Not regional, but holiday-based

That would be pumpkin risotto, a delicacy recently ordered (it was a Halloween special) at Sam's Grill in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly tasty, it is highly recommended. There turn out to be many recipes, but here's one to try (by Wolfgang Puck, so it's gotta be good):
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
About 6 cups of hot chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 butternut squash, one half baked in the oven and then pureed; the other half, peeled, cut into small dice, and Sauteed in a little oil and butter until tender
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.
Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish. Spoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls.


Pressing on, regardless

As Ms Cole seems to still be inching toward retirement and her role in this notion, her co-editor will endeavor to provide some regional food resources to keep you salivating until the real thing comes along. Currently struggling with eating, there being too much of him, it will be hard to discuss without salivating myself, but we'll try. Stay tuned, and email your favorite regional foods and their locations to jumpstart the process. Thanks.


What are Regional Foods, and why do we care?

Regional Foods are just that, foods that are traditionally only prepared and served in a local environment.
Many foods, of course, have graduated from being regional (clam chowder, for one) into being available and prepared nationally. But, while many of the national versions are good, there are local peculiarities that just can't be replicated in mass, shippable quantities.
(As a personal example, Rico would submit the chowdah served at the Brotherhood of Thieves in Nantucket as one item that won't make it to your grocery shelves. Sorry. That's why, for so many of these items, ya gotta go there. That's why they're regional.)

We will endeavor to search out the best of food, wherever it's made, and tell you about it. You can help by emailing your suggestions (recipes, photos, reviews, etc.) to the editor, Joyce Cole, at jcole@gmail.com or the publisher, Mark Seymour, at markwseymour@gmail.com

First post

The long-anticipated debut of Regional Foods will now take this form, because we can and because it's free. We'll be 'practising' here for the eventual roll-out of the 'real' thing, as soon as we can all afford to take it on. Suggestions for postings of your favorite local foods and eateries are highly prized; do send them along, and we'll credit you in the posting.