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North Carolina pork, Texas brisket and St. Louis ribs are all smoked over local oak at Portland, Maine's Salvage BBQ.

We most certainly racked up the frequent flier miles this week at Food Republic. Stateside, we reported on the blossoming dining scene in Portland, Maine, before making a quick stop in Chicago to help revive a classic cocktail made with rock candy, followed by a short jaunt down to Alabama to learn about craft-beer king Good People Brewing. From there, it was off to Dublin to explore the global growth of Texas-style barbecue and Florence to try, well, some of the best damn food we’ve ever had. Mmmm, Florence. We welcomed in our first-ever Watermelon Week by taking a look at ten things you might not know about the berry (yes, the fact that it’s a berry is one of the ten things). We also took a look at some of the 200-plus (!) flavors of Kit Kat currently available in Japan, profiled the country’s fastest-growing craft brewery and made blackened-tuna nachos — with watermelon pico de gallo, naturally — for dinner. All that and more, on this week’s Hot Topics on Food Republic.

  1. Florence is one impressive food city. Here’s where to eat.
  2. Here are some places to eat incredibly well in Portland, Maine.
  3. We take a look at Lagunitas, the fastest-growing craft brewery in the United States.
  4. The Texas-barbecue tradition is alive and well…in Dublin?
  5. We bet you don’t know these ten things about watermelon.
  6. We run a profile of Alabama craft-beer king Good People Brewing.
  7. There are more than 200 flavors of Kit Kat in Japan!
  8. Try out this blackened-tuna nachos recipe for dinner tonight.
  9. The postmodern tiki movement is upon us. The what?!
  10. What is rock and rye and is it making a comeback in Chicago?