Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The burrito belt

As a follow-up to an earlier post about US Census data on restaurants, here is a map showing what you'll most likely eat if you go out to dinner, depending on what state you're in. The Census Bureau counts only Chinese, Italian, and Mexican eateries separately, so the states where "Other" is first are the best bets if you want to avoid the three most cliched cuisines. (Kentucky is an exception; since there aren't that many restaurants of any kind per capita, "Other" won out there because of the extreme scarcity of dim sum and enchilada plates.) As a resident of the Northeast, this map explains a lot to me. I had heard long ago that salsa had passed catsup as America's favorite condiment but couldn't quite believe it. I hadn't realized that Mexican cooking had become so common not just in the Southwest, but also Iowa and Indiana.

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