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Oregon/Washington Cuisine?

Looking for input
I am a Sommelier student and I am doing a project on Oregon/Washington
I am looking for some insight on what you may say is a regional cuisine from any of these areas.
Thanks for any insight and ideas
ps - any wine reccomendations are great too!

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  1. Fresh seafood is really big here. Also, we have a great growing season for many fruits and vegetables, so fresh produce is a star at great restaurants.

    Someone had a link to an Oregon cookbook recently, I'll see if I can find it.

    1. Wenatchee is the Apple capitol of the world. Walla Walla is the home of the Walla Walla Sweet onion. we grow more potatoes than Idaho. Yakima is the largest producer of hops in the world. Salmon and dungeness crab are great seafood but we are also known for Penn Cove Mussels. Washington is also the new Napa we have more wineries starting every day. Whatcum county has more dairy cows than people. we are also large producers of wheat., peas, and lentals. sweet corn and most other vegetables. so for your report if would cover a broad spectrum. the eastern part was homesteaded by imagrants so alot of Germans and Germans from Russia. Italians are also numerous as homesteaders. yet in seattle there are alot of scandnavian decent. Does this help you out?

      2 Replies
        1. re: hickdolphin

          As the other writers have indicated, because our climate is so temperate, most fruits and veggies (other than tropical or subtropical) grow really well here. Chefs here tend to focus on the seasonal fresh produce and meats/fish/fowl. In addition to strawberries, marionberries, and hucklesberries, Washington grows fantastic raspberries and blueberries. Also cranberries. Seattle and the surrounding area has many artisanal bakeries and cheese makers. . Everyone grills or barbecues or broils and occasionally pan fries salmon. Halibut, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, and oysters are also extremely popular . Dishes in the NW cuisine tend to be on the simpler side as there is no point in hiding the flavor of great ingredients

        2. From the water: oysters, bay shrimp, mussels, dungeness crab, salmon, trout, sole, sablefish (aka blackfish, butterfish, black cod), rockfish, ling cod and others are all local to the NW. And there's also sturgeon from the Columbia River.

          Lots of fruit and veggies but especially berries (marionberries and huckleberries and Hood strawberries are among the best found locally), cherries, stone fruit (plums, peaches and nectarines), pears, melons and apples. And also potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms (wild foraged and also cultivated), fiddleheads (foraged), seabeans (aka samphire, glasswort - also foraged), onions, beans (fresh and dried), squash and pumpkins...and lots of others.

          Hazelnuts (aka Filberts) are a local product as are walnuts. And there is a lot of local honey around here.

          There are gorgeous lavender farms in WA.

          There are several great producers of pork, lamb and beef as well as folks raising great local poultry (duck, chicken, and heritage turkeys).

          There are great wines in both OR and WA, with several designated areas. There are some of the best pinot noirs in the WIllamette Valley in OR and some very delicious syrahs in WA, some great Tempranillos in southern OR (Abacela is making a delicious one right now). Here's a good place to start: http://www.winesnw.com

          1. From the water: oysters, bay shrimp, mussels, dungeness crab, salmon, trout, sole, sablefish (aka blackfish, butterfish, black cod), rockfish, ling cod, halibut and others are all local to the NW. And there's also sturgeon from the Columbia River.

            Lots of fruit and veggies but especially berries (marionberries and huckleberries and Hood strawberries are among the best found locally), cherries, stone fruit (plums, peaches and nectarines), pears, melons and apples. And also potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms (wild foraged and also cultivated), fiddleheads (foraged), seabeans (aka samphire, glasswort - also foraged), onions, beans (fresh and dried), squash and pumpkins...and lots of others.

            Hazelnuts (aka Filberts) are a local product as are walnuts. And there is a lot of local honey around here.

            There are gorgeous lavender farms in WA.

            There are several great producers of pork, lamb and beef as well as folks raising great local poultry (duck, chicken, and heritage turkeys).

            There are great wines in both OR and WA, with several designated areas. There are some of the best pinot noirs in the WIllamette Valley in OR and some very delicious syrahs in WA, some great Tempranillos in southern OR (Abacela is making a delicious one right now). Here's a good place to start: http://www.winesnw.com

            1. There is an old thread on this topic, started by my Chowhound post on Feb. 17, 2003 captioned "Is There a "Pacific Northwest Cuisine?". The URL is http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1140...
              Unfortunately, in the transition from the "old Chowhound" to the "new Chowhound," the quotation marks and apostrophes in my original post are garbled and come out as little squares or, as in the caption, """ in place of a quotation mark. But I think you can make it out without too much difficultly and it will give you access to the 26 replies to my post.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Tom Armitage

                The URL in my post above got cut off at the end. I'll try again.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1140...
                If this doesn't work, you can access the thread by using the search function for +northwest +armitage, but you'll need to specifiy that you want to search back to 2003.

                1. re: Tom Armitage

                  Hi Tom
                  thanks so much I love the thread and it has now changed my whole perspective!
                  and made for some interesting conversations!

                  1. re: niagarafoodie

                    Well to get a tastof the northwest there are some places that started here. Anthony's Homeport, Ivars Fish and chips, Spuds fish and chips. and numerous others

              2. Can anyone rec any restaurants or winery restaurants that really define the wine region. Not looking for places that are not located in wine regions.
                Thanks for any help

                1 Reply
                1. re: niagarafoodie

                  RedHills Provincal Dining
                  Nick's Italian Cafe
                  Joel Palmer House
                  Painted Lady

                2. I think the most important aspect of NW cuisine is the almost religious emphasis on the use of local and seasonal items. Most restaurants are really adamant about partnering with small local farms and ranches to get the best possible product.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: capicksnw

                    The use of seasonal, local, organic, and sustainable ingredients isn't limited to the Pacific Northwest. I have recently enjoyed this approach at restaurants in California, New York, and Rhode Island. It is a wonderful, exiting trend. usually accompanied by a light hand in the preparation of the carefully selected ingredient, as opposed to mucking up the flavor of the main ingredient with a multiplicity of other ingredients, herbs, spices, and sauce.