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Jan 19, 2005 10:13 AM

Regional "food quirks"

  • r

I am sure that in nearly every area of the country there are things people do with food that perhaps aren't seen or done in other areas of the country.
While growing up in eastern North Carolina and working on my grandparents tobacco farm, one of the things I got accustomed to during work breaks that has carried over into my adult life, was to pour a package of salted peanuts into my coke. Today I still find it both a good treat and a comforting memory of "the good old days". Anyone have any others to share?

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  1. I'm not sure if it's just a Philadelphia thing or an East Coast thing, but some of us here put ketchup on scrambled eggs.

    122 Replies
    1. re: Ray

      In that same "ketchup weirdness" category, I like ketchup on my fried rice (to my mother's horror).

      I also like ranch dressing on my pizza (a California thing) and mayo on my french fries (something I picked up from a South Carolinian, although I hear the French and Canadians do the same).

      1. re: nooodles

        Another East Coast (diner) thing is gravy on French Fries.

        Mayo on fries is very European. Belgians especially, put it on their "frittes"

        1. re: nooodles

          Born and raised in California and I've never heard of Ranch Dressing on pizza! I do like Ranch Dressing with onion rings, though.

          1. re: Christine

            Me either. Pizza?

            Though, the original Ranch Dressing is a California product (Hidden Valley Guest Ranch near Santa Barbara) (thought that guy at Hidden Valley actually first made it in Alaska).

            Anyway, I think Ranch Dressing can be considered a California thing (that has since travelled). And, they put it on darn near anything. Especially buffalo wings. But, I have not heard of putting it on pizza until now.

          2. re: nooodles

            Ranch dressing on pizza a California thing?


            Don't be so silly. Even the hicks in College Station, Texas (A&M) have been doing that for eons.

            1. re: MidtownCoog

              Good to know y'all are doing pizza right in TX! I thought ranch+pizza was a universally loved combo until I was eating pizza with some East Coasters and they looked at me like I had a monkey up my butt.

              Maybe they just don't know what's going on over on that side of the continent.

              1. re: nooodles

                But of course you have to ask for a side of Ranch if the plate includes hash browns.

                1. re: nooodles

                  i think it's universally loved by cardiologists

                  1. re: nooodles

                    I think when you grow up in between New Haven and New York, you want to spoil your pizza as little as possible. To me, ranch is an antidote for crappy pizza.

                    1. re: ctscorp

                      please extend the southern range of the New Haven to NY to read New Haven to Central NJ. Ranch Dressing on a pizza makes jfood shudder and that's from an Essex/Union Couty NJ perspective.

                      1. re: jfood

                        I had Ranch Dressing on white pizza once (and I LOVE white pizza) and the whole concoction was VILE.

                    2. re: nooodles

                      That's strange, considering we've been doing that here on the East Coast(in CT, at least) for quite some time now, though blue cheese is more common.

                  2. re: nooodles

                    mmm. It is a California thing isn't it? In high school everyone ate pizza with ranch, and now I have a hard time eating pizza without it. It just makes the pizza that much better.

                    1. re: Keely

                      Hmmm, I've lived in California for a long time, and this is absolutely first time
                      I've ever heard of this.

                      So, uh, where in California is this a regular thing?

                        1. re: ArikaDawn

                          NoCal too. Mainly with younger people. My sons always have eaten it with ranch dressing. Not me though.

                        2. re: maria lorraine

                          I don't eat it that way, but I have seem many people in the LA basin eat it that way. I'm a CA native.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            Everywhere? That being said, I'm a college student and it's pretty universal among my crowd.

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              It might be a SoCal thing -- we definately did it when I was a kid growing up in SB. (I still do, although I need better ranch dressing to dip in)

                              Pepperoni Pineapple Pizza with ranch mmm.

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                If ranch dressing on pizza (and just about everything else) did start as a California thing it's more related to age than it is region. I don't think I know anyone over 35 who puts ranch on pizza. But growing up in SoCal everyone my age put it on everything.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  Round Table serves several pizzas (my favorite is the Italian Garlic Supreme) with Ranch as the sauce base instead of tomato sauce. They're everywhere in CA.

                                  1. re: aynrandgirl

                                    We have Round Table up here in Washington, but I haven't ever seen them use ranch dressing as a sauce on pizza here. The Sam's Club here makes a "Buffalo Chicken" pizza as a take-and-bake. I tried a sample, and that pretty much put me off the idea of ranch dressing as a pizza sauce forever.

                                2. re: nooodles

                                  My boyfriend and I decided that the only thing that ranch dressing doesn't taste good on is pancakes. Hard lesson.

                                  1. re: DB

                                    I have never heard of Ranch on Pizza. Maybe it's something we don't do in Canada.
                                    Gravy on fries however is classic - Poutine. Also love mayo on my fries.

                                    1. re: starlady

                                      woohoo mayo on fries - me too!!!
                                      thought I was the only one..I get some real strange looks when I ask for a side of mayo with my fries.

                                      1. re: tuxedo

                                        I've taken to eating fries with mayo too, but I thought it was a weird thing I got from my cousin. But she also takes mayo and stirs it in her refried beans - !
                                        I'm in California, by the way.

                                        1. re: tuxedo

                                          mayo on fries was the Wisconsin way.

                                        2. re: starlady

                                          I am SO Jealous!! I would love to try some Poutine!

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            All you need to make yourself a poutine (which won't be exactly like the ones in Quebec but close enough to get the general idea) is: French fries, brown gravy poured generously over top and (this might be harder to find) white cheddar cheese curds (no mozza is not authentic "poutine" cheese).

                                            There are regional variations of "poutine" and imho it's just not made right at New York Fries or place for poutine is in Quebec...ask just about any Quebecer and they'll have their fave place for poutine that they're fanatically loyal to.

                                            Oh, and one tip: If you're ever in say Montreal and order a poutine please make sure you don't pronounce it "Pooh-tain" that is a french slang for a "working girl." The easiest (safest) english pronunciation is "Pooh-tin" :-)

                                            1. re: gourmethunter

                                              I am definitely asking for Pooh-tain with extra gravy!

                                          2. re: starlady

                                            Hey now - I lived in Edmonton for 16 years and people LOVE ranch with pizza there...and deep fried zucchini, hot wings, all the good greasy pub food. Oh and poutine too - and from back East, chips dressin' n' gravy :)

                                            1. re: starlady

                                              Ouch! canuck here - just to clarify - gravy on fries does not poutine make. Proper poutine is gravy and cheese curds!!

                                              1. re: starlady

                                                Brown gravy on french fries with a slice of melted cheese---heaven. In Brooklyn we called them "Disco Fries." I don't know why though, maybe it was because it was commonly ordered after 4 A.M after a night of bar hopping/clubbing.

                                            2. re: nooodles

                                              The French Canadians that I knew liked vinegar on their fries and then there is that wonderful French Canadian dish, poutine. Fries with cheese curds and hot brown gravy.

                                              1. re: Candy

                                                What about Vienna Red Hots (hot dogs) and Italian beef sandwiches ... old Chicago favorites

                                                1. re: SLO

                                                  What about how those things don't taste good anywhere except Chicago? I'm in Los Angeles now and have been for some time and I still get Italian Beef cravings. There isn't anywhere that has a good one...sad.

                                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                    this is a 2 year old thread, but if you are craving your italian beef, they have opened up a chicago shop in buena park, Portillo's. Just like the one's in Chicago and I believe they will soon be opening up a second shop.

                                                    1. re: justagthing

                                                      Well, let's bring this thread back, I say!

                                                      I'll give this Portillo's place a chance.

                                                      1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                        Portillos is pretty good. I've been carting frozen packages of it across country for years.

                                                2. re: Candy

                                                  The first thing I thought of was vinegar on the fries! I'm from Chicago but I have Canadian cousins who introduce me to this and now I like to dip my fries in vinegar whenever I can!

                                                  1. re: Chew on That

                                                    Specifically MALT vinegar on fries! I've heard it's a Canadian thing... used to have an order of that and a hot chocolate with my sisters after ice skating lessons.... =)

                                                    1. re: jinxed

                                                      I would think it hailed from the English who quite often put vinegar on fish and chips. This is quite popular along the mid-atlantic seaboard with fresh cut or boardwalk fries.

                                                    2. re: Chew on That

                                                      Yes and in Nova Scotia we put malt vinegar on our fries - you should try it :)

                                                    3. re: Candy

                                                      Vinegar on fries is actually a British thing; my mom and dad (both basically English, though born in Canada) thought ketchup on fries was an abomination. Vinegar (and preferably malt vinegar) with lots of salt was the only way to go. I have to admit, nowadays, I go either way; some times the vinegar, some times the ketchup. Haven't tried the mayo yet, but it sounds interesting.

                                                      And of course poutine is the definitive French-Canadian dish.

                                                      1. re: KevinB

                                                        mayo as a dipper for fries is addictive.

                                                    4. re: nooodles

                                                      folks in utah dip their fries in "fry sauce", a condiment similiar to thousand island dressing. they also have a donut/sopaipilla pastry they call a scone, served with honey-butter.

                                                      haven't had pizza with ranch, but ranch dressing originated in santa barbara, california.

                                                      1. re: petradish

                                                        Fry sauce is fabulous, and all fries in Utah come with it, which is strange, because the moment you leave Utah, you must learn to make your own! (ketchup and mayo. really not that hard) but everyone will look at you funny when you do.

                                                        I lived in Utah for one year in high school, and still sometimes think that I wouldn't mind being offered frie sauce with my fries!

                                                      2. re: nooodles

                                                        In Mississippi, only University of Southerm Miss. grads dip their pizza in thousand island dressing. Seems to have started at the "hot" pizza spot in Hattiesburg.

                                                        1. re: msmissislippi

                                                          I love thousand island (preferably homemade, not bottled) and pizza! My sister and I eat it. We had a babysitter in Virginia when we were little who got us started on it. People always look at us like we are crazy, and then they are eating it with us by the end. We are in Cali now and I hate Ranch on pizza. But, Im not really that big of a ranch fan in the first place...

                                                        2. re: nooodles
                                                          1 wiener hound

                                                          Or better yet hot chinese mustard on Fried Rice

                                                          1. re: nooodles

                                                            When I moved to Iowa (from CT), I discovered ranch on pizza. Might be because the pizza is so bad... but the Iowans claim it as "an Iowa thing." Hmmm.

                                                            1. re: nooodles

                                                              jfood, I'm a Nutmegger who transplanted to the Midwest 8 years ago, and I've never seen a sloppy joe here. The natives prefer what they call a Maid-Rite, or a loose-meat sandwich, which is essentially a sloppy joe sans sauce. They're actually pretty vehement and regionalist about how their sandwich is NOT a sloppy joe, as if they would never deign to sauce their beef.

                                                              1. re: ctscorp


                                                                - we can add Iowa as a Blue State (A Red State representing the sauce on the Manwich).
                                                                - on the other side of the coin you mentioned they put ranch dressing on pizza

                                                                Oh what a wonderful world.

                                                              2. re: nooodles

                                                                In the college town in Texas where I live, tortilla chips and salsa are served at practically every restaurant - but some people (namely, the college set) like to eat tortilla chips with ranch dressing, hence the nickname "sorority sauce" for ranch. And we have ranch on pizza here, too.

                                                                1. re: nooodles

                                                                  ranch dressing on EVERYTHING seems to be a California thing -- or maybe now an American thing.

                                                                2. re: Ray

                                                                  I think that's not uncommon. I used to do that.

                                                                  Just don't put ketchup on your hot dog.

                                                                  1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                    My wife, who's from Taiwan, puts soy paste on her eggs. This is very common in Taiwan, and it's actually very tasty. Now I do it too.

                                                                    David A.

                                                                    1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                      My wife's (New England based, I believe) food rules:

                                                                      No mustard on hamburgers.
                                                                      No ketchup on hot dogs.

                                                                      1. re: Matt

                                                                        Agreed on both counts. Ketchup on a hot dog is just gross. And I grew up in New York 30 miles north of NYC in Rockland County.

                                                                        Ditto with ketchup on eggs.

                                                                        1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                          Whattt? I grew up in NYC, and always put ketchup on a hot dog. I DID think ketchup on eggs was gross, but now I can't eat them without ketchup.

                                                                          1. re: janethepain

                                                                            Jane, my dear, get yourself to a specialty food store, and buy some "HP" (House of Parliament) Sauce. You will never go back to eggs with ketchup again.

                                                                            And Matt: no mustard on a hamburger?! You need to cut the usual greasiness of the meat and the blandness of the bun with the sharpness of the mustard. That's what makes the real balance between a classic and another work-a-day meal.

                                                                    2. re: Ray

                                                                      Diner eggs, you know, those overcooked hard brown eggs when they make omlettes and stuff, ALWAYS get drowned in ketchup to hide the burnt taste. They are unedible otherwise.

                                                                      1. re: Lenny

                                                                        I generally like a teensy bit of ketchup with eggs, but I agree about bad diner eggs and how I usually try to drown it in ketchup.

                                                                      2. re: Ray

                                                                        We put ketchup otherwise known as Heinz tomato sauce, on scrambled eggs and I was brought up in Shropshire, England - used to watch my Dad drizzle it on fried eggs too.

                                                                        1. re: Zoe

                                                                          Each to his own taste.

                                                                          A UK opinion:-

                                                                          I often have tomato ketchup with a fried egg and don't consider this 'quirky', nor does my wife who wouldn't use tomato sauce but rather one of the UK 'brown' sauces.

                                                                          I dislike malt vinegar on most things, especially chips (fries), Her Majesty feels that chips are not the same without it.

                                                                          I read with horror the amount of pepper sauces that Southern USA seem to need to lash on perfectly good (I presume) food.

                                                                          The US fascination with 'dogs' and 'burgers' and how they should be served amuses me (but I have to admit that UK is perhaps catching up in the case if the latter.

                                                                          I could go on, but I'll get my coat.


                                                                          1. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                            reminds me of that one movie with colin farrell where he plays an irish scoundrel who drinks tea with HP sauce. is this true?

                                                                            1. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                              What are those brown sauces? I had it in the UK on eggs and loved it. I keep wondering if there is a US equivalant.

                                                                              1. re: shoo-bee-doo

                                                                                the most common brown sauce is HP brand (house of parlament) similar to A1 steak sauce. should be able to get in in a English import shop, if not at your regular grocery store near the ketchup. I drown my eggs in HP, also great on Cheese on toast.

                                                                                Also.. as to the ranch on pizza ....eeewwwww :( yuck..... but i have tried golden honey on pizza and it's pretty fabulous!

                                                                                1. re: CookieGal

                                                                                  In Canada, HP is HUGE, especially on steak - most steak joints have it on the table actually :)

                                                                              2. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                                My da's from the UK and I lived there for a bit when I was little. I put ketchup on fried eggs but not scrambled. Especially love it on fried egg nad bacon sandwiches.
                                                                                I DO like malt vinegar on my chips
                                                                                And as for Hamburgers I like "the works"

                                                                                1. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                                  A nation that can stomach Marmite should not be casting stones at pepper sauce.

                                                                                  1. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                                    the strangest food I encountered in the UK was, (besides the scary tablets that dissolve the mushy peas) was beans at breakfast. And once found my visiting English friends clustered around a packet of "English Muffins" at my local grocery in Oklahoma poking at them with a finger wondering what on earth they were supposed to be.

                                                                                    1. re: Betty

                                                                                      Ha, that's funny. Did you explain the nooks and crannies?

                                                                                      1. re: ajs228

                                                                                        When I was in college in the UK, I used to come home for summers, and British friends from college used to come visit me in Canada. One summer, and English friend came to visit, and we got to talking about English muffins, and I told her that in England, they were just called muffins. She denied that such a thing existed, and was actually quite rude about it. When I went back at the start of the next term, I arrived at my house to a package of English muffins - the label read 'Muffins'. And on top was a note with an apology!
                                                                                        So, in England, English muffins are just called muffins, even if English people don't realize it.

                                                                                      2. re: Betty

                                                                                        I don't find beans at breakfast odd (many cultures eat beans with brekkie), but even as a Brit I find kippers and kedgeree for breakfast a little much!

                                                                                        1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                          Kippers are the BEST for brekky! Even if I get strange looks from the BF.
                                                                                          Had some this morn in fact. YUM

                                                                                          1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                            I'm not British or even close, but I love kedgeree for breakfast. Or any other time - it's a sublime dish.

                                                                                            1. re: Bat Guano

                                                                                              Is kedgeree more than cooked rice, flaked cooked salmon, butter, hard boiled eggs and peas? It just sounds so boring. What am I missing? What makes it divine? I always just assumed the reason it was popular with upper class Brits was that they all seem to love the nursery food their nannies fed them in early childhood. But, I'd love to try making some kedgeree f you'd like to post your recipe on the hoome cooking board here. On this board you could list the ingredients if that would be easier as I'm guessing exact amounts are not critical.

                                                                                              1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                To niki r: Try making your kedgeree using flaked smoked salmon (rather than fresh) plus some sauteed onion, add curry powder, and serve nice and hot with a wedge of lemon and sliced hardboiled egg. Hot buttered toast. Lots of hot tea.

                                                                                                1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                  Oh, sorry - I didn't see this till now. I'll be glad to give you my recipe on the home cooking board.... You're right, exact amounts aren't crucial, or even exact ingredients (my recipe calls for smoked haddock, but I've used smoked and fresh salmon many times).

                                                                                          2. re: Bob Moffatt

                                                                                            Yes, staying at a St. Andrew's B&B a few years back, I was introduced to UK "brown sauces" (in Canada, we only had HP; who knew?). Still prefer that to ketchup with any type of egg.

                                                                                            No malt vinegar on chips? You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I consider this one of life's greatest pleasures (mostly because so few places in Canada offer it as option).

                                                                                            And for hot sauces? There's a lot of medical literature that shows that hot sauces stimulate the brain's pleasure centres. Although I admit, I usually only put it on fried chicken. And for an even guiltier admission, I sometimes put honey and hot sauce on my fried chicken (only Popeye's - Church's seemed to have disappeared from Canada, even though I thought they were better in every way - never KFC.)

                                                                                            Hope you got that coat - it's minus 20-C in Toronto today.

                                                                                        2. re: Ray

                                                                                          That is not wierd or regional at all.

                                                                                          But growing up I often had ketchup omelettes (ketchup cooked into the omelette, like a stuffing - then some of the ketchup would ooze out into the pan, ...mmmm burnt ketchup) and jelly omelettes, and of course salami n' eggs. I guess we didn't call it a salami omelette because the salami was fried in the pan first and then the egg was poured all over it.

                                                                                          1. re: Steve S.

                                                                                            that is an omelet,but some regions call it something else, "pancake style"

                                                                                            1. re: Lenny

                                                                                              In New York, cream cheese omelets. Still make them in Texas

                                                                                              1. re: Ken

                                                                                                I've lived in NYC all my life, and I feel like I've never seen a cream cheese omelet on a menu. Goat cheese or feta is normal, but cream cheese??

                                                                                                I was so grossed out by seeing someone put ketchup on their eggs, but now I love it. In fact, I probably eat eggs mainly for the ketchup.

                                                                                                1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                  In Ocean City MD there is a restaurant calloed Generals Kitchen, that Makes Creamed Chipped Beef Omelettes - CCB in the middle as a filling with a little more on the top when it is served.

                                                                                                  Also in reply to others putting Ranch dressing on Pizza, I had a friend when I was growing up that put mustard on his pizza crusts and said he felt like he was eating a soft pretzel - i gotta say I thought so too.....

                                                                                          2. re: Ray

                                                                                            2 north/central NJ items come to mind.

                                                                                            italian hot dog - served on a roll that is more like pita with french fries and sauteed peppers and onions

                                                                                            sloppy (or smokey joe) - both are 3 layer cold sandwiches
                                                                                            - sloppy has one layer of turkey & russian dressing, 1 layer of swiss, 1 layer of rare roast beef with cole slaw.
                                                                                            - smoky has 1 layer of lox, 1 layer of whitefish, 1 layer of cream cheese.

                                                                                            1. re: pebbles

                                                                                              The "smoky" sounds fabulous! One of my favorites is pickled herring, sour cream and chopped onion on pumpernickel.

                                                                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                Curried pickled herring! To die for. and it doesn't take long to marinate either. I often make some before I go to work and then pop it in the fridge there - in tupperware. Tke bread and some onion in a sandwich bag. Toast the bread put on the curried pickled herring nad onions. YUM. Course you have to have a very forgiving workplace (which I do) and no meetings in the afternoon - don't breathe on anyone :)

                                                                                              2. re: pebbles

                                                                                                Hmmm I grew up in in North/Central NJ and have never heard of either of those. But if you really wanna talk regional 'bout some Taylor ham??? Yummm!

                                                                                                1. re: HungryRubia

                                                                                                  the hot dog discribed above is really a Newark regional dog and called an italian dog. it really is completely regional to the Newark/belleville area. The bun is more like the kind of bread you get with a donar kabab, 2 fried and very skinny hotdogs layed down at the bottom, topped with fried potatoes, topped with ketchup, topped with fried onions and peppers. Best spot to get it is at a greasy joint called "dickie dees" in Newark.

                                                                                                  1. re: sixelagogo

                                                                                                    there have been several threads about the italian dog and the real sloppy joe recently. coming from elizabeth jfood might argue with you on dickies as the "best" but heh newark and elizabeth have alway had a little competition. likewise the threads on sloppy joes get very chest pumping amongst the people from elizabeth, union, south orange and millburn. then the southern tier chimes in as well.

                                                                                                    most important is that our region has given two GREAT additions to American cuisine. Drat the miswesterners to take our perfectly named, beautiful sandwich and turn it into something that even college students frown upon when presented in the cafeteria. blech.

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      Interesting article in the New Yorker mag. a week or so ago about Turkish hot dogs as served in Istanbul, where they are served from sidewalk stands and thought of as exotic foreign forbidden fruit, because the meat used is suspected of not being hallal or Islamic kosher, so Turkish moms are constantly living in fear that the kids might be gastronomically sullying themselves on the sly. Probably the forbidden aspect adds to the overall mystique, because from the description they do not sound all that attractive, if a hot dog can be thought of as being attractive under the best of circumstances...but, what a turkish hot dog is, is a skinny sausage rendered leathery on a grill and then sent to purgatory to soak for long periods of time in a vat of sweetish tomato sauce (ketchup?) until they are uplaoded to a bun and graced with the kind of fixin'ns we'd associate with a Chicago hot dog - mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles - probably to disguise the questionable character of the actual sausage meat, of which the Turkish mothers are probably rightly suspicious.

                                                                                                      1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                        I lived in Turkey for a short time and I remember them making hamburgers in a similar way. They'd grill them and then store them in a hot tomato sauce with onions in there.

                                                                                                        Then you'd order and they'd slap it on a bun.

                                                                                                        It's been over twenty years, but I remember it fondly.

                                                                                                        1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                                          I just came back from a week in Turkey, and remember their 'hamburgers' looking like the saddest, most unappetizing looking things. The image of a bunch of them sitting on a tray under a light, grayish meat and helplessly wrinkled and otherwise mangled-looking buns, has been burned into my mind. Needless to say, we never tried them.

                                                                                                2. re: pebbles

                                                                                                  My SO is from NJ and one of the first times I went to visit him and meet his family, I was told they were serving "sloppy joes". Not my favorite meal and, duh, very messy to eat when trying to impress your SO's parents! But I was presented with a wedge cut from a family-sized round, cold sandwich and was relieved that this was what they called a sloppy joe. From the Jewish deli, apparently and described well by pebbles, above.

                                                                                                  1. re: sarahvagaca

                                                                                                    welcom to the SJ club. you have now tasted the perfect sandwich. And the real question is, "was there butter on it". The Millburn deli puts butter on their "Joe", blech and the rest of the delis gladly stay away from that shunda (ask your SO for a translation).

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      I have heard the Jewish (Yiddish or Hebrew) word "shanda" which means shame - is that it?

                                                                                                3. re: Ray

                                                                                                  Sriracha hot sauce on eggs- California. All the sweet, sour, salty, umami goodness of ketchup, with an added kick!

                                                                                                  Plus, it's the fastest growing condiment in the country.

                                                                                                  1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                                                    'Fire' sauce from Taco Bell (which is the hottest of their taco sauces) works well in a pinch too. I keep a stash of the packets at my desk at work for when I go down to the building caffeteria for eggs in the morning.

                                                                                                    1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                                                      in minneapolis we partake in eggs with

                                                                                                      cream cheese fillings
                                                                                                      and hot sauce

                                                                                                      maybe not all together, but you know....

                                                                                                      1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                                                        Sriracha is good on pizza, too. I'm from California, but I wouldn't exactly say this is a California thing.

                                                                                                        1. re: Spoony Bard

                                                                                                          We live in SF, and my kids put sriracha hot sauce on everything. They call it "cock sauce" because of the pidture on the label.

                                                                                                          1. re: sfbecky

                                                                                                            It's a great hot sauce, maybe the best commercially available. I don't like Tabasco - too vinegary. But, have you tried Trader Joe's red jalapeno sauce. It's really delicious - not quite as sweet as Sriracha, which I would actually like to be a touch LESS sweet. But, I could always just dilute the bottle with some water. One nice thing about Sriracha that no other hot sauce I know of has is that it has a garlicky undertone - but I was VERY surprised to hear it's so very popular now.

                                                                                                            1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                              O yes. Even here in the Middle of Nowhere, Iowa. I need another bottle because mine's almost empty.

                                                                                                              here lately I'm trying to be healthier, and I've been drinking some V8 juice every day--the low sodium kind, which to my salt-addled taste buds seems insufferably bland. So I put a little Sriracha in it, which makes it all better.

                                                                                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                you're just adding the sodium back in.
                                                                                                                1200 sodium mg in 100 grams of sriracha; some portion added to 140 sodium mg in 8 oz. of low sodium v-8

                                                                                                       (re: sriracha


                                                                                                       (re: v-8 formulations)

                                                                                                                1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                  growing up in south florida, i added the cornbread dressing on the turkey sandwich with mayo, along with a slice of the jellied cranberry sauce. mustard didn't even occur to me. (not big mustard eaters growing up -- mom didn't like, and dad was into meat and potatoes).

                                                                                                                  mayo went on lots of stuff, including (and i know what you will say), hot dogs!

                                                                                                          2. re: Ray

                                                                                                            I think it's an east coast thing. I live in central NY and lots of people around here do it.

                                                                                                            1. re: Ray

                                                                                                              I never knew ANYone, ANYwhere, who did NOT put ketchup on scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                              1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                                LOL!! I have NEVER EVER put Ketshup on my scrambled eggs. Now Tabasco...that's a different story.

                                                                                                                1. re: murrato

                                                                                                                  Where are you from - that no one knows ketchup is required for scrambled eggs?

                                                                                                                2. re: niki rothman

                                                                                                                  *raising hand* I don't put ketchup on my scrambled eggs, or any eggs, for that matter. I like the eggs just plain (don't even much care for omelets).

                                                                                                                  On the other hand, I do put ketchup on hot dogs, grilled sausages, and turkey sandwiches. Not really regionalisms, though, just quirks of me.

                                                                                                                  1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                    I was taught by a New Yorker (my mother) to put ketchup on scrammled eggs. Now I go back and forth, its hot sauce or ketchup.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                      I never put ketchup on eggs...ewwwwwwwww....but now I LOVE a good avocado and bacon omlette!

                                                                                                                      1. re: ktcolt

                                                                                                                        Well, ok yeah - but have you ever even tried ketchup on scrambled eggs?

                                                                                                                      2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                        I could eat a jar of hot sauce on an individual egg.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                          Oh yeah baby. ketchup on scrambled eggs. The looks jfood recieves from many is silly. Most times jfood shies away from that when traveling with colleague, not a good way to start the day with those "looks". Best way to hide it is to arder on a roll and then place the ketchup on the egg sandwich. noone seems to get offended by this method.

                                                                                                                      3. re: Ray

                                                                                                                        That's not weird, I've 30 and done that since i was a kid!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ray

                                                                                                                          lol I'm not sure that's an East Coast thing...I'm Canadian (grew up near Ottawa) and until I was 12 I thought scrambled eggs were supposed to taste like ketchup - that's how much we used the two together. Fortunately my tastes and palette have grown up a bit.

                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                          bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                          Leaving aside for the moment strictly ethnic home-cooking specialities, New York City has at leats two dishes that, as far as I know, have been ours alone.
                                                                                                                          One is chow mein on a bun, most prominently at Nathan's, the Coney Island hot-dog emporium: classic Chinese-American vegetables topped with fried noodles on a soft burger bun, preferably washed down with Nathans' pineapple drink. A somewhat more assimilated cousin of a dish, still a fixture at delis, is roast (Chinese) pork and plum sauce on garlic bread.

                                                                                                                          26 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                            As Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend!"

                                                                                                                            Chow mein sandwiches, exactly as you have described them, have been eaten in Rhode Island for decades, apparently since the Depression. We used to get them at a place called Chin's in Pawtucket back when I was in junior high school around 1974. Price: $0.15

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob W.

                                                                                                                              To Bob W: There used to be a ratty old amusement park in Salem MA called Salem Willows where Chop Suey Sandwiches were sold. Is this a New England thing, maybe?

                                                                                                                            2. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                              My father grew up eating chow mein sandwiches at the Woolworth counter in Rockaway. Was his favorite meal. That was in the late 30s, early 40s.

                                                                                                                              1. re: lucia

                                                                                                                                I should say, that's Rockaway, NY, not far from Coney Island.

                                                                                                                                1. re: lucia

                                                                                                                                  What I remember about Rockaway was a place on the Boardwalk that served chow mein not on a bun, but in an edible cup made of chow mein noodles. I think they called it a "tiki cup" or something like that. This would be in the late 50's.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                    "What I remember about Rockaway was a place on the Boardwalk that served chow mein not on a bun, but in an edible cup made of chow mein noodles. I think they called it a "tiki cup" or something like that. This would be in the late 50's."

                                                                                                                                    My husband grew up in NYC but I got here after graduating high school, when my family moved from western PA. He used to tell me about this and I thought he was making it up! Now I'll have to go home and apologize for doubting him.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                                      My husband grew up in Bayside, Queens, and he said there was a truck that used to go around and sell "chow chow cups," which is what they called the chow mein in noodle bowl. I remember, growing up on LI, there were a number of "truck" options, including the guy who came (Thursdays?) and sold pizza from his truck. And, of course,there was the Dugan's cakes guy, Bungalow Bar (now that was an intereting looking vehicle!), and all the other usual suspects. Memories.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Deborah

                                                                                                                                        Wow!!! and a hearty Southern California O-M-G to that. I went to high school in Bayside and grew up in Little Neck. I hadn't thought of Bungalow Bar in so long I don't even want to say. But I quickly drew on a picture memory of the truck. Certainly was something unique and unforgettable.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Deborah

                                                                                                                                          The name "Bungalow Bar" sounds vaguely familiar but I don't remember a truck so I googled and here are a couple of pictures of it (I still don't remember it after seeing it, I guess they weren't in my neck of the woods on Long Island.)

                                                                                                                                          Another picture of the truck (middle of the page)


                                                                                                                                          1. re: James

                                                                                                                                            We Good Humor fans used to sing a song about Bungalow Bar ice cream - does anyone remember this?

                                                                                                                                            "Bungalow Bar,
                                                                                                                                            It tastes like tar
                                                                                                                                            The more you eat it,
                                                                                                                                            The sicker you are!"

                                                                                                                                            Early Chowhounding, to be sure!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Janet
                                                                                                                                              Bungalow Bill

                                                                                                                                              Oh you hurt me so! I used to drive one for two summers to work my way through college. My fans at that time sang:
                                                                                                                                              You get a tumor if you eat good humor.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: James
                                                                                                                                              frank wucinski

                                                                                                                                              In 1962-63 Bungalo Bar trucks came around my wife's neighborhood in Brooklyn at dinner time so they had their ice cream later when good humor came. They sang this refrain when the Bungallo Bar man drove by,"Bungalllo Bar tastes like tar, the more you eat it the sicker you are."

                                                                                                                                              On an episode of the Sopranos when Tony is being queried by non-mob Italians as to whether he ever met John Gotti, He says,"At the auction for the last Bungallo Bar truck, John outbid me, but he let me ring the bells all the way home.

                                                                                                                                              there you go

                                                                                                                                            3. re: Deborah

                                                                                                                                              Growing up in Queens we had both Bungalow Bar and Good Humor trucks crusing the streets all summer long. I vaguely remember Good Humor as being more of a company operation (conservative) and Bungalow Bar as being more edgy withyounger operators, better able to relate to us kids.
                                                                                                                                              My favorite treat was the Good Humor vanilla sundae, a small cup of vanilla ice cream topped with a layer of choclate fudge, You'd let it melt a little and then mix in the fudge. I can taste it now.

                                                                                                                                            4. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                                              Okay - after I apologized, he told me it was called a Tukki cup, not a Tiki cup. Does that sound familiar?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                                                Yep, that's the one. Your husband is clearly an honest man with an excellent memory. Treasure him! :)

                                                                                                                                        2. re: lucia
                                                                                                                                          Sarah Deepfruit

                                                                                                                                          In malaysia, on a sweltering day, you can buy a treat from a roadside stand: two scoops of ice cream on a soft white hotdog bun.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sarah Deepfruit

                                                                                                                                            my whole life in malaysia i have never encountered this. where exactly did you have this ice-cream concoction?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: melissa

                                                                                                                                              In KL, an also in Kelantan province...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: slippek

                                                                                                                                                It's common in the Philippines also.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lazy Susan

                                                                                                                                                  Never saw that in 14 years in the Philippines.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                    Saw it at Baggio (Sp?) and Angeles city.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                                          Chow mein on a bun and chinese pepper steak on a bun are still available at Salem Willows in Salem, MA.
                                                                                                                                          Loved them as a kid many years ago.


                                                                                                                                          1. re: CG

                                                                                                                                            my mother (in her 70's) still goes to the Willows for a chop suey sandwich every summer

                                                                                                                                          2. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                                            As far as you know!

                                                                                                                                            LOL. Just like y'all invented the Bahn Mi Thit!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                                              A cousin of this is the St. Louis phenomenon: St. Paul Sandwich. It's egg foo young on toast or an italian roll and it's available at most chinese carryouts, corner stores and sandwich places.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bob oppedisano

                                                                                                                                                Whoa, this is rocking my world. Have lived in the Tri-state area my whole life, NYC & Brooklyn for 12 years, and have never heard of this bizarre sandwich. I must try this...

                                                                                                                                              2. The biggest thing that stands out as a generalization is the use of malt vinegar on fries on the east coast. When I first moved there from the midwest I was appalled (I knew ketchup of course and loved mayo with them - never saw vinegar). Now I love them with vinegar, especially the thick kind fried in peanut oil.

                                                                                                                                                A local fav from my hometown is the stretch:
                                                                                                                                                hash browns topped with eggs topped with chili topped with cheese, onion and green pepper topped with tobasco.
                                                                                                                                                When I make it at home I make my eggs overeasy and use jalapenos (veined and seeded) rather than greens.

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dennis S

                                                                                                                                                  When I worked at a drive-in in Portland OR, for my break I would have the cook fry me some nice crispy hash browns and pour gravy over them.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dennis S

                                                                                                                                                    I was first introduced to vinegar on french fries ("chips") in my preteen years when we visited Canada. We brought oit home for a while, but then outgrew it. Isn't vinegar on "chips" a popular English "quirk."

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kc girl

                                                                                                                                                      Vinegar always been available for sprinkling on fries (along with ketchup,etc.) on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. But now that you mention it, they get a lot of Canadians down the south Jersey shore, and maybe that's why they provide it...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                                        In the 70s when myself and my Canadian family summered in Cape Cod, we'd ask for vinegar for our fries and often get strange looks, and frequently it wasn't available. I'd say it's the Canadian influence in the tourist areas that has made it popular.

                                                                                                                                                  2. In St. Louis, where I grew up, we had toasted ravioli. Now it seems that they serve it at the Olive Garden. (Sheesh, my second post involving the Olive Garden today. What has become of me?)

                                                                                                                                                    People also use a ton of Provelle cheese. It is the cheese on St. Louis style pizza (Provelle Cheese, round, thin crispy crust, sliced into squares). I have no idea what it really is. I just remember one of my friends was ranting about people in St. Louis and their "Un-natural obsession with Provelle cheese." The woman at the table next to us started laughing and my friend (out of character for him) turned and yelled "What?!" at her. She just replied "No. You're right. They do!"


                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefElias

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I remember toasted ravioli. And the really terrible "Italian" food on The Hill.
                                                                                                                                                      Also, Ted Drewes frozen custard. A slice of sharp cheddar cheese served with apple pie
                                                                                                                                                      (is that a New England-ism?). Fried brains (truly). White Castle sliders.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                        My daddy's favorite thing in the world was brains scrambled with eggs.

                                                                                                                                                        And sharp cheddar on apple pie is one New England-ism that converted this Texan from "a la mode" . If you let the cheese melt slightly it is just sublime.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                                                                                          Growing up in Vermont, sharp Vermont cheddar was the only accompaniment to my mom's incredible apple pie.

                                                                                                                                                 late February through April.....sugar on snow is a great Vermont treat! Brand new maple syrup boiled to soft ball stage served in communal pitchers...each person gets a big bowl of snow and a fork. Pour the syrup over the snow in patterns...pick it up and twirl it onto the fork. Traditionally served with plain, homemade cake doughnuts and sour dill pickles. The pickles are a Vermont version of a palate cleanser of sorts.....a thrifty Yankee way to be able to "eat more for your money".

                                                                                                                                                    2. In Pittsburgh, it's a tendency to put french fries on sandwiches or salads. I'm still trying to get used to it.

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: klumppilston

                                                                                                                                                        Here in northern Italy, people use french fries as a topping for pizza or focaccia. At first I thought it was kind of wierd, until I tried a piece of warm focaccia with french fries and rosemary. Not bad.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: klumppilston

                                                                                                                                                          Yumm...I love Primanti Bros. and really miss their sandwiches. Although it was odd the first time I ordered a salad and it came with fries on it! But, man, was it good!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: klumppilston

                                                                                                                                                            I grew up in Pittsburgh and I still miss getting fries on sandwiches and salads...Somehow it's so much easier to convince yourself to order a salad if you know it will come with tasty fries on it!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: italyinmind

                                                                                                                                                              In the Andean countries, small, thin, crispy fries appear in soups and sandwiches. I'm going to give salads a try.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: klumppilston

                                                                                                                                                              Not just a Pittsburgh thing - a number of spots in New Orleans serve Roast Beef Po-Boys, with a generous portion of brown gravy smothering the fries.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mhiggins

                                                                                                                                                                And we also have French Fried Potato Po' Boys.

                                                                                                                                                                French Fries (in the old days it was handcut real potatoes - oh, what I would give for one of those now!) on French bread smothered in roast beef gravy. Dressed. Which includes mayonaisse, lettuce, tomatoes which go on top part of the bread.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mhiggins

                                                                                                                                                                  D'oh - I meant to put down "French Fry Po-Boys," but had been to Parkway for lunch. Go figure!