'Iowa' on Serious Eats

The United States of Pizza: Iowa

It's time to give you a taste of Iowa's pizza options. The Hawkeye State has a wealth of pizzerias, many of which have been around for generations. College town pizza joints abound, some where the atmosphere is more memorable than the slices, but artisan pies are also being made in Des Moines (and Decorah). Be warned: it's a land of rather creative pizza toppings. Half-taco, half sauerkraut pie, anyone? More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 107: The Iowa Diet

Sticky bun from the Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, Iowa. [Photographs: Ed Levine] I went back to my alma mater, Grinnell College, this past week to participate in a panel on the future of journalism. Food-wise I associate Grinnell, Iowa, with four things: pie, cinnamon buns, pork tenderloin sandwiches, and the Danish Maid Bakery's glazed doughnuts. Needless to say, none of them is good for my diet or my knee. But even though my knee was killing me the whole time I was there (below zero wind chill readings don't help an arthritic knee) I did manage to get in my fair share of the four main Iowa food groups. And maybe I didn't gain weight by doing so.... More

Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

[Flickr: kirkmwilkins] Endless Simmer picks the top 10 food finds at the Iowa State Fair, which took place earlier this month. The finds include foods on sticks, fried food on sticks, butter sculptures, and whatever the mystery cake above is that unsurprisingly won a first place ribbon in the Ugliest Cake competition. Related In Videos: Foods on a Stick at the Minnesota State Fair Deep-Fried Coke at the State Fair of Texas What's Your Favorite Food on a Stick? It's Gotta Be Served at the Minnesota State Fair... More

Is Ham the New Bacon?

"There are a number of seriously delicious artisanal hams being made all over this pig-happy country of ours." That is the porcine question of the day. It all started with Italian prosciutto di Parma, progressed to Serrano ham from Spain, and then of course moved to the ne plus ultra of European ham, the black-footed (patenegra in Spanish), called Jamon Iberico. But now American artisanal ham makers are getting in on the act. Herb and Kathy Eckhouse started making extraordinary La Quercia prosciutto in Des Moines, Iowa. How extraordinary? Italian chefs in America who worship at the feet of Parma ham like Mario Batali started taking notice. Now third generation curemaster Sam Edwards working with Heritage Foods USA and Newman... More

Video: 'Sky Full of Bacon' Visits Iowa Prosciutto Producers La Quercia

Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert posted this video of his visit to La Quercia in late May, but we haven't blogged it yet, and like all his videos, it's definitely worth watching. Says Gebert: Iowa fills the supermarkets with generic produce and meat... but a few people are trying to show that it can be capable of world-class cuisine, too. That's the mission of La Quercia, whose prosciutto made in a suburb of Des Moines has been raved about by top chefs and food writers. The video, after the jump.... More

Wig & Pen Offers an Iowa City Twist to Stuffed Pizza

Serious Eats contributor Daniel Zemans, our man in Chicago, checks in with another piece of intel from the road, this time in Iowa City. —The Mgmt. Wig and Pen Pizza Pub 1220 Hwy 6 West, Coralville, IA 52241 (map); 319-354-2767; wigandpeneast.com Pizza Style: Thin crust, stuffed and Flying Tomato Oven Type: Gas The Skinny: The Flying Tomato is short on tomato, but will still appeal to those who like mozzarella in very large quantities Price: Large Flying Tomato with one topping, $24.35. On my way back to Chicago from Omaha a little over a week ago, I took a break... More

Massive Keg Damage Causes College Town to Install Rubber Sidewalk

Photograph of kegs from ©iStockPhoto.com/Lagui; photograph of sidewalks from rubbersidewalks.com Damage caused by excessive unloading of beer kegs on Chamberlain Street in Ames, Iowa, has caused the city to install a rubber sidewalk this week. "Over time, heavy kegs hitting the pavement damaged the concrete, causing impact damage points, and then larger cracks formed throughout the sidewalk." Rather than repair the damaged concrete over and over again, they looked to Rubbersidewalks Inc. to provide a surface made of recycled tires, able to stand up to keg beatings for years to come. Assuming that local Iowa State University students will continue drinking beer for a long time, the rubberized sidewalk should pay off. [via Super Punch] Related: Group of College... More

Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson in Butter Form: Go USA!

16-year old U.S. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson has a lot to be proud about having just won the silver medal in the women's gymnastics individual all-around competition. But before then, she already had a nearly just as important accomplishment on her list: being made into a life-sized butter sculpture. Butter Shawn Johnson will be on display at the Iowa State Fair in the Agriculture Building until this Sunday, the 17th. [via Neatorama]... More

Des Moines' Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

If you live around Des Moines, Iowa and don't know what you're doing March 1st, here's your solution: attend the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. $30 will get you six hours of bacon-filled activities! More information at Bacon Unwrapped.... More

You Are What You Eat, Candidates

Could this be why Barack Obama won in Iowa last night—and why Romney didn't? From an opinion piece in yesterday's New York Times: "... In 2007, the [Hamburg Inn No. 2] served several candidates and their spouses, including Bill Clinton (Swiss, tomato, and green pepper omelet with home fries); Barack Obama (Iowa omelet of ham, hash browns, and American cheese, with sweet-potato pancakes); and Mitt Romney ('It was so crowded,' says [Hamburg owner Dave] Panther, 'that he didn’t have time to eat.')." Bonus: The Hamburg Inn No. 2 menu... More

National Coal-Oven Pizzeria Map Now Posted

I've been workin' in the coal mine, digging up some more coal-oven pizzerias to bring you. Although New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, are two of the most famous coal-oven towns, did you know there are coal joints in Florida; Philly; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas; and Scottsdale, Arizona? They're all on the Slice National Coal-Oven Pizza Map.... More

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