Cuisine Cartography

I graduated from college with a degree in cartography.  Like many other post-grads, I’ve found very few real-world applications for my degree (at least, ones that pay enough to live off of…) and so I work in a completely different field now.  That said, I still have a deep appreciation for the art of cartography and the beauty of maps.  Take, for example, these fascinating maps of food (and be sure to click on each heading to visit the page where I found these lovely maps):

Totem Foods of North America

totem-foods.jpg

I’m kind of startled to see that Houston (and San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, the entire Valley, etc.) falls into the “Gator Nation” belt.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I love alligator as much as the next person.  But I definitely wouldn’t categorize it as a Totem food here.  And I can’t imagine trying to serve someone alligator in the Valley.  Houston’s close enough to Louisiana and the swamps of East Texas for alligator to be fairly standard cuisine, but that’s not true in points west.

In reality, the whole portion of the Gator belt starting with the Texas-Louisiana border and heading west should be an amalgamation of the Corn Bread & BBQ Nation and the Chile Pepper Nation.  Mmm…  Now who wouldn’t want to live in that nation?

Continue reading Cuisine Cartography

Advertisements

Wine Tastes Like…High School

My sweet Richard ran to the grocery store tonight to grab some fresh veggies and a bottle of wine to go with the lovely fat porkchops I had planned for dinner.  In a hurry to beat the impending thunderstorm, he grabbed the first bottle he saw that looked appealing.  It turned out to be something called “White Merlot.”

I know, I know…but bear with me.

I’m generally not a fan of Merlot, or most red wines for that matter, because they’re too tannic for my poor stomach to take.  So I’m mostly stuck with lightly chilled Pinot Noirs and loads of white wine.  But this “White Merlot” — which is, really, a kissing cousin to White Zin — was fucking fantastic.  And before you heap your vituperation upon me, I know that it’s not really Merlot.  So just cool your heels, pups.

It tasted like a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler, I’ll be the first to admit.  But it tasted like a Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler would’ve tasted to a 16-year-old sneaking her first taste of sweet, forbidden alcohol.  There was something familiar and comforting about its cloying sweetness and tangy raspberry undertones.  It was like smelling a perfume that you used to wear in high school, but haven’t encountered in twelve years; you wonder how you could have ever liked it to begin with — it’s too overt and it’s trying too hard — but there’s still that undercurrent of soft memories, first crushes and awkward homecoming dances that makes it irresistable to your jaded adult senses.

Just in case you couldn’t tell by my rambling prose, I am quite tanked on White Merlot right now.  It’s great.  I highly recommend it if you’re feeling sentimental.  Or just thirsty.  Either way…