Created by Dominica Marchetti, Bonny Wolf, Carol Guensberg, and Michele Kayal, the site contains everything from a recipe for killer peanut butter cookies to an interview with Eddie Huang and a piece on Baltimore's favorite cookie company, Bergers. The site is asking readers for ideas for content and videos, fully acknowledging that folks who actually live amongst interesting regional cuisine should really be a big part of the discussion around it. And I, for one, am all ears.
Why It's Great:
American Food Roots has many features you'd typically expect from a new food website. There is a recipe page that allows you to search by occasion, season or type of dish. But then there are the unexpected touches like the 50 States Page which allows readers to search for food information and stories regionally, state by state. While the essays are rather thin at the moment, in time I think this could grow to be a great resource to learn more about the food and people of any given state with the click of a button.
How It's Different:
The thing that strikes me as different about this site is its immense possibility. There are so many stories to tell behind the food that we eat, the rituals we hold, and the traditions we keep. Stories from diners in Mississippi to grandmother's tables in Montana, and I think we're all eager for a genuine, engaging story. Each will be revealed in a variety of ways, from videos to trend pieces to essays and interviews so the site will continually feel fresh. I find myself constantly checking for new content, wondering what new stories, profiles or videos may be up next.
Why We Need It Around:
The creators of the website pose the question: why focus on the roots of American food stories? Their answer is simple: "Because that's how we know who we are. Through food, we celebrate our heritage - regional, religious, ethnic, political, familial." Through a marriage of more edited written content and videos and stories from readers, I think we need this rich new playground that focuses on our past and our present and, in doing so, gives a peek into our future.
Visit the Site: American Food Roots
(Image: American Food Roots)