AMERICA! (Fist pump.)

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, howzabout we raise a fork to some of the greatest fare on the face of the earth: American food. Scoff if you want—I did in my callow, snobby youth, when I thought that burgers, hot dogs and potato chips were all this country had to offer, and those things paled in comparison to the rest of the world's cuisines (in other words, I'd had some Chinese food at the mall and microwaved some frozen samosas that mysteriously appeared at my local supermarket).

Then I left my neck of the woods (Northern Kentucky, if you're keeping score) and quickly found out that 1) burgers, hot dogs and potato chips all have fantastic local variations, and 2) the more you get to know a state or a city's food, the more you learn about the people who live there—and that's a mighty fine thing, indeed.

Though I spent countless hours attempting to convince my fellow students that soupy, cinnamon-spiked chili ladled over a mound of spaghetti was indeed the food of the gods (and that it totally isn't weird to say you're dying for a three-way, you pervs), they indoctrinated me into the ways of crab cakes, cheesesteaks, grits, folded and deep-dish pizza, and more. My world had never been more delicious, and I've made certain it's stayed that way.

This month on Tasting Table, we're celebrating the rich bounty of American dishes, drinks, craftspeople and products, from Florida's underappreciated culinary heritage to the nuances of barbecue styles to locally beloved candy bars to the upstart distillers of the Midwest.

"Sioux Chef" Sean Sherman will share a multicourse feast of Native American recipes, and we'll eat our way across the USA with deli bacon-egg-and-cheeses, breakfast tacos, ham biscuits and more local morning sandwiches. Plus, we'll dive into the toppings that make those burgers and dogs into distinctive regional treats; help stock your all-American pantry; raise a red, white and blue beverage; and so much more.

So come, pack your bags and join us on a trip across the United States of Deliciousness.