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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

                  1. Virginia: peanut soup.

                    Tastes light years better than you'd ever imagine!

                    1. OK, so some of these have been hit but this is my list anyway!

                      - New York: pizza, bagels, Italian hoagies, hot dogs (especially Sabretts right out of the cart or Nathan's but only at Coney Island), cheesecake, real Buffalo wings
                      - Cincinnati Chili (I prefer 3 way myself)
                      - Texas chili
                      - Carolina Barbecue
                      - Memphis Barbecue
                      - Pennsylvania Dutch funnel cakes, Philly cheesesteaks
                      - Kentucky Ale-8-1 soda, Derby pie
                      - Boston baked beans
                      - Key West Key Lime Pie, chocolate covered Key Lime pie on a stick, Florida Dat'l Do-It Pepper jelly
                      - Southern Sweet Tea
                      - Ocean City , MD Fisher's Popcorn
                      - New England maple syrup
                      - Louisiana gumbo, po' boys, beignets, Tabasco pepper sauce, King cakes, Hurricanes, crawfish, Andouille, Tasso, pralines
                      - Virginia peanuts
                      - WHERE EVER THERE IS A WHITE CASTLES!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SisterT

                        Finally, some one mentioned Cincinnati Chili - one of the world's greatest dishes, especially if from Camp Washington Chili Parlor. Where are you Univ. of Cincinnati students? Surely you still go there?

                        Don't forget Goetta.

                        1. re: SisterT

                          What do you mean by "Carolina Barbecue?" Which Carolina? (There are 2, you know.) Eastern NC (Vinegar & Pepper)? "Lexington" type (vinegary, but with tomato)? Central SC (Mustard-Based)? NE SC (Much like Eastern NC)? Sumter-Manning area (Tomato based but very hot)? Upstate SC (Varies, but usually tomato-based)? Central Savannah River area (Somewhat like Lexington NC, but pretty hot)? And the list goes on. Futhermore, there will be arguments over which is typical of what area. It's almost better not to mention bbq.

                        2. Out here on the left hand coast all we have is a "cuisine" named after our state. ;-D>

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: WLA

                            au contraire - the French Dip is a treasure - originated at Philippe's in the heart of the puebla de los angeles!

                            1. re: pam

                              Right you are. But we seem to be refiners of others food inventions for the most part. I mean take things like pizza and (depending on your point of view) the perversion or pleasing things that CPK, (or Wolfie with his "Jewish" pizza) have done with them.

                              Any other home grown So. Calif. foods that you can think of?

                              1. re: WLA

                                The Haas Avocado

                                The Meyer Lemon

                                Cal-Mex food, such as the hard shell taco, the mission burrito, etc.


                                The fish taco (created in baja, made popular via San Diego).


                                Sardines (at least in the Monterrey/Cannery row heyday)

                                Casaer Salad (created in Tiajuana)

                                Cobb Salad (created at the Brown Derby)

                                1. re: DanaB

                                  Joe's special
                                  Date shakes
                                  Chocolate covered frozen bananas (I think they were invented in Balboa/Lido - is that correct?)
                                  Cioppino (SF original)

                                  1. re: pam

                                    Cobb Salad (Brown Derby) - how could i forget!

                                    1. re: pam

                                      Oh, and the California Roll (created in Little Tokyo, downtown LA).

                                2. re: WLA

                                  Fish tacos in San Diego. My brother from Cleveland can't believe it's food, but we love them. And our local favorite, carne asada burrito (no rice, please, just beef and guacamole in a giant flour tortilla).

                                  Old southern items I haven't had for a long time: beaten bisquit and spoonbread.

                                  1. re: WLA

                                    How can you forget Santa Maria style barbecue, specifically trip tip?

                              2. San Francisco and Northern California:

                                --Dungeness Crab: Cioppino, Crab Louis
                                --Sourdough bread
                                --Wild salmon
                                --Monterey Prawns
                                --Hangtown Fry
                                --Joe's Special

                                19 Replies
                                1. re: Nancy Berry

                                  San Francisco burritos
                                  Irish Coffee at Buena Vista
                                  It's-It (Do they still make these?)

                                  And one without much of a pedigree but still devoured by more tourists than anything else: Clam chowder in a Boudin sourdough bread "bowl."

                                  1. re: Gary Soup

                                    It's Its are still around. And as good as ever. Drive south from the airport on a weekday around dinner time and just smell the cookies in the air. Look to the east and there is the factory from which they come.

                                    Link: http://www.sonic.net/~playland/it.html

                                    1. re: mikeb

                                      But they are not from Playland any more.

                                      1. re: wally

                                        I guess you could eat one while watching the climactic scene from Orson Welles' "Lady From Shanghai," which was filmed at Playland.

                                        And Mint sounds kind of newfangled, too.....

                                        1. re: Gary Soup
                                          Caitlin McGrath

                                          Yeah, mint only dates from the 70s. Coffee and chocolate came in in the 80s. But It's-It labels still mention Playland. Geez, I miss It's-Its - they really are a local-only thing.

                                    2. re: Gary Soup

                                      Yes, they make It's-Its, in vanilla and mint. Fantastic yummy thing. Sold in most grocery stores in SF still.

                                      A regional specialty no one has every heard of from Duluth, Minnesota: A pepper cheeseburger. It's a mix of groung pork and beef, breaded, deep fried, and served with a topping of pepper jack cheese. Fantastic junk food.

                                      More Minnesota specialties: Lake Superior whitefish, wild blueberries, true wild rice (of course!), Labrador tea.

                                      1. re: Mrs. Smith

                                        Other Duluth, MN faves:

                                        Smoked chubb
                                        Fried Walleye
                                        Fried smelts (during the run)
                                        Potato sausage
                                        Swedish pancakes w/blueberries, currants and sour cream
                                        Cardamom coffee

                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                          Yes, all those things also.

                                        2. re: Mrs. Smith

                                          More northern Minnesota specialties - Iron Range style.

                                          Pasties - shared with UP people (probably northern Wisconsin people also)

                                          Potica - shared with Cleveland and other places where Slovenes gather

                                          Porketta on hard rolls from Sunrise Bakery

                                          Walleye from the fresh water lakes

                                          Crappies from the fresh water lakes

                                          Pheasant and venison from the northern woods

                                          1. re: shoo-bee-doo

                                            Potica made it to Southwestern Wyoming with a very small number of Slovenes.

                                            1. re: wally

                                              Also to Roundup, Montana!

                                          2. re: Mrs. Smith

                                            They also make chocolate, strawberry and coffee It's-Its.

                                        3. re: Nancy Berry

                                          And don't forget artichokes, the bigger the better! The local brussels sprouts ain't bad either, especially impressive when you buy them by the spear.

                                          And our own locally-grown oysters and locally-caught salmon.

                                          1. re: Nancy Berry

                                            Indiana- Breaded tenderloin sandwich, with tenderloins
                                            as big around as the plate

                                            sugar cream pie

                                            West Virginia- hot dogs with chili,slaw,mustard.onions

                                            pepperoni rolls

                                            1. re: Nancy Berry

                                              great thread, very interesting and addicting to read. i'm suprized that i knew of so many--prob thru chowhound no doubt.

                                              cleveland: it's the walleye/perch/pierogie capital. hmm, pizza bagels at the wsm, MAMA SANTOS pizza, PRESTI'S sourcream doughnuts, HONEY HUT ice cream, whipped cream cheese in various day-glo colors, fries w/ gravy, amish rhubarb pie & trail bologna, ORLANDO chibatta bread, STOUFFERS(yuck) and last but not least....CHEF-BOY-R-DEE!!!!

                                              ohio: GRAETERS, TOFTS, YOUNG'S DAIRY ice creams.

                                              n. michigan: cherry pie!

                                              1. re: mrnyc

                                                stadium mustard
                                                Gallucis twist bread.
                                                NY spaghetti house brown sauce.

                                                sauerkraut balls
                                                Luigi's pizza
                                                Barberton fried chicken

                                                MRNYC, I grew up with trail bologna and baby swiss, and can only eat it a few times a year.

                                              2. re: Nancy Berry

                                                Where do you get wild salmon in SF?

                                                1. re: karen2006

                                                  Wild Salmon was prevalent throughout CA until we started diverting our water. Now one of the only areas where wild Salmon can be found is near the Oregon border. So I am assuming that is where it is caught.

                                                  1. re: karen2006

                                                    The commercial wild salmon season starts in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 1st. Sport fishing has already started. There are still wild salmon in California. An interesting trip for chowhounds is to the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Lake Oroville where you can see the salmon jump the fish ladder and where they lay their eggs. http://www.lakeoroville.water.ca.gov/...

                                                2. Boiled peanuts--GA, FL
                                                  Smoked Kingfish, smoked fish dip--FL
                                                  fish n' grits--FL
                                                  Baltimore Lemon Twist (half a lemon w/peppermint stick in the middle, you suck the juice through the peppermint--ingenious, delicious)--MD
                                                  Deep-fried half smoke w/coleslaw and hot sauce--DC
                                                  Steak 'n Cheese Sub (not a Philly--real steak, provolone)--DC
                                                  Steamed Shrimp w/ Old Bay--Maryland to Florida
                                                  Boiled Shrimp--FL Panhandle, AL, MS
                                                  Peach Wine--SC
                                                  Pit Beef--MD
                                                  Smithfield ham and ham biscuits-VA
                                                  Damson preserves and Damsons in moonshine whisky--VA, TN
                                                  She-Crab soup--MD, VA, NC
                                                  "Pisser" clams--MD,DE,NJ

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                    I've never heard of the Baltimore Lemon Twist, but it sounds great--is it something that people make at home or is it the trademark of a particular restaurant?

                                                    1. re: butterfly

                                                      It's a treat the fruit peddlers would sell to the kids in the old neighborhoods of Baltimore. You still see them at street fairs and in certain neighborhood stores. I don't know if any of the "A-rabbers" (guys that peddled fruit and seafood from horse-drawn carts) are still in business over there, but they were still going strong in the late 1970s. The lemon twist is an amazingly tasty treat that I've never seen anywhere else.

                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                        Lemon twists used to be one of the highlights of our annual Christmas fair in elementary school. That and having your name put on a Christmas ball in glitter.

                                                        Thanks for bringing back the memories!!

                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                          Yep, there's still a couple of A-rabbers here, despite the best efforts of some do-gooders to throw them out.

                                                          1. re: flavrmeistr
                                                            Caitlin Wheeler

                                                            We used to have them when I was growing up in California. Usually made with Sees candy twists in various flavors (including peppermint) they were common at fairs and carnivals, but you could easily make them at home.

                                                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                              Could somebody describe them please? I can't tell if they're cookies, candy, a form of donut or whatever.

                                                              1. re: Sharuf

                                                                It's a lemon, rolled around to make it juicy, with one end cut off and a peppermint stick inserted like a straw. You suck the juice through the peppermint and the result is unexpectedly fabulous. Anyone can make them at home but I've only seen them sold in Baltimore, mostly from pushcarts.

                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                  I knew a similar thing in the SC lowcountry when I was a kid: an orange with a peppermint stick for a straw. I don't think it was peculiar to the area, since I have seen pictures of the same thing in late 19th century children's books.

                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                    Lexington Market in Baltimore City sells the peppermint sticks you insert into the lemon before you use them as straws to suck out the lemon juice!

                                                              2. re: butterfly

                                                                Oh so that's what you call the lemon and peppermint stick. It seems to me that I saw them a lot in Pittsburgh when I was growing up, and street fairs and such. They never had a name though, and always made with that sort of soft crumby peppermint stick. Glad to hear more about them, because no one had heard of them in MA.


                                                            2. Toasted Ravioli--St. Louis
                                                              Cuban Sandwiches--Tampa and Miami, FL
                                                              Half smokes--DC

                                                              1. NY -- egg creams, fresh pastrami and corned beef sandwich.

                                                                Maine -- "Italian" sandwich.

                                                                LA -- boiled crawfish.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: bigskulls

                                                                  what a Maine italian sandwich and where do you get them?

                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                    well, since you asked, "Italians" are sold in many delis in Portland and all over at least southern Maine (I haven't been 'up the county' myself yet). They normally consist of a rather doughy longish bun, similar to the ubiquitous "hero" role in NYC delis but straighter and with less of a crust, sliced down the middle, with strips of ham, american cheese on either side, and on top pickles, green pepper, tomato and black olives. "Salt, pepper and oil with that?" Many variations: turkey Italian, bacon Italian, tuna Italian, veggie Italian (more peppers), whatever else you want to think up. Lunch food, basically....

                                                                2. It's not American, but it's close...poutine in Quebec. You can even get it at Expos games. (with a Labatt's)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: johnnym

                                                                    Along with that shouldn't you include smoked meat?

                                                                  2. In Washington State, razor clams are soul food. You have to dig them yourself, usually in the early morning, usually in veeerrry cold water, but they're worth it. About three of 'em makes a serving.

                                                                    Link: http://www.razorclams.com

                                                                    Image: http://www.razorclams.com/razclam.jpg

                                                                    1. Although someone surprisingly mentioned the Buffalo Beef on 'Weck and a Loganberry, they left out the perennial favourite - Wings!

                                                                      I'm also surprised no one mentioned fried crab claws out of Mobile, Alabama - they're the Chicken Wings of the Gulf Coast.

                                                                      1. For the Northwest, I'd have to add oysters on the half shell (especially kumamotos--yum), hard smoked salmon, dungeoness crabs, and morels.

                                                                        To the Jersey ones below (pork roll, clams on the half shell), I'll also add Italian hoagies, tomato sandwiches in summer, pencil points, and Loeffler's hotdogs.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Bunny-Bunny

                                                                          another NJ treat is Sloppy Joe sandwiches. Packed high with coleslaw-yum
                                                                          Don't confusewith the other type sloppy joe with ground meat & tom sauce

                                                                        2. Wisconsin has the following offerings:

                                                                          Frozen custard (with the best being Kopp's in Milwaukee, although that might start a fight)

                                                                          Friday night fish fry (statewide offering, although most popular in Milwaukee)

                                                                          Bratwurst (Usingers and Johnsonville) and fresh braunschweiger

                                                                          Door County fish boil (sort of a Scandanavian version of a Louisiana crawfish boil)

                                                                          And in Monroe, WI lurks the last dairy in the US making fresh Limburger!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: StephenB

                                                                            Somehow "fresh" and "limburger" don't seem to go together....

                                                                          2. Red beans and rice in S. Louisiana-I grew up eating it every Monday. One of many things I miss in Austin.

                                                                            Tamales on Christmas Eve in Texas

                                                                            BBQ and a big red soda in San Antonio

                                                                            1. breakfast in North Georgia....
                                                                              pork brains & scrambled eggs, country ham w/ red eye gravy, cat head biscuits, rat trap cheese, saw mill gravy, chicory coffee or egg shell coffee.
                                                                              snack while fishing....
                                                                              Vienna sausages, Vidalia onion (in season), sardines, rat trap cheese, & soda crackers
                                                                              & for dinner.....
                                                                              "whistlin' pig" in gravy w/ fried sweet potatoes, collard greens & cracklin' cornbread
                                                                              late night snack....
                                                                              cornbread & clabber or buttermilk (& you can start a serious argument as to whether you dunk the cornbread in the buttermilk or pour the buttermilk on the cornbread)

                                                                              Kentucky burgoo
                                                                              lamb fries in middle Kentucky
                                                                              Brunswick stew in Georgia & Virginia
                                                                              Country Captain in coastal Georgia
                                                                              Pimento cheese burgers in Cola
                                                                              Tamales in north Mississippi
                                                                              Slug Burgers in Corinth, MS
                                                                              pan fried okra all across the South
                                                                              muscadine & scuppernong preserves, jams, & wine in north Georgia
                                                                              this makes me hungry & I just finished dinner!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Lan4Dawg

                                                                                Rockville, SC, lunch at the sailboat races in the 1950's: cans of sardines, soda crackers, and RC Cola.

                                                                              2. NY City: Manhattan Special coffee soda
                                                                                Texas (and maybe all over the South): Coke and peanuts
                                                                                Maine: small blueberries
                                                                                NJ: big blueberries
                                                                                Oregon: razor clams, salmon jerky, espresso at gas stations
                                                                                Seattle: Starbucks ;-))
                                                                                Southern US: Iced tea with simple syrup

                                                                                And - is the "sausage and pepper" (said w/NY accent) sandwich (Italian sweet sausage, fried onions and green peppers on crusty Italian bread) just a NY tristate thing?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: LisaM

                                                                                  While on the subject of jerky, I seem to recall that all over the Pacific NW, beef jerky of many types is everywhere, sold in dark leathery strips from big jars at gas stations and convenience stores, etc.

                                                                                  1. re: LisaM

                                                                                    I am a New York transplant to Florida, many years ago. I had my first sausage-pepper-etc. sandwich at a county fair in Florida, and I have loved them ever since. A lot of Floridians are big on the sausage BBQ, so I don't think New York has a corner on it. And my stomach is so glad!

                                                                                  2. New Orleans--Zapp's potato chips, in various flavors

                                                                                    Jersey Shore--Kohr's frozen custard. The orange & vanilla twist is the most wonderful Creamsicle ever. Has anyone seen their stands anywhere other than on the boardwalks?

                                                                                    1. Southern Maryland stuffed ham -- country ham stuffed with chopped kale.

                                                                                      1. You've started a fun thread, Brad!

                                                                                        Regional sandwiches:
                                                                                        Philadelphia area: "Corned Beef Special"
                                                                                        Kentucky: the "Hot Brown," a turkey and bacon and rich cheese sauce that apparently began at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, but has many imitators and variations at this point.

                                                                                        1. You can't attend one of the many town/county/state fairs in Maine and not have at least one doughboy -- a misshapen oval of fried dough hot from the fryolator, covered with powdered sugar (which I think are pretty close to what New Yorkers know as zeppoles).

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Bob W.

                                                                                            a big thumbs up for dough boys. Used to eat them at the Cumberland Fair myself (as well as the Yarmouth Clam Festival). My mom even figured out how to make them at home. Also right up there is funnel cake, but I guess that's a bit more widespread.

                                                                                            1. re: bigskulls

                                                                                              Didn't Funnel Cakes start out as a regional treat in Pennsylvania Dutch country?

                                                                                            2. re: Bob W.

                                                                                              We call them "elephant ears," and they are a fixture at any fair in SC.

                                                                                              1. re: Sany

                                                                                                That's interesting, because elephant ears are what we (back home in Rhode Island) called palmiers.

                                                                                                Recently, and I can't remember where (but it might have been down in Florida), I saw palmiers being sold as "angels' wings."

                                                                                            3. I haven't read absolutely all the responses, but I haven't seen anyone mention any of the great Pittsburgh specialties - chipped ham and chipped ham sandwiches, lemon blend, Primanti's sandwiches (with the fries on), pierogis and drive through pierogi places, and Klondikes (now available nationally).

                                                                                              there must be some others that I am forgetting...

                                                                                              The NJ pork roll is one of my all time favorite regional foods, seeing all the mentions has made me want a sandwich.


                                                                                              1. Ok, thought of a few more that should have been obvious

                                                                                                Philly--did anyone say scrapple? Love that stuff. And snapper turtle soup, Headhouse squares, and of course big soft pretzles.

                                                                                                Jersey--Italian hoagies, Italian ice, Italian hotdogs, sweet corn, Delorenzos tomato pies.

                                                                                                New Haven--Pepe's pizza, Willoughby's coffee, and Elm City Ale

                                                                                                1. Chicken Kelaguen from Guam! Chopped barbecued chicken, freshly grated coconut, hot peppers, lemon juice and salt. Eat on tortillas. Hafa Adai!

                                                                                                  1. New Haven: clam pizzas

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: LisaM

                                                                                                      There you go....

                                                                                                      Now you've done it.....

                                                                                                      You just ignited my ultimate hunger pang...

                                                                                                      Now it's a hour plus drive to Frank Pepe's....

                                                                                                      But well worth the drive.


                                                                                                      1. re: Letsplay1

                                                                                                        Okay, confession time...never actually *ate* clam pizza, but it must be good. What's on it, exactly, besides clams??

                                                                                                        1. re: LisaM

                                                                                                          The dressing is very basic:

                                                                                                          Fresh shucked clams & Romano cheese on their perfectly
                                                                                                          baked coal oven fired thin crust abeetz (that's pizza).

                                                                                                          I'm a person who hates to wait on line for just about
                                                                                                          anything, but Pepe's is one of the few exceptions and that's after a 70 mile drive.

                                                                                                          Just heavenly.

                                                                                                          1. re: Letsplay1

                                                                                                            It probably has a bit of olive oil and likely garlic.
                                                                                                            The best clam pie I ever had was at a sortof glitzy biggish place down the street from Pepe's on the same side of the street, now closed - it also had a bit of parsley and was served with lemon wedges. Just wonderful

                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                              Yes, how could I possibly forget two of my Sicilian staples of life.

                                                                                                    2. i'm looking for someplace in orlando, fl. area where i can get a pork tenderloin sandwich.
                                                                                                      this is one food that i've really missed from when i used to live in dixon,il. i haven't had
                                                                                                      one since(over 35 years ago) & i'm really getting hungry. help

                                                                                                      1. There are so many, and most are unknown outside the little region where they are served, and I think they are fast disappearing. The Eastern shore of Maryland had many seafood-oriented recipes and also their own breed of corn. http://www.e-cookbooks.net/articles/s... But I don't know if you can find it now.

                                                                                                        A few from Oklahoma (and surrounding area


                                                                                                        Chicken-fried steak (with a gravy, a lot like jagerschnitzel), Frito pie, 3 way chili on spaghetti. Many of the Amish and Mennonite families in the area make complex, wonderful food, elaborate pies and cakes, even spaghetti sauce made by each family from their garden tomatoes, then sealed in jars for the winter.

                                                                                                        1. Representing the great state of Alabama, a few more that I didn't see listed:

                                                                                                          - White BBQ Sauce (Mrs. Myra's, Bob Gibson's)
                                                                                                          - Brown-sauced B'ham hot dogs (Pete's Famous, Sam's Super Sandwiches, Sneaky Petes) w/ Grapico
                                                                                                          - Dale's Seasoning
                                                                                                          - Fried Green Tomatoes (Irondale Cafe)

                                                                                                          1. Maid-rite sandwich in the Midwest (originated in Iowa)

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: grocerytrekker

                                                                                                              I had some deep fried "pickled" (acidified...jar packed) green pepers in Kentucky (Winchester) that were suposed to have been a local "specialty"....actually very tasty.....

                                                                                                            2. I'm glad someone mentioned New Jersey's hoagies. The grinders in Boston are also worthy of note.
                                                                                                              Some of my favorite regional foods are
                                                                                                              Wise potato chips, east coast
                                                                                                              Waffle House, south, east.
                                                                                                              I love the fried clams in Massachusetts. I'll never forget the clams sold at Wood's Hole. They became such a part of the summer fun on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
                                                                                                              Pine Club steaks in Dayton, Ohio, are still worth a visit.
                                                                                                              What about true deli food in NYC? Real New York pastrami, chopped liver, etc., oy vay!

                                                                                                              1. Utah: Navaho tacos
                                                                                                                New Mexico: Sopapillas
                                                                                                                Connecticut/Rhode Island: Whole Bellied Clams
                                                                                                                Hot dogs: everywhere and everyone has their own specific arrangement, making them both universal and regional. Greek dogs, gaggers, red hots, white hots, etc.
                                                                                                                New York: Pretzels
                                                                                                                New Orleans: beignets and chicory coffee
                                                                                                                Smokies: ramps
                                                                                                                Northeast and Northwest: Morels
                                                                                                                Hawaii: Shave Ice