We're firm believers in the philosophy that food, history and culture are intertwined. (What else could explain cracklin' in rural Louisiana or jalapeño-infused margaritas in Arizona?) So, when we are on the road we are always looking for the dishes that are local; those foods that bring us closer to the people and the landscape we are travelling through. We scour shelves at local grocery stores, hunt through farmers' markets and ask a lot of questions. It's a way to fill our stomachs and gain a little cultural wisdom along the way.

In the bites that follow, keep this edict from Luciano Pavarotti in mind: One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

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