Mar 15, 2012 9:33 AM by Cecilia Stevenson
It's official! Southern Living names Lafayette, LA the 'Tastiest Town in the South.'
There were over 500,000 votes cast online to vote for the "Tastiest Town of the South," out of the 10 Top Food Destinations. In celebration of the South's diverse and unique flavors, Southern Living named the "10 Tastiest Towns in the South" in December. They posted and online poll, and let the consumers decide which town had the best cuisine.
"Southern Living veered way off the hot sauce and barbecue trail to get at the deeper story of who and what is shaping the South's incredibly rich, diverse and delicious culinary landscape," said editor Lindsay Bierman. "We're pleased to highlight the South's vibrant food scene in each and every town we profile."
"Lafayette's distinct culinary identity as the capital of Cajun country, its spicy, sausage-laden roots, and a new generation of locals devoted to preserving their heritage while putting a fresh spin on tradition have made it an incredibly satisfying place to eat," writes Senior Editor Paula Disbrowe in Southern Living.
The Top 10 "Tastiest Towns in the South" were:
1. Lafayette, LA: Cayenne-spiked Acadiana
2. Baltimore, MD: Harboring Chesapeake flavor
3. Birmingham, AL: Refined Southern comfort
4. Charleston, SC: A homegrown heirloom revival
5. Charlottesville, VA: Toasting Jefferson's Legacy
6. Decatur, GA: A suburb made from scratch
7. Houston, TX: A distinct ethnic twang
8. Louisville, KY: A bourbon-soaked renaissance
9. New Orleans, LA: A gumbo of beloved excess
10.Raleigh, NC: Where farm fresh never expires
The qulifications on becoming the "Tastiest Towns in the South" were based on:
· Food as a cultural identity: 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
There is still a chance for the public to when a $2,500 trip to the "Tastiest Town" of their liking if they enter by April 30, 2012, 11:59 EST at www.southernliving.com.