MoonPies from Tennessee. Tomato pie from Alabama. If you've lived in the South for long, odds are you've tasted those specialties.
But what about reindeer sausage from Alaska? A cold lobster roll from Maine? Later this month, you have the chance to sample 50 signature dishes — one from each state — at Flavored Nation. The new event from media production company Gatehouse Live makes its Chattanooga debut Oct. 19-20 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
The weekend devoted to food across America will feature chefs from each state to prepare each iconic dish, culinary demonstrations and vendors selling the latest products.
According to the company, "extensive research and public polling" went into identifying the most iconic dishes of every state in America. Once those dishes were determined, they debuted en masse at the inaugural Flavored Nation in Columbus, Ohio, in 2018. Along with the dishes came "the best chefs from those states to cook them."
Extracurricular details for Chattanooga have not been announced, but a return trip to Columbus in August included an ale trail, food and drink trivia, book signings and live bands.
Several featured dishes are inspired by foods widely identified with each state, such as Buffalo wings from New York, Philly cheese steak from Pennsylvania and maple cream pie from Vermont. Georgia's entry is chicken and waffles, served with peach compote instead of syrup.
Flavored Nation also should provide foodies a chance to learn about the culinary customs of other parts of the nation. Did you know, for example, that the popularity of Nevada's prime rib can be traced back to the early days of gambling in Las Vegas?
And there will be answers for foodies wondering "What exactly is that?"
In Delaware's booth, for instance, you'll learn that scrapple is considered a breakfast staple across the mid-Atlantic region. That Mississippi's mud pie contains no mud, nor does Arkansas' possum pie contain opossum. (They do both feature chocolate as an ingredient, though.)
Even something as conventional as Tennessee's MoonPie, made by Chattanooga Bakery, will be presented "in a unique and delicious way" at Flavored Nation, according to organizers.
One-day admission costs $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Tickets include 10 food samples and six drink samples, with the option to purchase more. Kids 12 and younger pay $15 at the door for five food samples.
Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Tickets and more information about each state's dish are available at www.flavorednation.com.
Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281.