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Jun 13, 2003 01:27 AM

Great American regional specialties

  • b

i was thinking about the great regional food specialties of america, and a lot of sandwiches came to mind (philly cheesesteak, new orleans muffuletta, memphis pulled pork bbq, maine lobster rolls, etc.).

i'd love to compile a list of all the "don't miss" local specialties across the country, sandwiches and otherwise, so what would all you chowhounds include???

a few others i've thought of . . .
Baltimore crabs
Florida stone crabs
Texas bbq brisket
New Orleans gumbo, jambalaya, po boys
Louisianna boudin
Kentucky fried chicken (oops!)

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  1. OK, this is ususally fun :-)

    Chicago Pizza
    Maple syrup in VT and NH
    Wild salmon in the Pacific NW

    5 Replies
    1. re: dude

      Chicago: Italian beef sandwiches. Pizza, thick or thin. Polish stuff like pierogies, kielbasa, and potato pancakes. Southern Pennsylvania: huge Pennsylvania-Dutch meals served family-style. Cape Cod: fried clams, lobster rolls. Maryland: crab cakes. Florida: conch chowder, key lime pie.

      1. re: N Tocus

        Cape Cod: Wellfleet oysters

        Maine: crabmeat salad

        Rhode Island: jonnycakes (the fat kind), clam chowder with neither milk nor tomato

        New England generally: baked beans

        1. re: Pat Goldberg

          boston-Boston Cream Pie
          Parker House Rolls
          Steamers (NE)
          Mussels (NE)
          ice coffee--until a couple years ago couldn't get it outside the Boston area (they would pour hot coffee over ice)
          ice cream with jimmies
          Can't forget RI clam chowder & Manhattan clam chowder
          Naragansette Beer

          1. re: Pat Goldberg

            Pat, can you tell us about this Rhode Island clam chowder?

            1. re: Feed Me

              It's in a gray broth and has neither milk nor cream. Just clammy goodness.

      2. Chicago hot-dogs.

        New England clam chowder.

        1. Pork roll in Jersey.

          4 Replies
          1. re: christina z

            Oh, I miss pork roll! Definitely.

            And clams on the half shell at the Jersey Shore.

            1. re: Bunny-Bunny

              What is a pork roll? And where would you get one?

              1. re: Middydd

                Pork Roll is not really a roll at all. It's sort of a cold cut similar to Taylor Ham but not the same thing. I've only had it in New Jersey. They serve is in delis for breakfast with cheese or eggs or both. It's so delicious that it's probably really bad for your health. I buy it in the supermarket (it comes in a roll like braunsweiger - hence, the name). I cook it up at home with eggs about once a year. What a great treat!

                1. re: christina z

                  We also used to have pork roll sandwiches, a big slice of it, cooked up like bacon, and eaten with ketchup. Kind of like a fried baloney sandwich.

          2. This is one of my favorite topics. A partial listing:

            - Maine: lobster, lobster roll, blueberry pie

            - Rhode Island: NY system hot wieners; quahogs; Del's frozen lemonade; cabinets (milkshakes); Awful Awfuls (special cabinet at Newport Creamery outlets); jonnycakes; doughboys; clamcakes; coffee milk

            - Buffalo: beef on weck sandwiches; loganberry juice

            - Binghamton, NY: spiedies

            - Pennsylvania: scrapple; shoofly pie

            - Kentucky: bbq'd mutton; Ale-8-1 soda

            - Carolinas: Cheerwine soda; Blenheim ginger ale; bbq (with vinegar-based sauce in N.Carolina, mustard-based in S.Carolina);

            - Alabama: Buffalo Rock ginger ale

            - Cincinnati: five-way chili; goetta sausage

            - Michigan: cherry pie; Vernor's ginger ale; Faygo Redpop; Cornish pasties

            - Wisconsin: cheese curds; bratwurst; frozen custard

            - St. Louis: bbq'd snoots sandwich

            - Minnesota: lutefisk, if you dare

            - North Dakota: pitchfork fondue (steak stuck on a pitchfork and deep-fried in a big vat of oil)

            - Nebraska: red beer (beer with a dash of Clamato)

            - Oklahoma: bbq'd balogna

            OK, that's enough for now -- it's a big country!!


            10 Replies
            1. re: Paul Lukas

              Rochester, NY: garbage plates and red hots.

              1. re: Karl S.

                Oh, and some more New England specials:

                Fish chowder (probably more classic than clam chowder)
                Kale soup (the New England variant of the classic Portuguese caldo verde)
                Saturday night community bean suppers -- Baked beans (Boston/coastal style (made with molasses) and Maine/North Country style (made with maple syrup)) with brown bread and hot dogs, etc.
                Apple pie with Vermont cheddar for breakfast


                most importantly

                The clambake on the beach -- really, it's chowder with lobsters with clams, corn, taters....

                1. re: Karl S.

                  If you're talking New England, you can't leave out Polar soda. The best darn ginger ale!

                  1. re: dude

                    And of course, Moxie!

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      While Moxie is the worst beverage that New England has to offer, its best has to be a coffee frappe.

                2. re: Karl S.

                  What about white hots?

                  1. re: Scooter Pie

                    Yes, I should have said red/white hots. I actually prefer white hots!

                    1. re: Karl S.

                      Yes, I also prefer the white hots.

                      And you know, to debate the finer points....I've never considered the garbage plate exactly a regional specialty -- more a Nick Tahoe's specialty :)

                      (though I guess some Tahoe's imitators have sprung up in recent years...)

                      I'd also include Genny Cream Ale on that list. And maybe some area wines, such as Bully Hill....I guess that's debatable, though. And getting a bit granular for the general board....

                3. re: Paul Lukas

                  Red beer in South Dakota is half tomato juice and half beer - great the morning after!

                  1. re: AnnyM

                    That's also known as a "redeye" in Texas and Oklahoma.
                    There's also a Tulsa Martini, which is a draft beer with an olive in it.

                4. Fried Clams in New England
                  Dry-aged beef steaks (rib-eye, strip, tenderloin, porterhouse) from Peter Luger's in NY or perhaps places in Chicago or the southwest (although dry-aging is pretty rare)
                  Chili (probably Texas, again, darn it)
                  Southern biscuits and gravy
                  Smithfield ham
                  Andouille sausage
                  Dirty rice
                  NYC Pizza
                  Chicago deep dish pizza