Culinary Tourism in Iowa?

Asparagus Flag, Mays Lick, KY New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, usually quite down to earth, seems a bit bemused about whether to celebrate when places like Iowa begin to promote their local foods as reasons for travel. Since the tiniest, most rural places in Kentucky have always featured great gardeners, farmers, and cooks, I'm not at all bemused.

What's new, seems to me, is the investment in promotion, carried out in Iowa by the state's Arts Council, no less. Like Iowa -- though I'd assert the Bluegrass State offers a more beautiful setting -- Kentucky has ALL the ingredients to be a world food capital, attracting food tourists for repeat visits (and repeat dollars). Let's go get 'em.