News and public interest stories from WPVM's editorial staff.

Asheville named #1 foodie destination in the US

ASHEVILLE – National notice is pouring in for a Blue Ridge Mountain city.Asheville has climbed the ranks to claim the No. 1 spot on Yelp’s 2022 Foodie Cities list as the top U.S. destinations for foodies. Asheville earned the top ranking in Yelp’s “Top U.S. Foodie Destinations of 2020,” too, particularly for its offerings of handcrafted artisanal chocolates.Yelp conducted a food survey of “Small Towns, Big Flavor” to find the highest ranked food destinations in the U.S. The company’s data science team searched for cities with populations under 250,000 with the highest restaurant ratings from out-of-towners and considered what reviewers loved about them.Read this:Which Asheville restaurants are top-rated on Yelp?Related:What Asheville’s two James Beard Awards wins mean for the restaurants, cityAsheville is noted to have “a unique mountain-to-urban creative food scene” and a flare for “blending the flavors of the American South with Appalachian fare.”Cúrate, a Spanish tapas bar, and Chestnut, a craft food and cocktail restaurant, were named Yelp reviewers’ favorites. Guests are recommended to make a reservation for the eateries, and order fried eggplant and lamb skewers at Cúrate.Asheville’s latest claim to food fame comes at the tail of two of the city’s restaurants winning awards at the James Beard Foundation Awards in June. Cúrate won for Outstanding Hospitality and Chai Pani won for Outstanding Restaurant.In other news:Inside one of Esquire’s ‘Best Bars in America’ found in downtown AshevilleTwo other North Carolina cities made Yelp’s list — Kill Devil Hills ranked No. 4 and Wilmington ranked No. 7. Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, rounded out the East Coast’s destinations with the No. and No. ranking, respectively. Savannah’s chef Mashama Bailey of The Grey won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in the U.S.Yelp’s 2022 Foodie Cities1. Asheville2. Hawaiian Islands3. San Luis Obispo, California4. Kill Devil Hills (Outer Banks)5. Bend-Redmond, Oregon6. Charleston, South Carolina7. Wilmington8. Boise, Idaho9. Santa Fe, New Mexico10. Savannah, GAGeorgiaTiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at tkennell@citizentimes.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times. 

Erdoğan’s problem is not with Sweden and Finland but with Turkey’s Western vocation

In a historic summit this week, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will adopt a new Strategic Concept, its first in 12 years, to guide the alliance’s policies in an increasingly uncertain European security environment. However, looming over it is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s objection to membership for Sweden and Finland. Early expectations that Erdoğan…