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Southland Is Not Popular With European Food Lovers

May 23, 1985|DANIEL P. PUZO | Times Staff Writer

Southern California was little more than an afterthought when European travelers were asked to list the American regions with the best food. The sad results for the home base of California cuisine surfaced in a U. S. Travel and Tourism Administration survey of British, German and French nationals and their views of restaurants in U. S. metropolitan areas.

Only the British listed Southern California as one of their top three choices for eating areas in this country. Their first two preferred gustatory locations were New York, followed by Northern California, according to an article on the survey in Restaurant & Institutions magazine.

The Germans also liked New York the most, followed by Northern California, Texas and, that hub of pineapple and poi, Hawaii. The French made it unanimous by singling out New York as the place they'd most like to dine, with New Orleans and Texas in the next two slots.

The French seemed even less impressed with American food in general when compared to other nations. They listed the Far East, Latin America and the Caribbean as having superior cuisines to the United States. Although they might not like the food here, the French respondents to the survey listed Southern California and Los Angeles as the places they most like to visit when traveling in this country. Their 11th, and last, choice for vacation was Texas.

Losing Vegetables--California has been the center of the nation's produce industry for decades, but may soon see other regions grabbing for a piece of the fresh fruit and vegetable market, according to an agriculture trade magazine.

Poor returns on crops such as tobacco, corn and other grains will eventually lead Midwestern and Southern farmers into the more lucrative fresh produce business. In fact, a number of California agribusiness firms are so concerned about the trend that they are exploring the development of vegetable and fruit subsidiaries in places such as South Carolina, Arkansas and Illinois.

Another threat to California's dominance of the produce industry is escalating transportation costs to move perishable foods to other parts of the country.

Although the trend is somewhat curious, no one has yet suggested that Minnesota plans on abandoning its wild rice crop to begin cultivating apricots.

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