Thursday, August 26, 2010

What We Eat. How We Eat. Who We Are.

An anniversary special 25 years of exploring the food culture of South Dakota.

WHAT SUBSET OF HOMO Sapiens is most apt to mix rhubarb with raspberries, gather in Delmont for pickle parties, discern the difference between chislic and kabobs, know the history of the pastie sandwich and collect recipes galore for bison, salmon, walleye, beef and pork?
Who knows where to find a morel mushroom and how to cook it? Who knows the best lutefisk and mountain oyster jokes?
     Of course that would be a South Dakotan. Though South Dakota lies quite literally in the center of a fast-food nation, we’ve set ourselves apart from the other 49 states by our food culture. We have our own rituals, unusual restaurants and long-held culinary traditions. We also are rich with foods grown here, some wild and others quite cultivated. Our bounty ranges from mushrooms and chokecherries to wildlife, fish and farm-raised commodities.
     Much of our South Dakota identity comes from our music, books, politics, sports, architecture and religion. But an equal part can be traced to the foods we produce, how we eat them and whom we eat with. South Dakota Magazine’s writers have felt it their duty to explore how we differ from other states, so it has been our solemn obligation to pursue these foods over the last 25 years. We’ve suffered through bullhead feeds, lutefisk dinners, buffalo barbecues, pie baking contests and chili cook-offs. We’ve toured cheese factories and ethnic bakeries, and sampled dishes at famous and little-known restaurants in every corner of the state.
     We’re smarter than when we started all this 25 years ago, and a few pounds heavier. But it has been worth it. Here’s some of what we’ve learned.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Naturally Beautiful Places

BEAUTY IS SUBJECTIVE, but that didn’t stop the editors of South Dakota Magazine from coming up with a list of our state’s 10 ‘most beautiful places.’
   Our writers and photographers have motored about a half-million miles in this magazine’s first 25 years of exploring South Dakota, so there aren’t many roads we haven’t traveled — nor many sights we haven’t seen.
   As an anniversary project, we put our editorial heads together — arguing, cajoling and compromising in true Western tradition over coffee and doughnuts — and came up with our list of the 10 most beautiful places in South Dakota.
   We limited our selections to scenery that has been mostly untouched by man, so your manicured backyard won’t be on our list no matter how many flowers you’ve planted. Neither will landscapes dominated by the Missouri River reservoirs, big red barns surrounded by golden wheat or church steeples framed by city maple trees. Those all rank as beautiful, but here we want to pay homage to South Dakota’s natural beauty.
   And we’ve tried to select places that are not off limits to travelers. We’ve seen some amazing canyons in West River valleys, but they are on private property and difficult to reach by land so we thought it would be unfair to tease readers.
   With those caveats, here are our 10 most beautiful places. Take time to visit them. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

If we missed your choice for most beautiful places, tell us by writing or send a note to South Dakota Magazine, Box 175, Yankton, S.D. 57078. Include a photo if possible.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Take Five: An Interview with Photographer Chad Coppess

Chad Coppess has been the South Dakota Department of Tourism's chief photographer since 1993, and he has gained a reputation as one of the state's most capable and widely traveled shutterbugs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Take Five: An Interview with Bernie Hunhoff

Bernie Hunhoff started the magazine in 1985 after working in the newspaper business in South Dakota. He has been stuck on gumbo trails in Lyman County, been hissed at by rattlers at Porcupine and forced to eat everything from lutefisk to roast goat. It's all part of the job of publishing South Dakota Magazine.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pick Your Favorite Cover and Win a Book!

In celebration of our anniversary we rounded up all of our 125 covers and posted them here on our special anniversary site. Our staff had a great time glancing through our covers, and we hope you do to. While our least popular cover is no secret (a rattlesnake painting by John Green) there are almost no two favorites that are alike.

While perusing our past covers, you’ll see the magazine go through many phases – photos, paintings, photos, John Green paintings... and currently we’re once again using photos. We’ve also had a few masthead changes and experimentations with text.

What was your favorite look for South Dakota Magazine? Comment below for a chance to win a copy of the newly revised South Dakota Curiosities book by Bernie Hunhoff! We'll announce the winner on Tuesday, June 1.

The Best of South Dakota Cooking

The SDM staff is working on the biggest food story in South Dakota Magazine history. In honor of our 25th Anniversary, our 2010 September/October issue will feature 25 favorite South Dakota foods. We’re highlighting classics — like lutefisk, kuchen, walleye, rhubarb and chokecherry— but we’re still hashing out which foods should be included. What foods do you think best represent our state?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who's Your Favorite South Dakotan?

In this magazine's 25 years, we've published well over 1,200 major feature articles, plus thousands of smaller pieces, and met more interesting characters than we can count. Our January/February issue, the first in our special 25th anniversary series of issues appearing through 2010, included a story about some of those colorful people. There was Tub Rath, the Wasta gentleman who delivered flowers and candy to the women of his town every Valentine's Day, town builder and cow man Ed Lemmon, rodeo star Casey Tibbs and singer Sherwin Linton.

We're curious: who is your favorite South Dakotan? Maybe it's someone we didn't include in our story, or even a person with whom we haven't crossed paths. Tell us about him or her.

And while you're at it, longtime readers surely have a favorite story. One of our most popular was a photo essay on Berlye Seaman, an old man who lived alone in a shack near the Bad River, that appeared in 1997. What's your favorite?