My aunt in Virginia was telling me about the regional specialties there - food that she sees everywhere she goes. I moved to Oregon within the last year and was wondering if anyone could point me towards what food Oregon is known for.
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Tillamook cheese is just a staple here, something we've all grown up with as a basic cheddar. It's ubiquitous here, in every store. But for some reason, tourists go crazy for it.
If you really want to get a feel for Oregon and Pacific NW foods, there's a lovely cookbook by Cory Schreiber titled, "Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest." It's by a chef whose family have lived here for generations and is named for an iconic restaurant he opened in Portland. Check out this book- it's arranged by region and has wonderful stories of generations of harvesting, hunting and gathering in Oregon. I think this book is one of the best at imparting the feelling of what it's like to grow up here and participate in all the wonderful bounty of Oregon foods.
Also, James Beard, an Oregonian, often wrote glowingly about foods from his home state.
Chanterelles are good, do remember that the reason that they're expensive is that they are fairly light and that your paying for someone to collect them (the foragers at the farmer's market always have the most interesting greens too).
Growing up in Portland we'd head to the Willamette valley for strawberry picking, and we've always believed that Oregon strawberries are the best! My great aunt grew black caps that she sold to jam companies, also blackberries, raspberries and Loganberries.
And don't forget all the vineyards in the Willamette valley and in southern Oregon.
Find lots of Oregon wines, seafood and regional specialties at the Astoria Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival- http://www.oldoregon.com/events/entry/astoria-warrenton-crab-seafood-wine-festival/
I'd say a quintessentially Oregon meal would be salmon with chanterelles, perhaps huckleberry pie to finish. For me though, it's pan fried razor clams, hands down!
But Oregon is really made up of completely different regions so you'll find completely different specialties on the "dry side."