By ELLEN BYRON
American cooks feel the pull of national food trends, but their appetite for cooking gear still varies in significant ways. Peter Gibbons, vice president of merchandising for online retailer Cooking.com, scrutinizes the purchases of American cooks across the country. Below, the top-selling items on the site, by region, this year through October:
KitchenAid's Metallic Chrome Artisan Bar Blender, $99.95
This 56-ounce, five-speed blender pledges to turn ice cubes to snow in a matter of seconds. "In Seattle, it's gray from September to May," says Mr. Gibbons. "There's more time spent preparing food and home beverages—these people are do-it-yourself."
Dallas, Phoenix and Las Vegas
"Ten Dollar Dinners" by Melissa D'Arabian, $16.99
Ms. D'Arabian, the host of Food Network's show "Ten Dollar Dinners," promises to guide users through preparing creative dinners for four people for 10 dollars. Mr. Gibbons suspects buyers of the cookbook are looking for a clever budget balance. "These are all hot-weather markets where people like to go out," he says. "They think, 'If I can spend less at home and have a good meal quickly, I can have more money to eat at one of those great restaurants.' "
RealFruit Instant Pectin by Ball, $0.99
This gelling agent helps thicken and solidify juices in the making of jams and jellies, a popular activity among San Francisco residents. "People here like to buy fresh but don't want to waste, so when it's in season, they preserve it," says Mr. Gibbons. "It's important to them that food is locally grown, high-quality and organic—and canning gives it that personal spin of 'I did it myself.' "
New York and Los Angeles
Small Canning Jars
Elite Wide-Mouth Half-Pint Jars by Ball, set of four, $4.99
Enthusiasm for canning has spread to major cities—with a few differences. Cooks in other cities may recycle older canning jars, says Mr. Gibbons. But "L.A. and New York are new to the canning trend, and jars might not be as accessible—[people] would rather spend time canning than driving around finding jars."