Lisa Desjardins is the host of American Sauce. Click to listen to the CNN Radio podcast and listen to more American Sauce on Political Ticker:
Des Moines (CNN) – Both campaign essential and political cliché, the diner is again rising to prominence in the last days before the Iowa caucuses. Candidates have been crawling (almost literally, due to space concerns) all over the roadside fixtures.
But it is in the absence of candidates that Iowa voters may give you the most sincere reviews of both food and politics.
"I got the ham," said Chris Aldinger. "Iowa ham." Aldinger ate the "Shebang," an egg and ham special, at Des Moines' Drake Diner, a 50s-style restaurant next to the university of the same name.
In the diners of Iowa, pork is essential. Bacon, ham, sausage, tenderloin, barbecue, ribs and sandwiches are just the basics.
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