Best this, most healthy that. It’s that time of year when food and lifestyle magazines chime in on their definitions of what’s good for you—or just plain good. Tease me with a list on the cover, and I’m turning straight to it. I’m a sucker for ‘em, often to see what I’m doing right (or wrong), or where I can get the next great meal or decadent dessert.
The latest issues of two nearly polar-opposite magazines came out with such lists. Cooking Light‘s October 2011 issue presented its 2nd Annual Taste Test Awards—the healthiest picks among major supermarket brands as determined by blind tastings.
Think light dressings, gluten-free pastas, reduced-fat chips, low-sodium black beans, whole-grain waffles and on and on. Not many of these items are on my regular grocery list—and maybe I’m feeling a little guilty that they should be. You know, eat better, get healthy (or healthier).
But in case the need arises for that good-for-me applesauce or light coconut milk, I’ve got a source to enlighten me on naturally sweet or low saturated fat options. It’s better than the guessing game I’d normally play in the supermarket aisle.
The kind of list that’s more my speed (sorry, waistline) is Garden & Gun’s “50 Best Southern Foods” in its October/November 2011 issue. It’s rich, deep-fried and smothered in barbecue sauce—and those are just the stereotypical dishes.
Plenty of other delicacies are to be had south of the Mason-Dixon, like Seafood Lasagna in Louisiana, Sea Scallop Hot Browns in Kentucky or Boiled Peanut Hummus in Georgia. Oh, and don’t think Napa Valley’s got the market cornered on great wine, especially not after reading about RdV Vineyards in Virginia.
Sweet potato casseroles, green beans, pimiento cheese and all the other regional staples have a place in this issue too. But if you’re too far away or Southern foods aren’t really your thing, Cooking Light includes in its awards an artisanal category, where it doles out its approval on beer and spirits, meats, cheeses, condiments and sweets that may be closer to home. And if not, many are available for online ordering.