors to its “Food & Wine Classic” show in Aspen, Colorado. The three-day event is filled with tastings, cooking demonstrations, seminars, speakers, and a chance to meet food celebrities. The 2006 program acted almost as a litany of food celebrity; a $975 entry fee allowed the food devotee to attend such programs as “American Brasserie,” with Bobby Flay, “Cooking with Spices,” with Daniel Boulud, “Dinner Italian Style” with Giada De Laurentiis, “Spago Classics” with Wolfgang Puck. “Real Creole” with Emeril Lagasse, “Rib University” with Steve Raichlin, “Shrimp Master Class” with Ming Tsai, and many more.
The Food & Wine event may be the most glamorous food gathering for the culinary faithful, but it is only one of thousands that occur every year both within the food trade and among the general public. A good example of a major recurring show that appeals to both is the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) International Fancy Food and Confection Shows that take place in New York, San Francisco and Chicago every year. In these shows, exhibitors hawk their specialty food products (soy caviar, to give one mainstream example) to the many thousands of visitors who come to taste, buy, or even just to look. The show’s promoters claim to offer 80,000 specialty food products from over 1,000 companies.
Every state and region in the United States hosts myriad food events, fairs, festivals, competitions, and agricultural expositions. The summer is the high point, naturally, but the eating goes on all year long, with a slight dip in December for the traditional winter holiday season. In the state of California alone, a foodie could attend one of several events every month of the year. A partial list:
Alaska’s Kodiak Crab Fesitval, Albuquerque New Mexico’s
Fiery-Foods and Barbecue Show, Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport Lobsterfest, Maui’s Taro
Festival in Hawaii, Georgia’s Vidalia Onion Festival, Louisiana’s Delcambre Shrimp
Festival, Houston’s Fiesta Latina, and New York City’s Taste of Chinatown are only a few
examples of the unique food events that take place throughout the year in every American
city and region.
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