If you want to get to know a location, then the best way to do that is with your tongue. Especially in the US, every state, city, and town is a mix of peoples, histories, and traditions that come out in delicious fashion through their cooking. So, if you’re in Missouri and you want to get a taste of the state, what exactly should you be trying out?
The morel you know
It’s not the only place in the world that this particular mushroom is used in dining, but Missouri’s local morel supply means you’re likely to find these fungi on menus all across the state and they make for a delicious starter. With a distinct nutty, savory flavor, fried morels make for a great appetizer or even a meat substitute in most main dishes, while morel omelettes are a belly filler you can find in a lot of restaurants throughout the state. You can even go morel foraging on your own if you’re spend the weekend out by the river.
Ravioli taken seriously
There’s a strong presence of Italian cuisine all throughout the state and nowhere is that more prominent than the Hill, a predominantly Italian area of St. Louis. It’s omnipresent, but one of the favorites of the city (if a favorite had to be picked) is toasted ravioli. Deep-fried rather than truly toasted, this crispy treat is a must-have for any fans of flavorful pasta, served with marinara sauce for dipping. Just don’t believe anyone who says they originated the recipe, as several eateries in the area contend for that fine honor.
A trail worth taking
If you feel like taking a bit of a road trip, then there’s a special trail to be found in the small, charming city of Hermann. At the Hermann Wine Trail, Missouri’s lesser known, but characterful wine culture truly shines. https://hermannwinetrail.com shows all the wineries where you can try the distinct tastes that make up a third of the whole state’s wine production. It’s true wine country, celebrating it with tons of events that mix the average tasting with themes such as chocolate, berries, and even wild bacon to offer something different with each visit.
Don’t forget the sweet
If you don’t feel like a whole meal or you just have a sweet tooth, there’s a dessert that you will find in almost every restaurant in the state despite almost certainly never having had it before if you live anywhere else. Gooey Butter Cake is a signature of the state, and it is just as gooey and delicious as it sounds. With a cookie-like crust over a sweet mix of butter, sugar, and eggs, the recipe is as simple as can be but there are whole stores like http://www.gooeylouiecake.com/ dedicated to it and for good reason. It’s easy to get hooked on, so if you’re in for a flying visit, stock up or you’ll be heartbroken when you leave.
Of course, there’s plenty that we haven’t been able to cover here. St. Louis-style pizza is just another example of the distinct culinary character in Missouri well-worth checking out as well. But if you’re in the area and you’re looking for a new taste, then you want to start with the four above.