July's Saveur celebrates the great American road trip, with a poignant look at the charming mom-n-pop eateries that dot the country's roadways. Editor-in-chief James Oseland and food editor Todd Coleman focused on a few classic spots that have endured, surviving for 40 years or more, as their compatriots have faltered around them.
But as gas hits $4 a gallon, perhaps it is the road trip itself we should be savoring as a dying breed.
If the high cost of gas is keeping you at home this summer, you might be able to vacation from your living room by relaxing with this magazine and one of our summer cocktails. After all, the main story is really more about having the adventure and seeing a slice of Americana than recommending singular, must-visit places. Though The fried chicken on the cover is described as some of the best Oseland has ever had, there is no description of what made it so great. Instead there's an intriguing no-buttermilk, no-egg recipe for you to ponder, and a full and funny description of their kitsch-filled hotel room.
And for those who do plan to hit the road, rising gas costs be damned, there are five accompanying side-bar pieces. "California Asian" follows a path from outside LA to Sacramento, hitting pockets of Asian neighborhoods in suburbia. Similarly, "Texas Margarita Miles" hits Margarita spots in -- you guessed it -- Texas. There's a Pinot Noir pilgramage in California, a hot dog lover's trip through the Northeast, and even a sweet lover's trip from Philadelphia to New Orleans.
But aside from all this traveling, one must-read is a piece on Salmon, with its many excellent sidebars. If you're as confused as we've been about the state of the nation's fisheries, and whether Atlantic farm-raised is good enough to eat, you'll want to read this article before reaching for that bagel with lox. The core article, by esteemed author Molly O'Neill, centers on the Yupik fishermen in Alaska. In 1999 and 2000, the salmon suddenly stopped running, so the commercial fisheries closed, taking hundreds of jobs with them. But in 2001, the fish returned; what seemed like a disaster has instead helped create a gourmet demand for the Yukon river salmon, paying families much more than what they earned before.
The piece continues by talking about Atlantic farmed salmon, the effects of large farms on the ocean's ecosystem, and the few new fisheries who are taking steps towards sustainability.
And if you're still on your virtual road trip (from the comfort of your living room) take a moment to suspend disbelief, and drive across the ocean to read about master Japanese knife makers, and the journey one exquisite knife took back to its maker.
Related: Blogging Saveur: The Joy of Ragu