Southern Living names Charleston one of South’s tastiest towns

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Southern Living names Charlestonone of the “Tastiest Towns in the South” in its February issue, on newsstands Jan. 18.

To celebrate the many flavors and rich, diverse stories behind today’s Southern cuisine, Southern Living editors convened in its Birmingham-based Test Kitchen to identify the most compelling food destinations across the region. From Asheville’s eclectic, beer-friendly fare to Memphis’ new riff on soul food, the Southern culinary landscape is evolving, yet staying true to its roots.

“Led by ‘soil evangelist’ Sean Brock, chef at Husk, Charleston’s top chefs are moving indigenous ingredients (like heritage varieties of rice and peas) back to the center of the plate,” writes Southern Living Senior Editor Paula Disbrowe.” Hotspots like The Ordinary, Butcher & Bee, The Macintosh and The Grocery “raise the casual food bar,” she adds.

Readers will decide the winner. Rally around your hometown flavors or favorite food destination and cast your vote for the “Tastiest Town in the South” through Feb. 28 on southernliving.com/tasty or via smartphone by downloading the complimentary Digimarc Discover app and scanning the corresponding image in the magazine. Each daily vote allows a consumer to be entered for a chance to win $1,500 toward a trip to the Tasty Town of his or her choice.

“Southern cooking has become one of the country’s hottest culinary obsessions,” says Southern Living Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman. “But there’s a lot more to it than pork belly and grits. Every day, we’re discovering hyperlocal microcosms of food culture across our region. From beloved food meccas like Charleston and New Orleans to emerging food scenes like Asheville and Greenville, today’s Southern table is laden with distinct flavors and rich stories to tell.”

Southern Living will profile each of the towns and reveal the “Tastiest Town in the South” in the May issue, on newsstands April 19 and online at southernliving.com.

In addition to Charleston, the Southern Living Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” for 2013 are:

Asheville, N.C.: This bohemian brewtopia has a buzzy scene flavored with local bounty.

Atlanta, Ga: The city’s multicultural explosion makes Atlanta an essential food destination.

Austin, Texas: With a posse of star chefs, there are ample opportunities to swill and chomp in style.

Durham, N.C.: The town boasts a mix of pioneers alongside a new generation of bootstrap cooks.

Greenville, S.C.: Features luscious Lowcountry cooking with a surprising international flair.

Louisville, Ky.: With a bourbon-infused larder, the city is experiencing a culinary renaissance.

Memphis, Tenn.: The town’s latest riffs on soul cooking rock.

Miami, Fla.: The fusion flash of the ’80s has evolved into a diverse, refined eating town.

New Orleans, La.: The sultry confluence of old world and innovation maintains our adoration.

In addition to Charleston, Louisville and New Orleans appear on the Southern Living list for the second consecutive year.

Southern Living editors identified the top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” based on the following criteria:

· Food as a culturalidentity: The unique food or ethnicity that defines a particular Southern region

· Growth of a culinary-minded community: The influence that the culinary industry has on the local community and tourism

· Diverse cuisine at a variety of price points: Accessibility to hearty, flavorful meals at any budget

· Local, sustainable food practices: The focus on sourcing products from local purveyors to geographically define where each meal comes from

· Hot chefs on the rise: The influence of the area’s culinary talent in the media and pop culture

· Abundance of buzz-worthy food events: The number of festivals in the area that celebrate all things food and drink

For the full list of towns, visit: southernliving.com/tasty. Rally around your favorite tasty destination and vote online throughFeb. 28. One vote per day is counted toward the finally tally.

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