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What regional foods do people just get wrong?

AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 06:04 PM

I am from Philly and my biggest pet peeve are all of the abonomations that they I see called a Philly cheesesteak. A true Philly cheesesteak is thin sliced steak, possibly onions, cheese (american or whiz) on a crusty roll. Done. Why does every "Philly" cheesesteak I see advertised have peppers onions and sauce on it? That is not even close. And don't get me started on other cheese -swiss, mozarella, cheddar. I have even seen roast beef and cheddar sandwiches called a Philly cheesesteak. The worst is the new hot pockets Philly cheesesteak. Ugh.

Does this happen to any other regional foods?

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  1. iluvtennis RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 06:51 PM

    I think i might have seen some roast beef and cheddar sandwiches being passed off as Philly cheesesteaks around here (Dallas).

    1 Reply
    1. re: iluvtennis
      Sandwich_Sister RE: iluvtennis Nov 2, 2008 01:16 PM

      yeah I used to work at a subshop that actually made great Phillies, and cooked our own roast beef. Some people would get confused and think we used the RB for the Phillies. There are also places around here that do it that way. It's not a philly if it's chopped up roast beef it's just a hot rb and cheese.

    2. tatamagouche RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 06:56 PM

      New England clam chowder you could cut with a knife.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tatamagouche
        manraysky RE: tatamagouche Sep 19, 2008 01:16 PM

        Ooh, that is such a pet peeve of mine.

      2. porker RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 07:03 PM

        Growing up in Canada, my family 'barbecued' almost every summer weekend. I soon discovered that it was simple grilling. (BBQ has since become a passion)
        OK, it may be more a case of a misnomer, but I could understand how a true barbecuer's hair would bristle when hearing how a northener 'barbecues'...
        or simply slather KC Masterpiece on meat, cook, and call it BBQ...

        It seems a few years back, cajun was all the rage, but most people didn't have a clue. Want a cajun chicken? Just sprinkle cajun seasoning on it before cooking (whether roasting, frying, grilling, or smoking - don't matter)
        Want cajun shrimp? Just sprinkle some of Emiril's Essence and VOOOila.
        Well, you get the idea.
        I have an interest in cajun/creole/bayou cooking, and perhaps only an inkling on the multitude of nuances involved, but c'mon, I don't think that chicken burger in Nebraska is cajun just cause the short order cook slapped a paprika/chile spice blend on it...

        And on a wider note, many, many ethnic cuisine restaurants who dumb down the flavors for 'north american tastes'.
        OK, I can understand in some instances where small restaurants have to do this for a limited clientele. But when I ask for a spicy dish 'like I had in Mexico' or 'Thailand' or wherever, the cooks are most always timid.
        C'mon, if the traditional dish is supposed to make me sweat, well then bring it on!

        6 Replies
        1. re: porker
          Caitlin McGrath RE: porker Sep 30, 2008 05:11 PM

          I've realized that in the UK and Australia, grilling is referred to as BBQ (and there's that cliche Ausiie-ism of "throwing it on the barbie"), but then again, they call the broiler the grill, and also don't have American barbecue, so it may be that this is for semantic clarity.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            Bill Hunt RE: Caitlin McGrath Oct 11, 2008 08:40 PM


            Do not worry, In the US the words barbeque and BBQ have totally different meanings. Take South Carolina for instance - the term BBQ had different connotations and recipes. Though a "son of the Old South," I have to get qualification when these terms come up.

            In really, really general terms, BBQ (and all variations) usually mean some form of slow cooking - almost smoking of meats. Some areas use sauces at various points in the prep. Gilling is cooking over a fire on some sort of "grill," but might encompass different protiens and sauses, or no sauces.

            Just like another thread on the NOLA board, regarding "snowballs," the nomenclature can differ from state to state, and even region to region within those states.

            I do not blame you, especially as you are "looking in." Now, some take this with great seriousness, while others are not such sticklers.

            What were we talking about?


          2. re: porker
            Cinnamon RE: porker May 14, 2009 07:48 AM

            Yep... I think things like this are why so many people say "I don't like _____." It's amazing how many things that are outright bad get perpetrated for perpetuity. Take Cajun. A good Cajun dinner gets replicated into a bad one and the bad one pervasively becomes what's known as Cajun to many people - and they still eat it, a vague memory of something they've never experienced.

            1. re: Cinnamon
              jmckee RE: Cinnamon Mar 9, 2011 07:21 AM

              Paul Prudhomme once referred ruefully to bad "Cajun" restaurant fare as "burned fish with a whole lot of red pepper on it."

              1. re: jmckee
                hill food RE: jmckee Mar 9, 2011 08:52 PM

                ha! and sadly accurate.

            2. re: porker
              bblonde RE: porker Jul 8, 2010 01:57 PM

              Agree with you on "barbecue" versus "grilling." In my neck of the woods, a hamburger is not barbecue. Barbecue refers to smoked meat, preferably doused with a sweet tomatoey sauce. But I understand barbecue can raise a lot of controversy depending on what part of the country one is from (or what other countries). No way can fish be barbecue--that is unless your shrimp or salmon have a nice sweet-smokey rub.

            3. bucksguy14 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 07:42 PM

              Having lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life (4 years out for USAF), I have to tell you, AmblerGirl, that sauce has been around for a long time! I recall going to a place called Berry's in South Philly, where my parents were from, (I think it was at 4th & Jackson but I'm not sure) and getting a cheesesteak with sauce & fried onions and a black-and-white shake. It has to have been 40+ years ago and I can still recall the taste. But, I agree with you about other places. I've been in just about every major city in the US and just about everyone has someone who's selling "Philly Cheesesteaks" that bear no resemblance to what you and I know are the real deal. One other thing - you really need an Amoroso roll to make it authentic!

              4 Replies
              1. re: bucksguy14
                PattiCakes RE: bucksguy14 Sep 18, 2008 09:41 AM

                Isn't imitation supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery? Everyone wants to be like Rocky & chow down on a cheesesteak while running up and down those Art Museum steps.

                I'll show my age here.

                When my dad was in pharmacy school in Philly (and my mom in nursing school), they used to take friends to Pat's for steak sandwiches after an evening of festivities (ie. drinking). This was in the late 30's. To hear my dad tell it, Pat's used to have fishbowl-like containers outside with condiments for your sandwiches. There were two bowls of red sauce; one was tomato sauce, not unlike a pizza/pasta sauce, and the other was a hot pepper sauce. You might well guess where the cheesesteak virgins were directed. Go ahead, slather it on! Much laughing, much sputtering, and much pain the morning after! There is a joke my dad used to tell with the punchline "come on, ice cream!", but that story's for another day.

                I think that the reason regional foods get bastardized is that cuisines are continually morphing. Now that TV has opened viewers' eyes to the enormous varieties of ethnic & regional cuisines, home chefs are exposed to things they've never seen before. Savvy marketers pick up on that & play to the trend. Unfortunately, that means creating products that have a better shelf life or have a spice level Joe Lunchbox can accept. If I can't visit San Francisco, I can at least serve my family "Rice-a-roni, that San Francisco treat". I can experience Poland by serving frozen pierogis; pass for a Southerner by ordering a "sweet tea" at my fast food place; be Rocky by eating a cheeseteak Hot Pocket. Is the thing you get at Subway remotely close to a Philadelphia Hoagie?

                Come to think of it, sometimes the morphing of a regional;/ethnic dish creates something new & different. Didn't Italian pasta morph from the Chinese noodles Marco Polo brought back?

                I think the worst "Real Philly Cheesesteak" I ever had was a slab of meat stuck into a soft long roll & smothered in ketchup at the Mall of America in Minnesota. Bleh. Gack. Hey, those Minnesotans/Wisconsinians are the people who also bring you fried cheese curds. We Philadelpians have morphed THOSE into fried mozarella sticks......

                1. re: bucksguy14
                  AmblerGirl RE: bucksguy14 Sep 20, 2008 06:15 PM

                  OK, OK I hear ya on the sauce. I grew up in Philly and never was into the sauce thing, I considered that more of a pizza steak. I went to school in Reading and the cheesesteaks out there had sauce and came on a soft roll! It remionded me of a sloppy joe. To me, it was heresy!

                  For me, whiz and Amoroso rolls all the way!

                  1. re: AmblerGirl
                    Passadumkeg RE: AmblerGirl Sep 20, 2008 06:46 PM

                    Albright was not the center of Philly CS, give me a Philly pork sandwich instead. Went to college in Allentown and Philly CS were not a part of the local scene. Yakko's rule!

                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                      lost squirrel RE: Passadumkeg Sep 24, 2008 10:23 PM

                      Yay for Yocco's!

                2. g
                  givemecarbs RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 08:11 PM

                  What an awesome post! I agree about the cheesesteak. For awhile some national pizza chains were doing cheesesteak pizzas. Groan. And chopped and formed steaks for cheesesteaks. Shudder. I'm from the Philly area too and you can request sauce in some places but most people don't. Agree about the barbecuing too. I'm a Yank but I spent time in Raleigh NC and Gainesville FL and what an eye (and mouth) opener that was! Around PA barbecued beef is like a sloppy joe, always made with hamburger and canned manwich or something. The horror! But at least I have great true cheesesteaks to console me with. I lived in Miami Fl for awhile and got desperate enough to drive fourty five minutes in Miami traffic to get a cheesesteak somewhere. What was I thinking? Oh and what about pizza? I only thought I was eating good pizza until I got a tomato pie from Trenton NJ. Ruined me for life. That reminds me it's time for a road trip!

                  1. LOTW RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 09:18 PM

                    Buffalo Wings. I am not from Buffalo, but I know a good BW when I see it. But so many places advertise 'Buffalo Wings', - chicken wings that are deep fried and tossed in a Frank's/Butter/Vinegar mixture - but the wings come out breaded, or the sauce is way off, or they are baked; these are great 'hot wings' or wings in general, but you can't call them Buffalo Wings!!!

                    18 Replies
                    1. re: LOTW
                      porker RE: LOTW Sep 18, 2008 07:10 AM

                      Have a friend who likes 'boneless buffalo wings'. Being a friend, I politely look the other way and keep my mounth shut as waves of contempt wash over me.


                      Of course its boneless, cause its a mass of formed chicken parts, breaded, flash frozen and shipped to this sorry drinking establishment we find ourselves in.

                      A wing is supposed to be a WING, the contrasting pieces of the drummette and flap, the enjoyment of gnawing at the bone, the satisfaction of geting bits of meat outta the nooks and crannies...
                      Why call it buffalo and why call it a wing.

                      Only thing they almost get right is 'boneless', then only most of the time cause it mechanically seperated meat, leaving behind bits of bone here and there...

                      1. re: porker
                        bflocat RE: porker Sep 18, 2008 08:50 AM

                        I'm from Buffalo, and I can't eat wings anywhere else. They seems so easy, but apparently they're not! I always have people telling me "These are the BEST wings!" and dragging me to some place like BW3's...yuck!

                        My other addition to this list would be Gumbo. I lived in Cajun Country (southcentral Louisiana) for a while, where they make real gumbo with a deep roux...never see that anywhere else!

                        1. re: bflocat
                          swsidejim RE: bflocat Sep 18, 2008 09:05 AM

                          I agree on both points, especially cajun food, and gumbo in particular.

                          I cringe whenver I read on the Chicago board someone raving, and recommending Heaven on 7 as "the best cajun food ever". I luckily have a local source out where I live, a good ol' boy from Louisiana, who has a small cajun restaurant, he makes weekely trips down to cajun country for ingredients for the menu. His roux is as dark as dark chocolate, and makes everything from scratch daily.

                          1. re: bflocat
                            Passadumkeg RE: bflocat Sep 18, 2008 09:06 AM

                            How about Buffalo beef on weke?

                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                              Catskillgirl RE: Passadumkeg Sep 19, 2008 01:47 PM

                              LOL! I recently taught our bread bakers to make kimmelwick rolls. A customer of mine is from western NY, as I am originally. I grew up on Buffalo wings and beef on weck. Anyway, the customer went home for a visit and brought back a bottle of "authentic Kimmelweck secret ingredients" to top a plain hard roll before baking. I laughed myself sick when the bakers investigated this small bottle (6 oz for $3.99) that has the mysterious ingredients of kosher salt and caraway seeds. Snort. Anyway, my bakers now bake them for this customer. They hold "Buffalo night" at their small club every few weeks and feature beef on weck.

                              Anyway, my boss is now a fan and we order a couple of dozen once in awhile for him and his wife, and I take a half-dozen for myself. Nobody in this area has ever heard of them! Love them.

                              1. re: Catskillgirl
                                DockPotato RE: Catskillgirl Sep 19, 2008 03:04 PM

                                So, ummm, is this a regional food gone wrong gone right?

                                1. re: DockPotato
                                  Catskillgirl RE: DockPotato Sep 20, 2008 12:01 PM

                                  Ummmm, got a little OT there, sorry! It's a regional food being introduced to a new population who isn't wildly enthusiastic for some reason. :-)

                                  1. re: Catskillgirl
                                    Passadumkeg RE: Catskillgirl Sep 20, 2008 12:16 PM

                                    Just pity the soul that does not know bee on weck; the real Buffalo treat. Go Anchor Bar!

                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                      KevinB RE: Passadumkeg Sep 21, 2008 04:28 PM

                                      Am I the only one that noticed that part of what makes a Philly cheesesteak and a Buffalo beef on a weck great is a bun *THAT ACTUALLY HAS SOME TEXTURE*? I'm so tired of eating anything - from burgers to hot dogs to subs/hoagies/whatever - on various pieces of white cotton candy masquerading as bread. I want a roll with some crunch on the crust, and some depth to the dough. It makes me laugh when I go into a Subway or Quizno (not that I do either very often), and they ask me "What type of bread would you like?". I always answer "What does it matter?". None have any consistency, and all could be easily gummed by someone who'd forgotten their dentures at home.

                                      We have a local Italian bakery that has a steam table. When I want a veal sandwich, they let me pick my own roll, and I always go for a Calabrese bun - a real crust, and a tough, dense crumb that gets just right when it soaks up the tomato sauce. That's good eats!

                                      What makes San Francisco sandwiches so great? Fantastic sour dough. What's a part of NY deli? Decent, substantial rye. Let's all resurrect decent bread and shun the gummers' brands.

                                      1. re: KevinB
                                        milkyway4679 RE: KevinB Sep 23, 2008 07:27 AM

                                        Mmm...chicken wings. As a born and bred Buffalonian, I grew up on beef on weck and chicken wings. I have had some decent wings from other places, but those were at the annual chicken wing festival...so it's only the best of the best. Another local Buffalo delicacy...chicken wing soup...mmmmm.

                                        1. re: milkyway4679
                                          porker RE: milkyway4679 Sep 23, 2008 04:25 PM

                                          We were in a Havana suburb last year eating at a casa particulaire. I ordered their sopa de pollo and was surprised to find an entire chicken leg (drum and thigh) in the bowl. I guess kinda like chicken wing soup - we called it chicken leg soup.

                                        2. re: KevinB
                                          Catskillgirl RE: KevinB Sep 24, 2008 09:15 AM

                                          Of course the bread is key! You would not believe how many regular, everyday hard rolls I ship around the country each month - so many areas of the country have no idea what makes a good kaiser roll. Part of our secret is the pure water and clean air we're lucky enough to enjoy in the Catskills, but can that be the whole story? I deal with a lot of snowbirds who have me regularly ship bread & rolls to warmer places all winter long.

                                        3. re: Passadumkeg
                                          sisterfunkhaus RE: Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2011 04:00 PM

                                          OMG, that looks and sounds amazing.

                                2. re: bflocat
                                  beachmouse RE: bflocat Oct 1, 2008 09:38 AM

                                  We live in the FL Panhandle, which gets a fair amount of Louisiana cross-polination (I'm gonna hit the Cajun place for shrimp and corn bisque in a little while) and oddly enough, my favorite deep roux gumbo is made by a cook from the island of St. Vincent, who uses her own traditional family recipe.

                                  We got talking with the owner of the place a while back, and he said that after he hired the cook, he ended up doing some research about gumbo and how some people had traced the origin of the dish back to one specific tribe in west Africa, and that those people who had ended up in various places in the Americas, whether Louisiana or the islands, had replicated it the best they could over here.

                                  1. re: beachmouse
                                    soupkitten RE: beachmouse Oct 2, 2008 09:42 AM

                                    depending on what caribbean island you're on, the caribbean version of gumbo is often called callaloo, and is delicious, and varies from place to place with locally available ingredients. wish i could get my hands on some!

                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                      Catskillgirl RE: soupkitten Oct 2, 2008 12:34 PM

                                      Road Trip! It's starting to get cold here - I'd love a trip to the islands. Especially for some good gumbo!

                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                        Bill Hunt RE: soupkitten Oct 11, 2008 08:44 PM

                                        Regarding "gumbo," one does not need to travel beyond the state lines of Louisiana to find major differences. Within LA, I have had gumbos that ranged from a light broth with shrimp over rice, to concoctions that were almost black and one needed a fork to eat. Most all have been excellent, albeit totally differerent.

                                        For regional differences, travel around the Gulf of Mexico and try tamales in each region/country. What wonderful diversity, but what different dishes.


                                3. re: LOTW
                                  BallPtPenTheif RE: LOTW Sep 23, 2008 01:11 PM

                                  Too true.

                                  I think this happens because most restraunt owners have huge egos and think they will make a name for themselves with their own bizarre recipes. So they dellude themselves into thinking they can improve on a classic when all they end up doing is undermining it.

                                4. lulubelle RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 09:48 PM

                                  "Chicago" pizza. Even the chain Uno's, which is based on the local restaurant, is terrible. I have never had deep dish pizza outside of Chicago that was remotely like what I grew up on. "Chicago" hot dogs are another disaster. Ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. End of story.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: lulubelle
                                    thew RE: lulubelle Sep 18, 2008 06:39 PM

                                    "Ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. End of story." -yeah - but then neither does relish or tomatoes or well anything but mustard, maybe saurkraut, maybe maybe maybe cooked onion. Surprise M Knight Shamalyan end of story.

                                    eggs creams. bagels. pastrami. and as the NYer i am, i think of pizza as a regional food from around here - that no one else gets close to right

                                    1. re: lulubelle
                                      chicgail RE: lulubelle Sep 24, 2008 04:10 PM

                                      I am a Chicagoan and a lifelong fan of the real Unos and Dues and I am here to tell you that the chain Unos bears NO resemblance to real Chicago deep-dish pizza. It is a joke, a travesty and literally leaves a bad taste for Chicago-style pizza in the mouths of the poor fools (myself included) and mistakenly try it for the real thing.

                                      1. re: chicgail
                                        Bill Hunt RE: chicgail Oct 11, 2008 08:49 PM

                                        I do not think that I have had an authentic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. However, some many years ago, we ordered one from a shop in Denver. I thought it was good, and the owner WAS from Chicago. Still, my client, also a Chicago native, said that it was horrible and was not even close. I cannot comment on this pizza's authenticity, only on the quality and tastes. Was it authentic? I suppose not. Was it good? Tto me, it was. What the heck did I know?


                                    2. meatn3 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 09:50 PM

                                      I spent a lot of years in Florida. I have yet to see a "real" Cuban sandwich elsewhere. I've had some good sandwiches, but I wouldn't call them a Cuban!

                                      This thread highlights this obsession:


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: meatn3
                                        queencru RE: meatn3 Sep 18, 2008 05:32 AM

                                        Tell me about it. I lived by a Cuban restaurant in London and the sandwich was on ciabatta bread and almost $15. Are you kidding me? I am pretty sure the toppings weren't correct either but I was too shocked by the bread choice to notice.

                                        1. re: meatn3
                                          Sandwich_Sister RE: meatn3 Nov 2, 2008 01:20 PM

                                          I have to agree the cuba food in south florida is wonderful. We even have some great little places up in central florida but anything north just doesn't taste the same.

                                        2. k
                                          KevinB RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 10:20 PM

                                          As an ex-Montrealer, I miss real Montreal Smoked Meat. This is kinda like pastrami, only better. It has a more intense, smoky flavour, and when cut properly (i.e. by hand, and with a moderate amount of fat), it melts in your mouth with bursts of flavour. You can make an acceptable Reuben with pastrami or corned beef, but once you've had one with MSM, everything else pales by comparison.

                                          As to the Philly cheese steaks - I thought one of the two famous places (Pat's and Gino's?) offered either whiz or provolone. Here in Toronto, most PCS offerings are lame, especially the buns - soft, no crust, no crunch to contrast with the sweet onions and savoury beef.

                                          1. Passadumkeg RE: AmblerGirl Sep 17, 2008 11:11 PM

                                            Mexican restaurants where no one speaks Spanish. Salad crispy tacos. A lot of glop called Mexican food out there.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                              gordeaux RE: Passadumkeg Sep 18, 2008 06:04 AM

                                              1. Huge pet peeve of mine are the "Mexican" restaurants that don't even warm the tortillas through - how gross is a cold, straight from the package corn tortilla? Yet they would actually serve this, and claim that it's good? I hear so many people say that they don't "like" corn tortillas as much as flour tortillas - UNTIL THEY HAVE THEM SERVED CORRECTLY. Then it's usually no contest.

                                              Chinese Food. Um, is the demand so huge for cornstarchy gloppy gravy that this is the standard now? Who are the people that like their Chinese food to "jiggle?"

                                              Agreed on "Chicago Style" pizza. It's an absolute mess once you get outside of Illinois.

                                              1. re: gordeaux
                                                Passadumkeg RE: gordeaux Sep 18, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                The same for NY style pizza too.

                                                1. re: gordeaux
                                                  flourgirl RE: gordeaux Sep 18, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                  Huh. Chinese food isn't supposed to jiggle?

                                                  1. re: gordeaux
                                                    DiveFan RE: gordeaux Sep 19, 2008 04:17 PM

                                                    gordeaux, you forgot the 'Mexican' places whose frijoles refritos Stand Up - looked like someone removed the product from a can using an ice cream scoop and plopped it on the plate. Oh, the memories.....

                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                    sisterfunkhaus RE: Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2011 04:05 PM

                                                    We call it Tex-Mex in Texas. It isn't masquerading as Mexican food. It's it's own thing, and is devine in it's own right if done properly. It's a regional hybrid cuisine. I don't know anyone here who actually thinks it is Mexican. Mexican is wonderful as well.

                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                      Passadumkeg RE: sisterfunkhaus Apr 6, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                      My daughter lives in Austin, I know and enjoy Tex-Mex. I'm referring to a lot of Mexican food in New England.

                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                        Bill Hunt RE: sisterfunkhaus Apr 12, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                        Thank you for that clarification. In so very many Mexican food threads, I see those, who deride Tex-Mex, and have zero understanding of it, its origins and its flavor profiles. Most of these folk have experienced Baja, or Sonora, but have little experience with the other states' cuisine in Mexico. Most seem to assume that "Mexican food" is only what they found at a fish taco stand in San Blas, and nothing more.

                                                        Having traveled and sampled the cuisine of many states, but almost the entire border area, Tex-Mex is still at the top of my list, regardless of what others might assume.



                                                        BTW - there are several threads, and especially on the Phoenix Board, where "Mexican food"is discussed, and in some detail.

                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                          Naco RE: Bill Hunt Apr 13, 2011 06:08 AM

                                                          I don't think people mean to deride real Tex-Mex, as it is in its home region. It's just that pale imitations of Tex-Mex came to define Mexican food for many people until the last decade or so. Now with the mass migration of Hispanics out of traditional destinations like the Southwest, you have a lot of people being exposed to the cuisine of Mexico proper for the first time, and defining it in opposition to bog standard strip mall Tex-Mex. I have even had Mexican taqueria proprietors use "Tex-Mex" in this way.

                                                          1. re: Naco
                                                            Bill Hunt RE: Naco Apr 13, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                            That could well explain why Tex-Mex gets so little love on CH.

                                                            Had I not been fortunate enough to experience so very much Mexican cuisine, maybe I would have different feelings.

                                                            I am sorry that so very many only experience Mexican cuisine in chain restaurants in the US. I feel very fortunate.



                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                              Naco RE: Bill Hunt Apr 14, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                              Many people aren't just experiencing Mexican food in those sorts of restaurants these days. Hence the derision.

                                                    2. l
                                                      laliz RE: AmblerGirl Sep 18, 2008 10:08 AM

                                                      pre-made (shudder) avocado "dip" masquerading as guacamole

                                                      enchiladas made w/flour tortillas

                                                      62 Replies
                                                      1. re: laliz
                                                        mayfair1929 RE: laliz Mar 30, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                        Second the enchiladas with flour tortillas - not really enchiladas, as far as I'm concerned!

                                                        1. re: mayfair1929
                                                          paulj RE: mayfair1929 Mar 30, 2011 01:39 PM

                                                          If they are dipped in, or covered with a 'chile' sauce, they have been 'enchilada', though a full name might be 'tortillas de harina enchilada'.

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            Passadumkeg RE: paulj Apr 2, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                            sorry, ya won't find a flour tortilla in NM. It just ain't done here. Enchiladas are also stacked, not rolled.

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                              alkapal RE: Passadumkeg Apr 3, 2011 03:22 AM

                                                              why aren't flour tortillas used there?

                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                Passadumkeg RE: alkapal Apr 4, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                Flour tortillas are used only for burittos and as a side like bread.

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                  hill food RE: Passadumkeg Apr 4, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                                  mmm warm homemade tortillas slathered in butter - a friend from SoCal turned me on to that. slap-in-your-face-duh-obvious in hindsight.

                                                                  1. re: hill food
                                                                    Passadumkeg RE: hill food Apr 5, 2011 05:18 AM

                                                                    Honey too!

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      paulj RE: Passadumkeg Apr 5, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                      speaking of regional foods that others do wrong, how about sopapillas? Some places (outside of NM) fry a flour tortilla, dust it with cinnamon sugar and squirt of whipped cream, and call that a sopapilla.

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                        hill food RE: Passadumkeg Apr 5, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                        yes, and honey too.

                                                                        paulj I'd give first timers a hall pass on that shortcut, (although I can say smugly the first time I had sopapillas we did ''em from scratch at a base camp interval while backpacking in NM - yeah like we were going to hike cast iron skillets around)

                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                          paulj RE: hill food Apr 5, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                                          Outside of NM I've had good ones in 2 places - a college dorm in Texas, and a Mexican/Italian place in Homer Alaska.

                                                                          1. re: hill food
                                                                            Jenny Ondioline RE: hill food Apr 5, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                            When I lived in Albuquerque, a local radio commercial did a takeoff of those Molson "I am Canadian" ads called "I am a New Mexican." One of the lines was "I can correctly spell sopaipilla." That extra "i" confuses people.

                                                                            Best sopaipillas in the world are at Duran Central Pharmacy in Albuquerque, incidentally.

                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                                              Passadumkeg RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 5, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                                              Up Central, across from UNM, El Patio, has better sopaipillas.

                                                                              Stuffed sopaipillas? Red, green of Christmas?

                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                Jenny Ondioline RE: Passadumkeg Apr 5, 2011 10:58 PM

                                                                                Never really liked El Patio, though it was mere steps from my apartment, and always considered stuffed sopaipillas just a sloppier Navajo taco. Although one of my work friends ate lunch at Stufy's at least once a week, and if she was buying, I wasn't too proud to pass it up. They had a bitchin' chicharon burrito.

                                                                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                                                  alkapal RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 6, 2011 03:38 AM

                                                                                  jenny, what is the root word for sopaipilla? also, what is the meaning?

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                    thew RE: alkapal Apr 6, 2011 04:37 AM

                                                                                    from wiki:

                                                                                    The word sopaipilla is the diminutive of sopaipa, a word that entered Spanish from the Mozarabic language of Moslem Iberian peninsula.[7] The original Mozarabic word Xopaipa was used to mean bread soaked in oil, and derived in turn from the Germanic word suppa which meant bread soaked in liquid.[2]

                                                                                    1. re: thew
                                                                                      alkapal RE: thew Apr 6, 2011 05:44 AM

                                                                                      amazing -- it's a german word. LOL!

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                        tatamagouche RE: alkapal Apr 6, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                        I have a soft spot for Charlie's Front/Back Door, myself. It's partly the atmosphere though.

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                          Jenny Ondioline RE: alkapal Apr 6, 2011 10:14 AM

                                                                                          Historically, there's an enormous amount of Mexican/German crossover: there was quite a lot of German and Bohemian settlement in South Texas and Mexico. Ever wonder where Norteno music got the accordion and the polka beats from?

                                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                                                            alkapal RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 6, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                                                            jenny, i **always** wondered about the mexican music that sounded like polkas! thanks!

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                              Passadumkeg RE: alkapal Apr 6, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                              Czechs too; this is why kulache is popular in Texas.

                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                Jenny Ondioline RE: Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                                Well, the Bohemians were Czechs. The ones who settled in Texas and Mexico in the 1800s were mostly escaping an ongoing low-level civil war back home. But yeah, the Bohemians brought kolache and pilsner to the area.

                                                                                          2. re: alkapal
                                                                                            paulj RE: alkapal Apr 6, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                                                            It may get Germanic in origin, but it is not a current German word. This isn't evidence of soplaipilla originating with German immigrants in Texas. Spain has various fried dough desserts, churros, bunuellos, pristinos.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                                              alka, thew's quote said it derives from a GermanIC word, not a German word :)

                                                                                              there are many Germanic languages - and yes, German is one of them, but so is English (and Dutch, and Swedish...)

                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                alkapal RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                                                                yes, i know. i was attempting to be cute. apparently, that was a FAIL.

                                                                                            2. re: thew
                                                                                              paulj RE: thew Apr 6, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                                                              Spanish 'sopa' (a piece of soaked bread) also comes from this root.

                                                                                              Here's a California company that tries to group sopaipillas with other fried doughs, including the Portuguese/Hawaiian malasadas


                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                Passadumkeg RE: paulj Apr 6, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                                                                So many roots to Mexican cooking, make the word "authentic" hard to define, except by using dates.
                                                                                                I love "real" Mexican tacos al pastor. Again a Lebanese influence, like a gyro on a tortilla. They have to be made on the "trompah", though, which looks like a gyro cooker, to be "authentic". Where'd the pinapple come from?

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                  tatamagouche RE: Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                                                                  Interesting thread on the pineapple question:


                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg RE: tatamagouche Apr 6, 2011 08:23 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks, I missed that one. Tat, do you know of any good al pastor in Albuquerque?

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                      tatamagouche RE: Passadumkeg Apr 16, 2011 11:39 AM

                                                                                                      Not offhand, but next time I'm there, if you're there yet, maybe we should go on a search!

                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                        Passadumkeg RE: tatamagouche Apr 21, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                                        email me

                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: Passadumkeg Apr 12, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                                                                    "So many roots to Mexican cooking, make the word "authentic" hard to define, except by using dates"

                                                                                                    Isn't that the truth? Also, throw in the geography, and the other aspects of how the cuisine was transferred. It is not an easy term to define. What might be "authentic" to Sonora, could well be unheard of in Campeche, or even in Moorelos.

                                                                                                    My question is "authentic to whom?"


                                                                                                  3. re: paulj
                                                                                                    paulj RE: paulj Apr 6, 2011 12:58 PM

                                                                                                    English has 'sop' , from OE soppe, dipped bread.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                      alkapal RE: paulj Apr 6, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                                                                      yep, i was thinking of "sop" too -- as in "i'm gonna sop up that pot likker by crumbling my corn bread in there!"

                                                                                                      probably, the word origin for "dipped bread" came from noah. ;-).

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: alkapal Apr 12, 2011 08:06 PM

                                                                                                        Or, perhaps Moses?


                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                          alkapal RE: Bill Hunt Apr 14, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                                                                          touché bill hunt. well done!

                                                                                                          ...dipped flatbread, in that case?

                                                                                                      2. re: paulj
                                                                                                        thew RE: paulj Apr 6, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                                                                        exactly - from the german roots of OE

                                                                                                        1. re: thew
                                                                                                          hill food RE: thew Apr 6, 2011 10:50 PM

                                                                                                          I just gotta say I find these cross-pollinated food and culture stories utterly fascinating.

                                                                                                  4. re: alkapal
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg RE: alkapal Apr 7, 2011 06:44 PM

                                                                                                    I have just returned from a school taco dinner fund raiser at the high school. I though you might enjoy that sopapipillas were served as a side.

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                      mamachef RE: Passadumkeg May 19, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                                                                      Pdk, we have a local hero named Rocky Yazzie whose marvelous goal in life is to push a propane pushcart through the Mission District, day and night. He hands out the most delicious Navajo frybread drizzled with honey or agave syrup, and if you haven't got money it's free, but word says the above-and-beyond donation factor helps him pay for supplies, upkeep and maintenance. The world needs more Rocky Yazzies. : )

                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                        hill food RE: mamachef May 19, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                                                                        guys like that make me miss SF (um you are talking about the SF Mission District I assume)

                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                          bushwickgirl RE: mamachef May 20, 2011 12:14 AM

                                                                                                          She is.

                                                                                                          That is true to the core.

                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                          Bill Hunt RE: Passadumkeg Apr 12, 2011 07:57 PM

                                                                                          Think about it for a moment. It is about the indigenous ingredients. If an area does not have wheat, but they do have corn (red, white, yellow or blue), then the cuisine of that area will reflect the availability of the ingredients.

                                                                                          Ever wonder why there are almost no Cajun beef dishes? The land did not support cattle, in most areas, but pork, and the flesh of many other creatures were available., plus a lot of swamp "seafood." The folk cooked what they had, as there were few Safeways then.[Grin]

                                                                                          In NM, one is more likely to get red and blue corn, as those crops grow there. One is more likely to get pork, or cheese, or goat, and seldom fish/seafood, as those were not available until Fed-X.

                                                                                          Also, one has two cultures in NM - Indio and Mexican, with the European Caucasian influence coming later. Back before they were a state, or even a territory, the indigenous peoples worked the land, and did dishes, that reflected what was grown in the land.

                                                                                          Not that this is bad, in any way, just different.

                                                                                          As the US - Mexican border is about 2000 miles, and that does not include the different cultures and cuisines of the non-border states in Mexico, there are many differences.


                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                            paulj RE: Bill Hunt Apr 14, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                                            NM was Spanish before it was Mexican. In fact it was under independent Mexican rule for only a quarter of a century. Mexican itself is a blend of Indian and European (mostly Spanish), but the blend is different in, say Chiapas in the south, from that in DF, and different also from that in the northern states. I suspect the Spanish settlement in NM was always a blend of Spanish and mestizos.

                                                                                            "Prominent among those who shouldered the burden of frontier settlement and defense were the growing mestízo, or mixed blood, population of the province. Among the least recognized of these groups are the genízaro. The genízaro were Indians from various tribes, who had, for a variety of reasons, lost their tribal identity. Many of them were captive children, who had been raised in Spanish households and been baptized, had assumed Spanish surnames, and had eventually become Hispanicized. Genízaro settlements such as those established at Abiquiu and Tomé, bore a significant portion of New Mexico's frontier defense well into the 19th century. Despite many struggles, the growth of these communities made possible the subsequent development and expansion of New Mexico."

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                              Naco RE: paulj Apr 14, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                                              Interesting term there- "genízaro" or "jenízaro" is the Hispanicized form of "janissary", the old Ottoman Turkish corps de elite. Apparently this word used to be applied to mixed-race people.

                                                                                              1. re: Naco
                                                                                                paulj RE: Naco Apr 14, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                The janissaries were also kidnapped children (mostly from the Balkins), raised in Turkish homes, and then in the army.

                                                                                              2. re: paulj
                                                                                                Bill Hunt RE: paulj Apr 14, 2011 08:55 PM

                                                                                                And, before the Spanish, there were several Native American tribes, who inhabited the land before. Some contributed to the cuisine of the state, and to the region. That has contribute to the culinary identity of the area, just as the Native American cuisine has contributed to that of AZ.

                                                                                                OT, but a side note. I have some good friends, and asked about whether the family was from Mexico (AZ residents), and the reply was "no, we were in AZ long before the earliest Mexican infusion. Long before AZ was even a territory, our family had settled here, so we predate the Mexicans, the statehood, and everyone, but the Native Americans."

                                                                                                Good point, and thank you for the clarification.


                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                  paulj RE: Bill Hunt Apr 14, 2011 09:59 PM

                                                                                                  Various tribes in those 2 states have retained a lot of the culinary heritage. I sampled some of that a couple of decades ago with a visit to the Hope Visitor Center and restaurant, and later the Pueblo museum in Albuquerque. Whether they influenced the Hispanic and Anglo cuisine is less obvious. Selected items like blue corn have become something of a fad in the broader culture, but I doubt if the influence has been very deep.

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg RE: paulj Apr 15, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                                                                    My SIL's family in New Mexico predates the Pilgrams in NEw England. The Acoma Pueblo, in my school district has been continously inhabitedm for nearly a thousand years, the oldest in North America.
                                                                                                    Don't get me going on wifey's Pilgram roots...;

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                      paulj RE: Passadumkeg Apr 15, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                                                      Then you would be an a good position to explain how Pueblo cuisine has affected the broader NM cuisine.

                                                                                                      When I look at the list of NM cuisine terminology on the Wiki article, I don't see much that is not familiar from Mexican or Mexican-American usage. The use of local NM chiles is somewhat unique, but I think that derives more from what cultivars grow well there, and developments in the last hundred years or so (including university research programs). There was also mention of NM flour tortillas being thicker and softer than California ones, due to a softer local wheat.

                                                                                                      We've talked about the unique NM sopapillas, but those seem to have European roots (in name and method), not Native American - unless you can somehow link them to fry bread (itself a Native adaptation of European bannock).

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        alkapal RE: paulj Apr 16, 2011 05:04 AM

                                                                                                        isn't a sopaipilla fry bread? what else would it be considerd?

                                                                                                        the seminoles in florida make fry bread. are there tribes anywhere in north america that don't make a fry bread? ground grain, moisture, salt and fat, plus fire. pretty darn basic.


                                                                                                        i'm curious about leavening, and when and where it was introduced to fry bread recipes. or...what did native americans use to leaven, if at all?

                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                          paulj RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                                                          Some sources attribute fry bread to the Navajos during their exile at Ft Sumner. Whether that is true or not, the basic ingredients are the ones provided by the US government - flour and lard. More sedentary tribes grew corn, squash and beans before European contact, with few domesticated animals (anything other than dogs?). RI Jonnycake is probably closest thing to a bread that any of the tribes could have produced before the introduction of European grains, fats and cookware.

                                                                                                          I imagine leaving in the form of baking powder became available on the reservations about the same time that it became part of biscuits and cornbread in the rest of country. Baking soda can be made at home, but it is hard to get it very pure.

                                                                                                          I suspect fry bread became widespread among Native Americans (and virtually identified with them) via powwows and other intertribal gatherings.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                            alkapal RE: paulj Apr 16, 2011 04:01 PM

                                                                                                            intertribal gatherings? is this your source for this information you present? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-...

                                                                                                            """Navajo frybread originated 144 years ago, when the United States forced Indians living in Arizona to make the 300-mile journey known as the "Long Walk" and relocate to New Mexico, onto land that couldn't easily support their traditional staples of vegetables and beans. To prevent the indigenous populations from starving, the government gave them canned goods as well as white flour, processed sugar and lard—the makings of frybread."""

                                                                                                            Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-...


                                                                                                            back to your argument:
                                                                                                            the native tribes had no fat or ground grain (or starch) before the u.s. govt. gave it to them to make a fried patty? you don't think it could have arisen as a natural creation, for any tribe? maybe the spaniards gave the idea to the seminoles, but i still think a fry bread is a creation that "naturally" arises from taste and necessity.

                                                                                                            paul, with all due respect, i *seriously doubt* that the seminoles got their "idea" for a fry bread from the navajos!!! and, as to the ways a tribe could get the starch, here is what the seminoles used """In the past, however, Seminoles made flour for cooking from the roots of the wild coontie (Zamia) plant."""" http://www.semtribe.com/Culture/Semin...

                                                                                                            what are your other sources please?

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                              thew RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2011 08:07 PM

                                                                                                              didn't you know that prior to the arrival of europeans no animals had fat?

                                                                                                        2. re: paulj
                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: paulj Apr 21, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                                                          No one seems to have answered your question, PJ. Fry bread is a thick unleavened flour "pancake"which takes a topping like beans for a a Navajo taco or mutton and green chile. Sopapaillas have leavening and puff up when fried, allowing one to squirt fire taming honey inside the sopaipailla.

                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                            alkapal RE: Passadumkeg Apr 22, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                                                                            fry bread can be leavened.

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                              Passadumkeg RE: alkapal Apr 22, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                                                              For communion, we only use the unleaved.
                                                                                                              The difference I was trying to point out is that fry bread is hefty, round and accepts a topping.
                                                                                                              Sopaippillas are light airy, big hollow triangles w/ a center made to be filled w/ honey or beans of meat and chile.

                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                alkapal RE: Passadumkeg Apr 22, 2011 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                true, fry bread is indeed hefty -- and makes one hefty, too. (i guess my point to paul was that the sopaipillas are *fried* as well).


                                                                                                                in my mind, a sopaipilla is like a beignet. i joked at our local "bayou bakery" that i converted his beignets to sopaipillas with adding honey. man, it was delicious! http://www.bayoubakeryva.com/ -- by the way, i order them with "very light" sugar on top -- not nearly like those in the photo. (d.c area people, go check out the place -- friendly, nice chef (was on FN's iron chef show with chef rj cooper), and they have GREAT coffee).

                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                  paulj RE: Passadumkeg Apr 22, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                  Several years while camping across southern Colorado and Utah, we stopped in Mexican Hat (on the edge of the Navajo Res). We got an order of fry bread and an order of 'dry bread' from a cafe, and ate for lunch at Muley Point a while later. With that time delay I liked the dry bread better. Dry bread is the same dough but cooked on the grill (or griddle).

                                                                                                                  I've also had fry bread a powwows.

                                                                                                      2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                        ptrichmondmike RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 08:55 PM

                                                                                                        I lived in Taos for six years. The Hispanic people there are adamant that they are not Mexican...they are Spanish. Their ancestors came from Mexico in the late 17th century -- the first Taos settlement from 1615 was wiped out in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

                                                                                                        I tasted lots of wonderful food in NM -- miss it a lot. Lotaburgers w/green chile...sopaipilla w/honey...blue corn enchiladas at the Pink Adobe in Santa Fe (is that still good? I lived in NM 25 years ago), and many other great memories.

                                                                                                        1. re: ptrichmondmike
                                                                                                          paulj RE: ptrichmondmike Apr 16, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                                                                          I believe the High Road to Taos takes you through the core of settlements from the Spanish years. Chimayo is perhaps best known of the towns along that route.

                                                                                                    2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                      Panini Guy RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                                                      Here in Pittsburgh it's impossible to buy grasshoppers out of season.

                                                                                                      Now that I think about it, it's impossible in season, as well. :-)

                                                                                                      And unfortunately, it's a bit too cold up here for my business concept of a maguay worm farm. But I miss my chinicuiles.

                                                                                            2. re: mayfair1929
                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: mayfair1929 Apr 12, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                                                              Well, that depends on which state in Mexico you are referring to. Unfortunately, most US citizens assume that what they grew up with in the States, is the "real" and "only" Mexican food. They need to open their minds - and their mouths, and experience it all.

                                                                                              What might come from an "authentic" taco truck in LA, may well differ from what one would encounter in Jalisco, or Chiapas, or Oaxaca. The cuisine changes, as does the geography and the ingredients. Also, the ethnicities and the foreign influences have something to do with it, as well.

                                                                                              Now, as I am a Tex-Mex fan, I only think of enchiladas as being wrapped in yellow-corn tortillas, but that is not the ONLY way. So very much depends on where the chef is from.

                                                                                              Keep the mind open. Few of us are culinary-historians.What you grew up with was but a tiny bit of what Mexican cuisine is about. It would be akin to stating that "BBQ in the US MUST be done ____," and that it "MUST NOT be done ____." Depends on whether you were talking about SC, NC, TN (Eastern, or Western), MO, TX, or even elsewhere.

                                                                                              Have you ever had tamales wrapped in green banana leaves? If you explore, you might.



                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                            lcool RE: AmblerGirl Sep 18, 2008 10:46 AM

                                                                                            ???? corn bread and all of it's contradictory regional isms.North,south,yellow,white,
                                                                                            sugar or not,breakfast,lunch or dinner??? Such an eye openner when three or more
                                                                                            strong opinions get going on it.Or the arguments that erupt when "sweetened"is the
                                                                                            version at a "southern style" restaurant north of the Mason-Dixon Line.There maybe no regional "wrong" to right,but the debate between contrarians and traditionalists is never dull.

                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                              Sideswiper RE: AmblerGirl Sep 18, 2008 11:23 AM

                                                                                              Adding smoke flavor to vegetables and calling them "southern" is plain wrong. We may put pork in our vegetables but we don't pour in chemical smoke flavor additives.

                                                                                              About BBQ: This funny video is required viewing for everyone about the myriad of types of BBQ in the country.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Sideswiper
                                                                                                porker RE: Sideswiper Sep 18, 2008 07:03 PM

                                                                                                Love that video!

                                                                                                1. re: Sideswiper
                                                                                                  Passadumkeg RE: Sideswiper Sep 18, 2008 09:41 PM

                                                                                                  Liked the Maine vid. too.

                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                  Sinicle RE: AmblerGirl Sep 18, 2008 03:23 PM

                                                                                                  Fluorescent lime-green key lime pie which, of course, is not green.
                                                                                                  "Maryland" crabcakes with onions, "fru-fru" sauces and all other sorts of abomination. And don't get me started on bagels.

                                                                                                  38 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Sinicle
                                                                                                    SoulFoodie RE: Sinicle Sep 19, 2008 08:22 AM

                                                                                                    I've gotta co-sign on the "Maryland" crab cakes! I was raised in MD and currently live in the Atlanta-metro area and I've sworn off ordering crab cakes. It's definitely one of those things that I insist on making myself.

                                                                                                    1. re: SoulFoodie
                                                                                                      brendastarlet RE: SoulFoodie Sep 19, 2008 03:16 PM

                                                                                                      I third on the crab cakes. When I lived in Maryland, I learned that a crab cake was essentially crab, a tiny bit of something to hold it together, and that it was cooked gently, either sauteed or broiled. It drives me mad to see crab cakes the size of hockey pucks, with onions and celery and breadcrumbs, then deep fried. You lose all sense of the crab.

                                                                                                      I also go crazy over bagels that are essentially bread rolls with a hole in the middle, or bagels that are passed off as "authentic New York style" but are so tough you can hardly cut them.

                                                                                                      My last gripe: New York cheesecake which has all kinds of gloppy sauce over it, oreos stuck in it, mint green doo-dads. NY cheesecake comes in two flavors: plain, or the kind with strawberries at attention. And yes, I know Juniors sells a bunch of flavors now, but those are the only two I recognize.

                                                                                                      1. re: brendastarlet
                                                                                                        hill food RE: brendastarlet Sep 23, 2008 11:16 PM

                                                                                                        c'mon brenda, would you turn it down if the (presumably decent) cheesecake had blueberries instead?

                                                                                                        but yeah pretty much anything else is gilding the lily.

                                                                                                        1. re: brendastarlet
                                                                                                          winechic RE: brendastarlet Oct 13, 2008 01:32 PM

                                                                                                          I wholeheartedly join in on the Crab cakes. "Maryland" or "Chesapeake" crab cakes are 98% *Jumbo Lump* blue crab and a slight binder, no filler. I order mine in from MD, forget ordering them in Restaurants outside of MD, though I've tried and been completely disappointed. There are MD crabcakes and "everything else".

                                                                                                          Chicago deep dish pizza, it's another awful thing outside of IL. I love it, and can now also order that in to ship. Not as good as waiting 45 minutes at the restaurant for a fresh one, though. :)

                                                                                                          Real Key lime pies are not neon lime green, as stated above!! Now that I'm in FL, most places here don't serve the scary pies. Up north, it was a different story.

                                                                                                          Finally, my hubby went to school in Buffalo, NY and suffers in his pursuit of a decent wing outside of NY. Ditto on his thin crust pizza and his beloved NY cheesecake as posted by brendastarlet.

                                                                                                          1. re: winechic
                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: winechic Oct 18, 2008 09:17 PM

                                                                                                            Actually, I have had some great ones in London and also Hawai`i, much as you describe.

                                                                                                            Where I "hail from," there were always fillers. I was less a fan of these (MS and New Orleans), but have loved the others.

                                                                                                            Most of my experiences with Tidewater and Chesapeake cakes has been lacking, but then I'm usually in DC, or someplace outside the real region.

                                                                                                            I do know what you mean, but take heart, as there are some other places, that recognize the difference - even if they are far away.


                                                                                                            1. re: winechic
                                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: winechic Oct 18, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                                                                              Oh shoot! I commented on the cakes, but did not see the "key lime," until after I hit "Post My Reply."

                                                                                                              Key lime is almost white. Just a few points of yellow (I come from a photographic background), and NO green. If there is green, I send it back. I always ask if this is "real" Key Lime, or some imitation. If they tell me it's real, it had better not have any green in it.

                                                                                                              Now, for "wings," I guess that I have just not been to Buffalo enough, or have missed the entire point. I have yet to have any "wings," anyplace, that I'd order of my own volition. Let's just say that it is my lack of experience, and leave it at that. Same for "blackened" almost anything. One out of a thousand, and that is not a set of good odds.


                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                winechic RE: Bill Hunt Oct 20, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                I've had decent crab cakes outside of MD, but not decent "MD" or "Chesapeake" crab cakes outside of MD. Once I was served "MD" Crab cakes that were made with snow crab...uh, no.

                                                                                                                I've had decent blue crab meat content in various crab cakes over the years, but with claw meat or a lessor grade of lump crab meat....so it's more shredded in appearance, instead of those coveted unbroken back fin crab lumps. Without beating the crab with a stick, it's the Back Fin Jumbo Lump crab that really sets the "MD" Crab cake apart.

                                                                                                                I lived in the Balto/DC area during my school years and still visit relatives back home. I agree, just because you are in the MD/VA/DC area doesn't mean you are finding a great crab cake up there. If you want those "good" crab cakes try heading more towards Annapolis or Eastern Shore or into Baltimore...and while some of the fancy places do it very well, the neighborhood joints are always a good bet.

                                                                                                                I like McGarvey's when in Annapolis. If in the surrounding area try G&M's, I get mine shipped in regularly and they are awesome. http://www.gandmcrabcakes.com/ My hubby did not know of crab cakes before meeting me and is now spoiled. My folks still head to Cantler's, order some crab cakes (or crab balls, the small version) while their crabs steam. Butcher paper on the tables, authentic place. http://www.cantlers.com/

                                                                                                                I'm with you on the Key lime pie, if it's glowing green and not the delicate shade palest yellow, the color of real Kely Lime juice...RUN ! ! !

                                                                                                                RE: "Blackened". You are spot on. While I'll throw it on some fish at home and smoke the kitchen out, I cannot find too many great examples of it out very often, too bad.

                                                                                                                1. re: winechic
                                                                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: winechic Apr 12, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                  See, I grew up with MS, and LA blue crab cakes. Most had heavy reliance on seasoned bread crumbs as a binder, and also various peppers, like green Bells. It was not until later in my life, that I discovered the Tidewater (and above) crab cakes, that were much more reliant on the crab meat. I like the latter much better, though the MS & LA blue crabs do have a wonderful sweetness, but it is often masked by the prep.

                                                                                                                  "Blackened," when done right, by the right chef, can be very good. Too few understand, and just burn the fish, with tons of pepper. That is NOT the idea.

                                                                                                                  Still, with regional cuisine, it is about the region. I could never say that some Tidewater, or Low Country, recipe was off, as I grew up in a different part of the Deep South, so knew different recipes.


                                                                                                                2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: Bill Hunt Mar 28, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                  real key lime pie is a very, very pale yellow.

                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                    jmckee RE: alkapal Mar 30, 2011 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                    ....and can be located by following the moans of pain from the cramping of hands that have just squeezed enough teeny tiny real key limes to make a real key lime pie.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                                      DiveFan RE: jmckee Apr 8, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                      ROFL! Actually, using a hand held lime squeezer isn't too hard on the hands. Watch out for those seeds. These small 'key limes' are abundant here in Latino markets, but I use the term advisedly due to the carelessness / ignorance of the local supply chain.

                                                                                                                      Reminds me of the Rick Bayless TV episode starring the various varieties of limas and limones, almost made my head explode. OT, don't anyone bring up 'pasilla' ....

                                                                                                                      1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: DiveFan Apr 16, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                        Actually, using a hand held lime squeezer isn't too hard on the hands. Watch out for those seeds.
                                                                                                                        just set a fine sieve over the container you're using to collect the juice.

                                                                                                                        i've also found that the fork or reamer method works well with key limes if you just slice off a small piece as opposed to halving the lime - leaves you more to grip & work with.

                                                                                                                      2. re: jmckee
                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: jmckee Apr 12, 2011 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                        Insert great big GRIN here!

                                                                                                                        I have had key limes, and cooked with them, so I know the pain.

                                                                                                                        Wife has about four "squeezers," but none is suited for a key lime. All are too large.


                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                          jmckee RE: Bill Hunt Apr 15, 2011 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                          I confess I've never actually experienced the pain, just known about it from others. Until a year ago, my local butcher shop (named "The Meat Store") had an older lady who in addition to being an expert butcher liked to bake. Her key lime pies were splendid.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                            lcool RE: Bill Hunt Aug 9, 2011 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                            An old fashioned reamer,wood or glass is OK for a small number.However for large quantities of MEXICAN/KEY LIMES (botanically the same) I get out the pasta roller,quarter the limes,place bowl underneath and sort out the mess when done.

                                                                                                                          2. re: jmckee
                                                                                                                            eclecticsynergy RE: jmckee May 15, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                            An old-fashioned garlic press works well on quartered Key limes.
                                                                                                                            No groaning, no seeds.

                                                                                                                          3. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                            Bob W RE: alkapal Mar 30, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                            I remember the first time I had key lime pie -- this was at the now-departed Puffins Cafe in Baltimore 30 years ago. The very pale pie was brought out, and my immediate thought -- in the mind of an ignorant chowhound-in-training -- was "WTF?" But damn was it good. It wasn't until years later that I learned to laugh at bright green key lime pie.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                              paulj RE: Bob W Mar 30, 2011 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                              Are you allowed to call it key lime pie if the limes weren't grown on Keys?

                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                Bill Hunt RE: paulj Apr 12, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                Not sure about the FDA, and the various marketing arms of the US Gov - Truth in Advertising, or maybe the ATF, but if the color is green, I run the other way.

                                                                                                                                In AZ, we have "lime pies," but those limes are larger, and have no seeds. The taste is OK, but is different. Still, no "florescent green!"


                                                                                                                  2. re: Sinicle
                                                                                                                    exotec RE: Sinicle May 1, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                    Oh, absolutely! :-( Key Lime pie should be nearly white.

                                                                                                                    And I second the comments on cornbread ... especially CORN FRITTERS!!! who ever heard of a fritter that's flat or not served dusted with confec sugar? ... well, I've heard of them ... they just aren't what I think of when somebody says "corn fritters" to me.

                                                                                                                    "Dumplings" that look like fat noodles. A dumpling is a light billowy treasure boiled in the most savory of chicken stock. They turn the stock into delectable gravy, and the stock turns the dumplin' dough into little clouds of heaven. What are those heavy thick slabs of dough anyway?

                                                                                                                    ...and IMHO...
                                                                                                                    BBQ is slow-cooked meat thereafter simmered in a sauce (plenty varieties of those, too)
                                                                                                                    grilling is cooking on an open flame - gas, wood, or charcoal
                                                                                                                    and smoking is the long slow-cooking treatment usually applied to meats before BBQing

                                                                                                                    but what do I know

                                                                                                                    1. re: exotec
                                                                                                                      paulj RE: exotec May 1, 2011 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                      Those flat dumplings are a regional variety that people don't get right! There are 2 major camps when it comes to chicken and dumplings. You are in one. The flat ones are in the other.

                                                                                                                      I've not heard of your distinction between BBQ and smoking. There is plenty of debate about whether sauce should be applied to slow smoked meat, and when. And in some versions the meat is chopped or pulled, and dressed with a sauce, but I don't recall anyone simmering it in the sauce.

                                                                                                                      As to making a distinction between BBQ and grilling, that's like closing the barn doors after the horses have escaped.

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: paulj May 15, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                        my mom was in both camps on the dumplings. she made the fluffy ones, and also made the flat ones (but i complained with them!).

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                          mpjmph RE: paulj Aug 9, 2011 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                          I grew up with the flat/dense variety of "dumplings," but we always called it chicken and pastry.

                                                                                                                        2. re: exotec
                                                                                                                          eclecticsynergy RE: exotec May 15, 2011 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                          IMO if they're deep-fried cornmeal that's savory & not sweet they're hush puppies.

                                                                                                                          1. re: exotec
                                                                                                                            melpy RE: exotec May 18, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                            Here here! Key lime pie shouldn't be green. Went to a banquet and was served lovely key lime pie that was quite pale and everyone at my table though it was what they were calling "key lemon" pie while it was obvious lime flavored. I hope they serve it at next year's banquet.

                                                                                                                            1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: melpy May 19, 2011 03:30 AM

                                                                                                                              key lemon! LOL.

                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                paulj RE: alkapal May 19, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                What would be a good name for a pie made with sweetened condensed milk, lemons and crumb crust?

                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: paulj May 19, 2011 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                  IF there were such a thing as a "key lemon," that would be a perfectly fine name.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                    mamachef RE: paulj May 19, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    Trayler Traysh Pah, and I'm not knocking it. Never did hear of a Key Lemon though.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                      paulj RE: mamachef May 19, 2011 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                      That got me to wondering whether passion fruit would work as a substitute for limes. A search turned up this recipe
                                                                                                                                      that uses the key lime pie recipe, substituting a mix of mango, passion fruit and lime juice for the straight key lime juice.

                                                                                                                                      I have made a good mango passion fruit panna cotta, so I suspect the combination would also be great in a pie. I have no problem with the name 'Pastel de Mango y Maracuya'

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                        mamachef RE: paulj May 19, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                        Delicious, is what it sounds like to me. You could really get going on a pretty exotic tropical theme here-tangy fruit curds, even layered with a coconut custard. (Wouldn't that be a pretty presentation, in an uber-sized shotglass?) The sub. for that passion fruit - you'd have to use more of the puree than you would the limes since the flavor and tang are subtler. Now, all the rest of y'all:
                                                                                                                                        Step away from my pie. And drop the server. : )

                                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                        bushwickgirl RE: mamachef May 19, 2011 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'd call it all et up.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: bushwickgirl May 19, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                          yup. hey paw and maw, i want me some of that pie!

                                                                                                                                      3. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                        hill food RE: paulj May 19, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                                                                                                        put whatever you want in and call it a Key Pie with the fruit of choice at the front as a descriptive modifier and the naming convention refers to the process, not the ingredient - so Lemon Key Pie or your idea of Passionfruit Key Pie. no misinformation that way.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: hill food May 20, 2011 03:48 AM

                                                                                                                                          what the heck is "key" about those names you propose? key refers to the provenance of the lime. passionfruit key pie makes no sense.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                            thew RE: alkapal May 20, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                            if you are a literalist, no. but key passionfruit pie would still stelltill a consumer what flavor profile to expect. even though i think its a bit stupid a name

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                              hill food RE: alkapal May 22, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              I was just trying to be nice for once. to put Key before the fruit of choice suggests the provenance, putting it after would refer to a style of pie. (god this feels like a late Friday argument with a SO after a party and a small misunderstanding turns into grounds for separation) still love ya alk, anybody that wants to make any kind of pie from scratch occupies a rather high notch in my book whatever the hell it's called.

                                                                                                                                              now can we PLEASE argue about whose turn it is to walk the dog? or if beurre blanc requires a masc or fem article? and is there a plural and if so, then what? (my ex and I once argued bitterly about the Treaty of Nantes - beats everyday stuff)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: hill food May 23, 2011 02:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                yes, it IS like a late night argument…when one party is coming in from work and the other party has been ….partying.

                                                                                                                                2. jfood RE: AmblerGirl Sep 18, 2008 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                  This is a sloppy jo sandwich


                                                                                                                                  The ground beef with sauce is not

                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                    mattyjaco RE: jfood Sep 20, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                    i think id rather be wrong on this one...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mattyjaco
                                                                                                                                      jfood RE: mattyjaco Sep 23, 2008 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                      If you are ever in northern NJ give it a try. it is a true eye-opening experience. someone just needs to rename their version.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                        sadiefox RE: jfood Oct 10, 2008 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oh yes, I grew up on the north Jersey style of sloppy joe! The BEST! My mouth is watering...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: jfood Oct 13, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                          Just got back from visiting me mum in the hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. I stepped outside the hospital for a break and went into a deli up the street, The Istanbul, and I smiled ant thought of you jfood you ol'd dog when a saw a turkey ahd ham sloppy Joe on the munu. Decided to chow on soft shell crab sanwiches instead, but did bring back 2 Taylor Pork Rolls , several styles of herring, to begin a few.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                            jfood RE: Passadumkeg Oct 13, 2008 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                            Good choice P. No way jfood is ordering a Sloppy Joe from a deli named Istanbul that serves a turkey and ham joe. With that theopry running the kitchen your soft shell crab sandwich was probably a tuna melt.

                                                                                                                                            Now did they fry the taylor pork before placing on the bread?

                                                                                                                                            Hope your Mum feels better. The pork roll is like 1000mg of Penicillin .

                                                                                                                                      2. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: jfood Sep 20, 2008 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                        I grew up hearing both of these called a "sloppy joe". But the only kind I ever ate with my family was the version you linked to. I only had the ground beef/sauce on a soft bun concoction at the homes of my friends. But I remember as a kid liking them both - a lot.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                          Jen76 RE: jfood Sep 20, 2008 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                          That looks so good. Wish I knew how to make the russian dressing.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                            KevinB RE: Jen76 Sep 21, 2008 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                            Jen76: Don't despair - go to the Wikipedia entry, and you'll see that there are about 50 different recipes. Some suspect it first got its name because it contained caviar; like that's going to happen today! The big difference between Russian and Thousand Islands, IMHO, is Thousand Islands is sweeter and contains sweet relish and less tomato sauce. My Russian is mayo, tomato sauce, chopped capers, horseradish, and (depending on how hot the horseradish is) some hot sauce. But that's my version. I'm sure there are people here who will say it is heresy. Experiment and make it your own!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                              Jen76 RE: KevinB Sep 28, 2008 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                              Ok. I tried. Made delectable Reuben sandwiches last night, but husband opted for the Wishbone Thousand Island instead of my homemade Russian. Sigh. I liked it though!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                johnb RE: Jen76 Sep 29, 2008 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                IMO the main difference between 1000 Island and Russian is horseradish in the Russin but not the 1000 Island. This is important for a Reuben, because the reason Reubens are soooo good is they (when properly made) have an ideal balance of all the *five* basic flavors (ie including umami), and the basic flavor "tart" or "bitter" comes from the horseradish in the Russian dressing.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: Jen76 Oct 11, 2008 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Reminds me of a fav. deli in Denver. I'd go in and order a "Turkey Ruben." If the "help" waited on me, I'd get my sandwich. If the owner, Mrs. Goldstien, took the order, I'd catch grief. "There is no such thing as a turkey Ruben," she'd shout at me. Her chef would take my order and suggest that she "shush." I'd get my sandwich (on sourdough, no less) and enjoy it. OK, I realize that there is no such thing as a "turkey Ruben," but I loved MY variation on this sandwich. I DID order the Russian dressing, but added my Guldnen's hot mustard, when Mrs. Goldstein was not looking.

                                                                                                                                                  I'd do similar with my roast beef po-boys at Frank's Deli in NOLA. When Frank's mother-in-law was not looking, I'd add the hot mustard. If she caught me, I would be scolded - until next time...


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                    jfood RE: Bill Hunt Oct 12, 2008 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Oy Vay Billy is being a bad boy.

                                                                                                                                                    First the turkey reuben then gulden's mixed with russian, and on sour dough no less.

                                                                                                                                                    jfood only wishes you would ask for mayo on a muff at central grocer and see their faces. it would be the nola equivilent of poor mrs goldstein..

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                      Kris in Beijing RE: Bill Hunt Jul 9, 2010 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I thought a Turkey Reuben was actually a Named Sandwich-- called a Rachel.

                                                                                                                                                      Rachel sandwich

                                                                                                                                                      The Rachel sandwich is a variation on the standard Reuben sandwich that substitutes pastrami for the corned beef and coleslaw for the sauerkraut. Other recipes for the Rachel call for turkey instead of corned beef or pastrami. In some parts of the United States, especially Michigan, this turkey variant is known as a "Georgia Reuben" or "Southern Reuben," which sometimes uses barbecue sauce instead of Russian or Thousand Island.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: Kris in Beijing Apr 12, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I have never heard of a Rachel, nor have I ever seen it on any menu. Maybe I have led a very sheltered life?

                                                                                                                                                        Still, if one makes a great Ruben, but substitutes turkey, then I am a happier camper.


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Still, if one makes a great Ruben, but substitutes turkey, then I am a happier camper.
                                                                                                                                                          a true Rachel also requires coleslaw in place of the kraut, not just turkey (or pastrami) instead of corned beef. the turkey Rachel was my favorite childhood deli sandwich. great memories :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for that clarification.I love my slaw on BBQ pork, but would go for the kraut any day, for my "turkey Ruben," or whatever it should be called.

                                                                                                                                                            Now comes the test. Russian, or Thousand Island dressings are more often applied. I like Gulden's Spicy Mustard, so I'm still an iconoclast, I suppose.



                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                              i probably put mustard on more things than most people, but it has no business on a Rachel - gotta be TI or Russian.

                                                                                                                                                              no biggie - you can have your turkey on rye with Swiss, kraut and mustard - it actually sounds delicious...just don't call it a Rachel! ;)

                                                                                                                                            2. Eat_Nopal RE: AmblerGirl Sep 19, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                              I think the best question is... what regional foods do people just do right? 99.9% of Mexican cuisine in the U.S. is an abomination.

                                                                                                                                              36 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                bucksguy14 RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 19, 2008 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                I once worked with a guy from Texas that told me if you ordered Mexican food in anything other than a "border" state, you were getting s***, not food. He firmly believed that only states that bordered Mexico offered truly Mexican cooking, anything else was, in his word, "garbage".

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: bucksguy14 Sep 19, 2008 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Given that I think much of the offering in Texas, Arizona & California is garbage... I don't know that there is all that much to that theory. There are pockets of good Mexican food... but it is certainly in the minority. The pockets usually correspond to recent immigrant communities... but not a guarantee. Places like Texas & California often have such a deep tradition of s*** abominations of Mexican cuisine (because of the long history) that new immigrants come in and they have to adopt the "Real Mexican" that already exists there and can't bring in their regional cookign. Sometimes in place that didn't have as much Mexican immigrants until the last decade or so... its easier to find some good Mexican cooking because there are no existing expectations for all the Tex-Mex crap.

                                                                                                                                                  In my humble opinion... the best Mexican cuisine in the U.S. is to be found in the Mex 1st gen immigrant neighborhoods of Chicago, L.A., and San Diego. All three places have pretty good ingredient availability and many authentic restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                    Eat_Nopal RE: bucksguy14 Sep 19, 2008 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                    But I should not... even in Chicago, L.A. & San Diego... I am only talking about maybe 1% of the Mex restaurants offer dining that is comparable to what you find in Mexico.. lets make that REAL clear. Places with things like Scallop Tacos, Duck in Mole Verde, Catfish Stew, Huazontle Fritters, Nopales Salads etc., are very much in the minority.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                      James Cristinian RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 21, 2008 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I don't know that there is a "real Mexican" cuisine. The majority of Mexiacans are very poor and have no access to things like scallops or duck. All the times I've been to Mexico, not the resorts, I'm talking about taking the train and bus across the country, real Mexicans, that is the majority, seemed to eat rice, beans, tortillas, and grilled meats. Oh, and there are no first genereation Mexicans in Houston or San Antonio? The city of Houston is full of first generation Mexicans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Vietnamese and others, as well as originals freshly arrived from their native countries.They are not forces to adopt to Tex-Mex crap or whatever, they simply open their own. Where I live in Houston, there are Mexican restaurants side by side with native Korean restaurants. As far as Tex-Mex being garbage, its is good comfort food when done right for genereations of Texans and Mexican Americans who are also Texans, no different than KC barbecue or Chicago pizza. By the way, I married a first generation Mexican. Just some obeservations.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: James Cristinian Sep 22, 2008 04:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for posting this. I wanted to say something similar but didn't feel like I had the "chops" to back it up. But really, it should be pretty obvious that most mexicans aren't cooking the food that Eat Nopal is describing.

                                                                                                                                                        And I completely agree with your comments about Tex-Mex too. I find comments about it being an abomination to be unbearably snobby and judgmental. It IS delicious when done right and I feel no shame in enjoying this kind of food.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: flourgirl Sep 22, 2008 04:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Gmme some warm chile con queso dip w/ fresh made tortilla chips followed by some tacos (al pastor, tripas and lingua) all washed down with a Shiner Bock. Texas, the way life could be.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                            Eat_Nopal RE: flourgirl Oct 15, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                            There are a few truths about Mexico's gastronomic culture:

                                                                                                                                                            1) It is generally better as you go South... with some exceptions.

                                                                                                                                                            2) Its always annoying when people go on a Missionary trip to some struggling shantytown on the border and generalize that all of Mexico is like that.

                                                                                                                                                            3) Tex-Mex & Cal-Mex generally comprises a Great Depression era interpretation of a very narrow base of recipes from Sonora & Chihuahua. Tex-Mex is generally equivalent to the weakest / least interesting aspects of Chihuahuan cuisine... and Chihuahua is generally one of the weakest / least interesting culinary states in Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                            But that is only a generalization... certainly people bragging about Chihuahuan cheeses, Beef, Apple Pie, Sweets etc., are not mistaken... there is some wonderfully tasting dishes there... you just don't have the variety, or the technical complexity & sophistication you might find in say Oaxaca.

                                                                                                                                                            This post illustrates it beautifully: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564794

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                            streetgourmetla RE: James Cristinian Sep 22, 2008 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Agreeing with EatNopal
                                                                                                                                                            Things like scallop tacos are quite common and cheap in the areas where the catch resides, like Sinaloa.Duck preparations are also relatively inexpensive in the areas where ducks are raised.I know roadside shacks in places Mexico city that serve duck, rabbit, bone marrow stew,ant eggs, etc. cheap with haute preparations.

                                                                                                                                                            I can get callo tacos(scallop) in TJ for $2 at a taqueria frequented entirely by working class locals.There is a difference between the callos for "callo de hacha" or sashimi de callo and the kind found in say a "taco gobernador" with callos.

                                                                                                                                                            "All the times I've been to Mexico, not the resorts, I'm talking about taking the train and bus across the country, real Mexicans, that is the majority, seemed to eat rice, beans, tortillas, and grilled meats"

                                                                                                                                                            This seems to say that all Mexicans are poor, and only Americans eating haute cuisine are at resorts.Resort food is hardly ever Mexican or even Mexican "alta cocina." It usually wreaks.The perception that Mexicans eat only beans, rice, and grilled meats is first propagated by lame Mexican-American restaurants, and reinforced by mundane and clueless travelers.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm Mexican(pocho, if you will, my family hails from Aguascalientes), and I've traveled by all means within 17 states in Mexico.This doesn't necessarily qualify any of us, what Mexican ties or blood we have, it's a commitment to understanding the cuisine, learning its history, and knowing its place in that culture.The novice-"what's that,looks interesting?" intermediate-"that's chiles in nogada" expert-"chiles en nogada was created by nuns for Emperor Iturbide and the colors.............

                                                                                                                                                            Mexicans coming to the US are cheap labor at present, farmers,gardeners, housekeepers,etc. from a small number of states, maybe 3.EatNopal would know this.Of course they don't bring rich culinary tradition with them. As if US plumbers, construction workers,and cable installers could open authentic American restaurants in Mexico and provide the clientele.

                                                                                                                                                            Mexicans of all generations have lost their traditions here as restauranteurs and diners.My first generation grandparents in Stockton, CA and all their peers eat combo plates!

                                                                                                                                                            The handful of good Mexican restaurants in the US are still in touch with the land.It's my favorite Sinaloan marisquero in LA, where his mother-in-law brings the shrimp and fish from Mazatlan.He refuses to serve many dishes that would be expensive here by substituting with cheaper ingredients, he just using his knowledge and skill to provide a good menu executed with excellence.He can still name stands and restaurants that current throughout Sinaloa, and he goes there to eat and study to stay abreast of practices and dishes.As an example.Another place in LA made an aguachile with cheap shrimp, not Mexican white shrimp;tasted like hell.Another put imitation crab on my tostada mixta,que lastima.

                                                                                                                                                            The "real" Mexicans that have stayed behind represent a much broader economic group than many would think.If they can't afford Patzcuaro style duck at the fancy restaurant in Michoacan, then I bet they know a specialty stand or fonda that does a more rustic version just as good, maybe better.When I come across these affordable treasures, I usually see "real" Mexicans of all stripes.

                                                                                                                                                            99% of US Mexican restaurants are devoid of tradition, integrity, or any depth.The 1% that are exceptional are mere gateways.Go to Chichen Itza in LA and be versed in a mere sliver of what Yucatan has to offer.When you arrive you will have a good starting point to look for the extensions of that cuisine if you are sharp.If not, you will go around like Johnny Depp in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico", ordering "puerco pibil"(cochinita) at every restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                            I think this probably holds true for all cuisines that are transplanted, like American restaurants abroad.There's a New Orleans joint that just opened in TJ,yikes! Cajun and creole in LA, blah!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                              streetgourmetla RE: streetgourmetla Sep 22, 2008 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Oh, of course this doesn't stop me from eating at all kinds of restaurants from all parts of the world here in LA, including Mexican and Tex-Mex!Just found a Tex-Mex recently that I enjoy.Grilled meats, now there I'm a unrepetant snob.The only carne asada I ever order is in Sonora, Coahuila,Sinaloa,Chihuahua, or Nuevo Leon;also at places throughout Mexico serving Sonoran beef.There's my food that they just don't get right here in the US.Wrong cut, wrong beef, just wrong!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                flourgirl RE: streetgourmetla Sep 23, 2008 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Edit: This was supposed to be in reply to eat_nopal

                                                                                                                                                                I think the point was more that there is a difference between mexican "cuisine" and everyday food. I am certainly aware that not everybody in Mexico is poor, but then, neither am I and I don't eat haute cuisine every day... if you do, more power to you.

                                                                                                                                                                I also agree that if a Mexican restaurant is holding itself out as an authentic respresention of real Mexican cuisine and the menu lists the usual Tex-Mex fare, then it is not Mexican cuisine (you know, it is not an absolute requirement to have traveled to Mexico to be aware of Mexican Cuisine -there's these new-fangled things called...books.)

                                                                                                                                                                And it is snobby to say that Tex-Mex is all an abomination. If you don't like it, that's fine for you, but it can be terrific in it's own right.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: flourgirl Sep 23, 2008 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I think what you are missing is that in some parts of Mexico items that abroad would be considered haute, are just street food. For example, Tostadas de Erizo / Sea Urchin Roe tostadas... in Ensenada they are sold by a street vendor to hungry blue collar workers. Or Abulone on the shell... in some parts of Baja the dive bars will give them to you complimentary if you buy a large bottle of beer. These are two dishes that in Manhattan or San Francisco would cost $$$.

                                                                                                                                                                  And what you are really missing... at least what I am trying to point out... is that in Mexico you have people procuring great, local ingredients that give each region a true identity.. I have an uncle who made a small fortune selling sandwiches at his little Mexico 70 corner store in Colonia La Loma Tlanemex (Tlanepantla, Mexico City)... he would get his ham & head cheese from an Chiapas migrant who cured it all himself, he would make his own Chiles en Escabeche and get up at 4AM everyday to get on the Subway to Mercado de La Merced for the best avocados & tomatoes at the best prices... then make a second trip for several boxes of fresh baked sanwich bread at the Bimbo outlet... and make a third trip to a Panaderia for fresh baked bolillos. My the time the neighborhood factory had its first lunch shift he was ready to dispense hundreds of delectable sandwiches in small window of time.

                                                                                                                                                                  Compare that to your typical Tex-Mex operation with canned yellow "cheese", institutional lard, 1 pot of beans, 1 pot of rice etc., its not even about the price points of the food... its about superior (if modest) ingredients... like fresh ground dried corn for tortillas, recent harvest heirloom beans, fresh veggies from the Almarcigo etc., that is what generally seperates mainland Mexican dining from Tex-Mex.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                    streetgourmetla RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 23, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I call that stand in Ensenada the Water Grill sobre ruedas.Matter of fact, the raw seafood options at the Ensenada stand blows the Water Grill's raw seafood out of the water.Tostada de herizo, de bacalao, abulon, ostion huarache,ceviche de pescado, 10 hand crafted salsas, chocolates, and more.I thought of turning myself into the police for paying so little.And, they've been there for decades.These places are in every city.

                                                                                                                                                                    Not only that, Tex-Mex only draws from a fraction of the northern Mexico palate of dishes, less ingredients, less technique,and poor ingredients.A bowl of excellent Tex-Mex cocido doesn't even touch a pedestrian Sonoran, Chiapan, or Durangan cocido.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                      Eat_Nopal RE: streetgourmetla Sep 23, 2008 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      The post below about MD Crab Cakes just made me crave the typical Tampico style Crab and/or Shrimp Cakes... no breading... just flesh mixed with diced onions, fresh chiles, cilantro & beat eggs.... and how bouts some Bocoles topped with Mullet Roe!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                      susancinsf RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 12, 2008 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Have you had that abalone recently? My experience is that the cost of seafood in Mexico is rising quite a bit , perhaps due to drastically reduced populations in the Sea of Cortez and other fishing areas. Indeed, I believe the commercial fisheries for wild abalone in Mexico have basically tanked. They are farming abalone in Mexico, but I find it hard to believe that the farmed stuff would be cheap enough to distribute as a giveaway in bars; farming is fairly expensive (takes a long while for those little guys to grow).

                                                                                                                                                                      My Mexican colleagues tell me that agribusiness is taking over in Mexico in much the same way that it is/has in the US, and if so, procuring those great ingredients at reasonable prices may become a fond memory, particularly in certain regions. I really wonder if your uncle could do the same thing today that he did to build his fortunes (and how many years ago was that?).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                        streetgourmetla RE: susancinsf Oct 13, 2008 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Hey Susaninsf.I just had abalone the other day from a carreta in TJ.It was part of my delicious tostada mixta.There's a stand in ensenada that does ceviche de abulon, not expensive at all.The only thing that seems to be expensive right now are callos, but still, the price is very reasonable compared to the US.

                                                                                                                                                                        Seafood places in LA, Mexican seafood places, serve imitation abalone, and will charge an arm and a leg for a callo de hacha, most places not serving it at all due to its price putting off the Mexican clientele.But, the callos for callo de hacha are higher quality than the ones used in a tacos gobernador, which is so accessible to the proletariat.

                                                                                                                                                                        Mexico does have corporations yes, and agrobusiness, but all you need to do is go to the mercados to see that they don't dominate.Even in TJ, most people get their tortillas from a local tortilleria, and in the Valle de Guadalupe their are small farmers all over, selling their produce at roadside stands, which makes it into restaurants and street stands alike.Take a look a field corn in Mexico and tell me if agrobusiness could do such a beautiful mess.Not a dicernible row in sight, and surrounded by nopales:)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                                                                                          Eat_Nopal RE: susancinsf Oct 13, 2008 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Susan... for now... and I imagine for at least a couple of decades... and perhaps forever (if the U.S. collapses & Mexico goes bust with it).... the biggest cost components in Mexican ingredients are.... distribution & marketing. Even with agribusiness... take one of Mexico's most intense agri-industries... Tequila. I have relatives & friends of my parents that grow many hectares of Maguey in the highland's of Jalisco (unfortunately selling a significant portion of their crop for that Patron crap)... but anyway... quality local, veeery artisinal, Tequilas sold by the jug or barrel - some terrible... some incredible... sell for nothing... even in the cantinas you can get a bottle for $150 pesos (and it comes with free artisinal Tostadas topped with various Encurtidos)... while the acceptable, Blue Agave stuff we get in the States starts at about $30/bottle... with most of the better Tequilas $60 and over.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                            James Cristinian RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 13, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            What would you suggest in the $30-$60 plus range in the U.S.? I like El Tosoro and Cazadorez. My wife likes Hornitos. Your opinion please, be brutal if necessary. She won't read this and I can take it.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                                              Eat_Nopal RE: James Cristinian Oct 13, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Cazadorez & Hornitos are both good top shelf mixing tequilas. Hornitos is one of the best values for that perhaps... but be careful because when Agave gets expensive they have reformulated to 51%+... currently its 100% Blue Agave.

                                                                                                                                                                              El Tesoro is an okay blended Tequila but doesn't have any special terroir characteristics. I like:

                                                                                                                                                                              1948 Azahares de Jalisco distilled by Casa Tequilera de Arandas using all highland agave

                                                                                                                                                                              33 distilled by Tequila Selecto de Amatitlan

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Fusiles distilled by Tequilera Newton e Hijos

                                                                                                                                                                              Adrenalina distilled by Leticia Hermosillo Ravalero

                                                                                                                                                                              An interesting one is Real Hacienda by Pernod Ricard distilled just outside of Mexico City

                                                                                                                                                                              Of stuff that is more widely available in the U.S. I currently like Corzo Blanco as well as Los Danzantes aged Mezcal (not exactly tequila).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                James Cristinian RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 13, 2008 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you very much. Does it say on the bottle when it's been reformulated? I would assume it does due to Mexico's strict laws on tequila. What forces cause Agave to be expensive? Is it a poor harvest due to weather or other factors? Does the value of the peso or other economic matters have an impact?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: James Cristinian Oct 13, 2008 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  If the bottle says its Tequila then it means it has at least 51% Blue Agave Tequila grown in the Tequila NOMs.

                                                                                                                                                                                  If it says its 100% Blue Agave Tequila.... then its the good stuff. Hornitos never advertised their change in formulation as far as I am aware. It was my first sipping Tequila back when I was 16 or 17 and starting to appreciate fine spirits. I remember it was in the late 90's that it was no longer 100% Tequila... and recently I looked at a bottle and it is again.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Around the late 90's is when fine Tequila took off. It replaced Scotch & Cognac as Mexico's most consumed premium spirit... and went from being a Mexican thing to do... to being the thing to do... chic bars serving nothing but Tequila started to sprout in the wealthiest cities... at the same time it was successfully marketed as a fine drink to International markets... and in addition, the major labels started hoarding some of the best production to create super duper premium aged products etc.,

                                                                                                                                                                                  It took off so fast that production couldn't keep up (it takes 7 to 10 years to mature an Agave plant for production)... eventually the government opened up the DO to include areas outside of the valleys of Tequila, Jalisco... and that is when we started seeing production in the Highlands as wall as near Puerto Vallarta... and even outside of the state of Jalisco.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                    bbqboy RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 14, 2008 02:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    EN, does the agave from different areas taste different, as in grapes and wine?
                                                                                                                                                                                    Who knew this thread would turn into a tequila instruction course?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                                                                                      Eat_Nopal RE: bbqboy Oct 14, 2008 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yeah without a doubt.

                                                                                                                                                                                      > Varietals / Cultivars.... Tequila refers specifically to Webber Blue Agave but within Mexico you will find dozens of widely distilled cultivars of Agave... the fruit used in Mezcal is actually different than what is used in Tequila, Sotol & others.

                                                                                                                                                                                      > Terroir... even within the same Cultivar you certainly have dramatic differences in Terroir between say the Tequila valleys (about 4000 ft above sea level), the Highlands (7000 ft above sea level), the Coastal DOs near Puerto Vallarta (1000 to 2000 ft above sea level)...

                                                                                                                                                                                      > Aside from Climate then you have soil... one of the definitive elements of Tequilas from Arandas is the iron rich red clay soils near there.... and then you throw in Water.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My first lesson in Terroir... I was 13 years old, visiting the Rancho my mom grew up in for the first time... and I was heading out with my couisins to walk a couple dozen cows to pasture at a lot about 4 miles away... and their dad (my mom's uncle)... gives me a map he had just drawn and spends then next 20 minutes describing all the situation of all the wells that might encounter... the water with the purpleish hue tastes best... and I can find at the following 3 wells... but he has a feud with the Reynoso's over the mountain... so I should probably avoid their well... it will take me 1 kilometer out of my way but his friend has a very good well near adjacent to flour mill and if I really don't care I can drink from his brother's well, its on our way, but not as tastey... its too salty etc., etc.,

                                                                                                                                                                                      You can then imagine why those of us that know Tequila appreciate the truly local stuff... that and the fact that uncut Tequila goes anywhere from 70 proof to 150 proof... and if aged or otherwise tempered properly its inherently more satyisfying than the standardized 80 proof formulations you get from the big producers.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                                                streetgourmetla RE: James Cristinian Oct 13, 2008 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Hello James.EatNopal is right about that Adrenalina. I just had it at the Expo Tequila in TJ thought it to be a great value and a real Mexican style tequila, lots of heat as well as flavor.The same comapany that puts out Adrenalina also produces Alma de Mujer, and Cava de Oro, more smooth styles, also very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                EN speaks the gospel, don't do anything with Cazadores but throw it in a cocktail.Not for shooting, but perfect for a nice paloma.Hornitos, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                Anything from Arandas rocks, pretty much without exception.Terroir!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                Try "Aha!Toro" anejo which is available in the US and amazing for the price.I also recommend Cofradia, Don Eduardo, and Don Valente anejos, all less than El Tesoro.Bracero is a 100% agave anejo under $25 and Pueblo Viejo is another inexpensive reposado that will blow you away.Don Alvaro anejo has interesting flavors that hint at a mezcal like smokiness. El Tesoro is 100% agave, it's smooth and very pleasurable, but many others mentioned by EN and here have many beautiiful surprises for less $$.Tapatio blanco is amazing, again with smokiness and soul.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                                  James Cristinian RE: streetgourmetla Oct 14, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank-you for sharing your knowledge, streetgourmetla and EN.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                          James Cristinian RE: flourgirl Sep 26, 2008 07:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm eating in a restaurant tomorrow for the first time since...Hurricane Ike. Tex-Mex it is...carnitas sound good. I was going to do seafood...had a craving for oysters rockefeller...no oysters to be had. Galveston bay oyster reefs awash in...too much saltwater and silt.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: streetgourmetla Oct 11, 2008 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for pointing out what I have maintained for years, and Eat Nopal has always supported. The cuisine de Mexico is wonderfully diverse, and what finds its way to the US is often adulterated - often beyond recognition.

                                                                                                                                                                        Too many thread on CH have focused on what we, in the US, think is "Mexican." Little, beyond the inital concept, really is.

                                                                                                                                                                        Think mole. Which state? Which family? It is almost impossible to define "authentic" mole, as it is personal and different, even within families and cities and states.



                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                          Anonimo RE: streetgourmetla Nov 6, 2008 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          "If they can't afford Patzcuaro style duck at the fancy restaurant in Michoacan, then I bet they know a specialty stand or fonda that does a more rustic version just as good, maybe better."

                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't seen this dish anywhere here in Pátzcuaro, or nearby. I admit, I haven't been to every restaurant in the area, and probably won't get around to it.
                                                                                                                                                                          I did get some luscious appetizer Tacos de Pato at El Cardenal, in Centro, México, D.F. not long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Anonimo
                                                                                                                                                                            streetgourmetla RE: Anonimo Nov 8, 2008 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, sometimes these dishes are not easy to find during our trips.Many times its just shear luck that you hit the jackpot.Tacos de pato are excellent, there are places in Baja where I've had duck tacos.I've been to Michoacan, but haven't had the chance yet to do any serious recon.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: streetgourmetla
                                                                                                                                                                            Mona Williams RE: streetgourmetla Mar 30, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            When I was in cooking school, our French-chef teacher told us that there are four great cuisines in the world--French, Italian, Chinese and Mexican. But, he said, the last two are not very well known.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mona Williams
                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche RE: Mona Williams Apr 5, 2011 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Um...not very well known? Did he mean not generally known to people who don't know much about food in the first place that they're as diverse and vibrant and complex regional as French and Italian are? I don't understand.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                thew RE: tatamagouche Apr 5, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                people often confuse what the know with what everyone knows, and what they believe with what they know

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                  phanmo RE: thew Apr 12, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Since he was a chef from France, he was probably talking about french people.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Certainly in the five years I've been here, I've never met anyone here that knows anything about chinese or mexican cuisine, except for foreigners that is. Everybody here thinks that samosas are chinese and frijoles are only available in, bizarrely, chinese grocery stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: phanmo
                                                                                                                                                                                    tatamagouche RE: phanmo Apr 16, 2011 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Where's "here"? That's interesting about the frijoles. Any ideas why?

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                  Mona Williams RE: tatamagouche May 17, 2011 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that's what he meant. I know it was a surprise to me, at least. But that was a long time ago!

                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                            bblonde RE: Eat_Nopal Jul 8, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I think you need to totally separate "authentic" Mexican food from "Tex-Mex." This attack on Tex Mex is silly: we still love our Chicago deep dish or NY style pizza though it is not the same kind of pizza one would find in Rome. I believe it is possible to find authentic Mexican food, although I have much more luck finding Latin restaurants. Also, there is bad Tex-Mex and good Tex-Mex. I still insist that at Tex Mex restaurants the guacamole be real, tortillas be made on-site, and the queso not look like gelatin.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bblonde
                                                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: bblonde Apr 12, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I strongly agree. While Tex-Mex has many roots in border Mexican cuisine, it differs from many other cuisines in Mexico, and is also a blend, an amalgam of two cuisines, based on ethnicity and on geography.

                                                                                                                                                                              Still, Tex-Mex is what I grew up with, and what I enjoy most. To declare it as "THE authentic" Mexican cuisine, would be foolish.


                                                                                                                                                                      3. r
                                                                                                                                                                        rubinow RE: AmblerGirl Sep 19, 2008 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        BBQ, but specifically Kansas City BBQ.

                                                                                                                                                                        KC Masterpiece doesn't really represent KC BBQ at all. Here's an article about that: http://bonbonvoyages.com/kansas-citys...

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rubinow
                                                                                                                                                                          DiveFan RE: rubinow Sep 19, 2008 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          At least Cali now has some decent Texas or NC style BBQ places.

                                                                                                                                                                          When I was growing up, BBQ was almost always very thinly sliced well done anonymous 'beef' covered with anonymous sweet tomato/molasses 'sauce' - yuck! Fortunately except for some chains *cough*Arbys*cough* it is dying out.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure what 'California cuisine' is, but just adding steamed veggies to anything is NOT it!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bill Hunt RE: AmblerGirl Sep 19, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes. I see it with takes on Southern Cuisine. Now, I know that "Southern" incorporates a lot of culinary territory, but hey, deep-fried catfish! How can you get THAT wrong? Same for most preparations of "greens." Just taking out a pack of Bird's Eye and heating it, is not Southern "greens." I find that too many "corporate kitchens," just don't get these things right. Maybe it's the need to use some "healthy" oil and no lard. Same thing for "healthy" Mexican fare, that tastes like cardboard - rather tastless cardoboard at that.

                                                                                                                                                                          I have had Philly "cheesesteaks" right off of Walnut St, but just don't get them. That has nothing to do with the prep, or the spots, that I have tasted them, only MY personal tastes. However, I do see them everywhere and *imagine* that they are bleak and not even close to the "real" thing. Do not take this as any negative reflection on the beloved Philly Cheesesteaks. Just remember that I'm one of "them Rebels," who did not grow up with this delicacy.

                                                                                                                                                                          I think that most "regional cuisine" cooked by corporate kitchens elsewhere misses in most cases.

                                                                                                                                                                          Does anyone remember "Cajun Blackened Anything?" Chef Paul Prudhomme hit on something decades ago, but then the corp. kitchens got hold of it. The rest was a culinary horror flick and a bad one.


                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                            mattyjaco RE: Bill Hunt Sep 20, 2008 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I second the Buffalo wings, have seen them smothered in minced garlic, baked, made with pinapple hot sauce, boneless, breaded and many other unspeakable things... its not that hard to deep fry some wings and shake them in frank's red hot and butter. ps its beef on weck not weke

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mattyjaco
                                                                                                                                                                              Catskillgirl RE: mattyjaco Sep 20, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for a terrible food memory. I grew up near Buffalo and loved wings. Moved to NYC, where wings were finally becoming "standardized" (to Buffalo standards, that is) in the late 70's. Enjoyed wings just about all of my adult life. In 2000 we moved 90 miles NW of NYC - I ordered wings at a pizza place without a second thought. OMG they were awful - "smothered in minced garlic" as you said above. Yuck. I began to make my own, and yes, they are really simple to make at home. I don't even have a deep fryer!

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for that unpleasant memory. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                              MakingSense RE: Bill Hunt Sep 24, 2008 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Cajuns hated Prudhomme for that Blackened Redfish recipe. A real tourist dish.
                                                                                                                                                                              First, everyone was horrified that he would do that with a good cast iron skillet. It ruined the seasoning.
                                                                                                                                                                              Then, the popularity of that dish caused the redfish to be over-fished to near extinction. Wildlife and Fisheries banned even sport fishing of it for several years. It took that long for it to recover. It's a real local favorite for sport fishing and for eating.
                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, that entire episode is a nightmare.
                                                                                                                                                                              "Blackened," aka burned, food still shows up on menus and it's just heinous.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                James Cristinian RE: MakingSense Sep 24, 2008 10:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Sport fishing for redfish was never banned In Texas and I doubt it was in Louisiana where they have more liberal size and possession limits. What was and still is banned is commercial netting for redfish and speckled trout in Texas, and I know there are restrictions in Louisisana if not an outright ban. The species have rebounded spectacularlly, yet and redfish served in a restaraunt will be the inferior farm raised.I've made blackened redfish from fish that I caught, it was quite good, but was a number of years ago. What is done down here is redfish on the half shell. The fish is filleted leaving the skin a scales on and is grilled on an open fire skin side down, turned over, repeat, serve with lemon butter. yumm.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: James Cristinian Oct 11, 2008 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Growing up in the MS Gulf South, I was astounded when trying to order speckled trout in NOLA some years ago. I was told that it was "out of season." Out of season? How could this be? We caught "specks" all year long, though more often in the Fall/Winter. How could this fish be "out of season." Things had changed. Same for redfish. As a kid, I caught rat-reds most of the year, and bull-reds in the Autumn and Winter. They too were now relegated to a season.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My, how things had changed, Chef Paul not withstanding.


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                    James Cristinian RE: Bill Hunt Oct 12, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I ordered a special of speckled trout at a restaurant in Galveston last winter and asked the waiter where it was from. He assured me it was caught locally, but having known better I did not press the issue. It could have been from Louisiana, but I suspect Mexico, as that is where some red snapper comes from when unavailable locally. It is illegal to net fish here, also to resell fish caught by sportsmen, much to the chagrin of one of the gentlemen from whom I buy shrimp in Houston. He's always trying to get me to sell him some fresh specks, nothing finer. Anyway, the trout in Galveston was a bit past it's prime, but still edible. It was at a place named Clary's, on a canal on the bay. They must have taken alot of water during Ike, and I hope they can re-open. I'm quite fond of it, as are many locals.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. Jen76 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 20, 2008 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Frozen custard. Nothing seems to come close to Kopp's back "home" in Milwaukee. Nor, for that matter, do knock-off butter burgers I've had here.

                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                                                PattiCakes RE: Jen76 Sep 22, 2008 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I remember when my sister moved to Minnesota. Her husband was Italian (Eye-talian, in Minnesotan), so that was a part of her cooking repetoire. She discovered that her neighbors made their lasagna with cottage cheese. Riccota? what's that? They also love fried wontons with a cottage cheese filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                I've had "real" Buffalo wings in Buffalo, but I can also appreciate wings done with other types of sauces and in different ways. No, they aren't Buffalo Wings, but they are tasty. In the instance of the Buffalo Wing, the cook at the Anchor Bar didn't just invent a new dish, she used something that people used to throw away (or use in stock) in a completely different way. Now there are ton of variations on the chicken-wing-as-food concept, but only one Buffalo Wing.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                  soupkitten RE: PattiCakes Sep 23, 2008 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  nope, it's a cream cheese filling in the fried wontons in mn, *never* cottage cheese. we used to fill&fold 'em by the bus-tub full during the slow afternoon shifts. it's a pared-down version of "cheese rangoon" etc. and indigenous to here, as near as we can tell, discussed at length on a couple of our local threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                    PattiCakes RE: soupkitten Sep 24, 2008 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the correction. I knew that -- my brain was thinking "cream", but by fingers typed "cottage". Actually they were pretty good., just not what I was used to as being "chinese food", which of couse is probably not even close to REAL Chinese food. It's kind of like a game of whispering down the lane with ethnic foods......

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                      soupkitten RE: PattiCakes Sep 24, 2008 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      oh the cream cheese wontons are SO ridiculously & laughably *not* authentic to any "real" chinese cuisine, obviously!!! LOL ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      but. . . they are strangely addictive, the crispy, hot fried wonton, the gooey, melted, creamy cheese, usually dipped in a too-sweet dipping sauce, sometimes accompanied by a nice rice vinegar dressed carrot & daikon salad. . . sometimes, only CCWs will do-- the minnesotan chinese-american contribution to greasy, junky street food, if you will! many local variations/add ins to the cream cheese exist, establishments riff on CCWs just as they do the area's signature hamburger-- the "jucy lucy." i am not sure where CCWs originated (i'd be interested to know). my hunch is that it was either the work of leann chin, or an anonymous cook at the nankin (my former employer). here's both on the same page:


                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                        PattiCakes RE: soupkitten Sep 26, 2008 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        See, that's why I think food is such a great thing. Here you have a "Chinese" concept that was bastardized into something it was never meant to be but which tickled the tastebuds of another segment of the population. Who cares if it's not really "Chinese"? It tastes good. I think we just get entirely too up tight about whether or not a particular dish is legit or righteous sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                    TampaAurora RE: PattiCakes Sep 26, 2008 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    A girl at work was just talking about her Midwestern-lasagna with cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Apparently, she didn't know of the ricotta type until moving to Florida because that's how mom made it back home.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TampaAurora
                                                                                                                                                                                      meatn3 RE: TampaAurora Sep 26, 2008 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've seen a number of regional cookbooks from the '60's & '70's using cottage cheese for lasagna. We forget how unavailable many foods were a short time ago, ricotta being one of them...The variety most regions have access to has increased dramatically!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sam Fujisaka RE: meatn3 Sep 26, 2008 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        As a cook (like most of us), I find the idea of cottage cheese lasagna to be perfectly sound and something I would gladly try were cottage cheese available here.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                          meatn3 RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 27, 2008 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Many of us stateside forget how fortunate we are to have such an abundance to choose from...your posts are often a good reminder of how something relatively common here is a rarity in many places.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                            lulubelle RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 28, 2008 01:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            We can't often get cottage or ricotta cheeses here, so I have learned to make ricotta at home. It's easy and much better than store bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: meatn3
                                                                                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: meatn3 Oct 11, 2008 09:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Even growing up in a non-traditional Italian area, it was always Ricotta. I cannot imagine anything substituting.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, this was in the '50s & '60s, so maybe I missed an epoch, or two. Even when French wife did lasagna (in the '70s), she would not hear of anything but Ricotta.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe that's why we always order about 20 lbs. of cheeses from Italy.


                                                                                                                                                                                    2. x
                                                                                                                                                                                      Xacinta RE: AmblerGirl Sep 22, 2008 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      . I live in Mexico and i used to get very mad when i watched "mexican" recipes in the us, none of it looked real. Tortilla soup is just something else in the us, nothing close to what we have in Mexico, Ceasar salad is very different in the US too, which by the way, was created in Tijuana by my friend´.s grandfather... But then i realized that here in Mexico we do just the same, we incorporate our ingredients to foreign food, just visit a sushi place in any Mexican city and you´d be amazed, we have maki rolls with any type od chili, huitlacoche, avocado, plantain,...and these dishes are now beginging to be ofered in Japan. Nachos is an American invention, but we like them in Mexico and we consume them. ....Most of the people who cross the border do it fo economic reasons, they come from poor social classes so the food they know is simple, most of the time very good, but they haven´t eaten huitlacoche, huauzontles, dorado from the gulf, queso relleno, xoconoztle, flor de calabaza....

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Xacinta
                                                                                                                                                                                        Chuckles the Clone RE: Xacinta Sep 27, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        The notion of finding huitlacoche inside my maki roll is at the same time both fascinating and very, very frightening.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                                                                                                                                                                                          Xacinta RE: Chuckles the Clone Sep 30, 2008 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          there´s a mexican maki call itakate. (In náhuatl itacate means lunch...) one of the ingredients is chile de arbol....Before globalization, when there were no Burger Kings and Subways all over Mexico, our hamburgers included a Margarita bun, no sesame seeds but it has a very different texture, it is more elastic, than the American hamburger bunrefried beans, jalapeños or chiles toreados.....Mexican hot dogs disregard the sausage, they usually use the cheapest, and put all the attention on the toppings. The stands around the Universidad de Sonora, Unison, in Hermosillo, offer picadillo, carne con chile, fried potatoes, chiles toreados, chiles güeros, beans (refried and bola) mushrooms, cheese....they use a special bun.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Xacinta
                                                                                                                                                                                            Eat_Nopal RE: Xacinta Sep 30, 2008 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            "Before globalization, when there were no Burger Kings and Subways all over Mexico, our hamburgers included a Margarita bun, no sesame seeds but it has a very different texture, it is more elastic, than the American hamburger bunrefried beans, jalapeños or chiles toreados....."

                                                                                                                                                                                            Careful with generalizations... burgers have always been very popular for many decades throughout the Tlanepantla & Naucalpan suburbs... I never saw a burger that had refried beans... and not all were served on Bimbo buns (which by the way are pretty much the same as the classic American buns)... burgers were often served in Pan Cemita, Bolillo or Pan de Caja... with many interesting variations.... Bacon Wrapped Patty, Chorizo in the Patty, Soy sauce in the Patty, Jerez Wine in the Patty, toppings included Guacamole, Mole Rojo etc., etc.,

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                              Xacinta RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 1, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              i have never seen those burgers in Mexico and i have lived here all my life, a burger with pan de caja, pan cemita??? jeréz??? Mole! where in Tlalne?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Xacinta
                                                                                                                                                                                                Eat_Nopal RE: Xacinta Oct 1, 2008 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                You need to get around.... there is a weeknight Tianguis in Colonia Tlalnemex near Bugambilia & Nardo.... there is another weeknight Tianguis on Toluca near the Anillo Periferico... and then there are a number of hamburger joints near Politechnico as well the ISSTE campus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And over in Naucalpan on San Luis & Calzada Molinito near the Rosticeria there are a couple of great Hamburger & Pizza joints putting out VERY Mexicanized stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. c oliver RE: AmblerGirl Sep 22, 2008 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Biscuits. I grew up in the South and the only biscuit I've ever tasted outside the South that tastes "right" to me is at McDonald's. Those big, thick, cakey things aren't biscuits in my book. A biscuit is relatively thin with a distinct crust on the top and bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                        28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                          Eat_Nopal RE: c oliver Sep 22, 2008 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Phillippe's The Original in L.A (credited with inventing the French Dip) makes really great biscuits. In fact, my dad used to bake them when we first migrated to the States prior to his promotion to Head Cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course... as Mexcentric as I am... I would tell you the only real biscuit I've had outside of Mexico (where there is long term tradition of making French style bisquets) is in Hawaii.... where they call them Scones!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 22, 2008 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi "Eat"
                                                                                                                                                                                            So tell me: what is that biscuit like? English-type scones I would never consider a biscuit but when you mix "Mexcentric" and "French" and "Hawaii" I wouldn't have a clue what that kind of biscuit would be. But it sure sounds interesting :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                              Eat_Nopal RE: c oliver Sep 22, 2008 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well... they are the shape of a biscuit... and they have a light honey glaze over the exterior... typically you buy them at Panaderias (as oppossed to having them at a restaurant joint)... and the texture is a bit more crumbly & dense than a Southern biscuit.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I used to think English scones were the crappy, dry stuff they sell at Starbucks and other coffee shops until I was pointed to a good Wine Country version of the real deal... and learned they are relatively moist & softer although still crumbly.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The following image is the closest I could find for a Bisquete (although they rarely have dried fruit interspersed).


                                                                                                                                                                                              Where my parents are from... municipio Union de San Antonio in the highlands of Jalisco they traditionally make a couple of breads that are similar to Southern Biscuits called Gordas de Acero... they can be made with either Wheat or Corn flour and usually have Natas (milk skins), Whey Milk or Buttermilk in them, and they are cooked over fire in an Iron "oven" that you put hot charcoal on the top as well... and they are the diameter of a pancake and height of a Biscuit... but these aren't very common in other parts of the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                Eat_Nopal RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 22, 2008 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually... here is a more representative Bisquet (and made with Lard as they should be!):


                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  PattiCakes RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 23, 2008 04:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Isn't it interesting how food connects us all in one way or another? Your ravioli's are my pierogies, are her steamed wontons, are his tamales........ Scones, bisquits, bisquets? Sushi in Mexico, tortilla soup in Philly, fried wontons in Minneapolis. I love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: PattiCakes Sep 23, 2008 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PattiCakes, I LOVE your comment. This is a great thread and totally points out what you say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 23, 2008 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That definitely LOOKS like my kinda biscuit but, like you say, sweeter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eat_Nopal RE: c oliver Sep 23, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah.. I think the Biscuit / Bisquet originates in France and then evolves in regional variations in the U.S. south (via the Acadians) and Eastern Mexico (via the Barcelonettes).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                    DiveFan RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 23, 2008 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm skeptical about the French 'origin' of southern style biscuits. The first European settlers in the southeast US were mostly from the U.K. No doubt the big wave of Scots-Irish immigrants that blanketed the interior South brought their soda bread recipes with them. Could be there was some French creole influence at some point, but the traditional recipes (Irish, French, Southern US) are different enough from each other that I'd call ours a local creation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW your (linked) bisquet pictures look remarkably like the ones available at most panaderias in LA. They have a glaze and texture very different than Southern biscuits, good in a different way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree about Philippe's biscuits - they are darn good Southern style :-) biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viva la difference!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eat_Nopal RE: DiveFan Sep 23, 2008 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes... I am not saying the Southern biscuit isn't its own thing... I am almost 100% sure that the name is derived from the French. What I would caution about is saying that only Southern biscuits taste right... as it has an ancestor and at least one couisin in other parts of the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eat_Nopal RE: DiveFan Sep 23, 2008 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "BTW your (linked) bisquet pictures look remarkably like the ones available at most panaderias in LA. They have a glaze and texture very different than Southern biscuits, good in a different way."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They should... but outside of Panaderia La Mascota in the late 1980s... I can't think of a version in L.A. that I think is worthwhile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                          KevinB RE: DiveFan Sep 24, 2008 01:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You have a curious sense of history. The first Europeans in the SE US were Spaniards. In 1755, approximately 11,000 Acadians from what are now the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (and bits of Maine) were forcibly expelled, and many of those went to Louisiana, creating the "cajun" culture. New Orleans itself was founded by the French in 1718, ceded to Spain, returned to France briefly, and then sold to the US as part of the Louisiana purchase. I'd say the French had more influence on the culinary culture than the Scots or Irish, neither of whom were known for rarefied food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mpjmph RE: KevinB Sep 27, 2008 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            LA isn't really the Southeast, it's more deep South or gulf region. I think the when Divefan said Southeast he was referring to VA/NC/SC/GA, at least that's the region I think of as Southeastern (also "Colonial South). The VA/NC/SC/GA region was influenced more by England/Ireland/Scotland than any other European region. The next greatest influence is probably West Africa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                                                                                                                              kare_raisu RE: mpjmph Sep 27, 2008 10:19 AM



                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kare_raisu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                mpjmph RE: kare_raisu Sep 27, 2008 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, there were Huguenots in the Southeastern region. They primarily settled in the James River region of VA and the Charleston area in SC. There is some French influence on Southeastern food/culture, and I don't doubt that the word biscuit comes from the French word bisquet, but I wouldn't say that the food/culture of VA/NC/SC/GA is heavily influence by the French. When I think over the foods that I learned to cook from my grandmother, and the foods that I most strongly associate with the Southern Atlantic states, it's mostly foods that use cooking methods from the UK (lots of boiling) and ingredients from Africa, very little sauce, mostly seasoned with cured meat. Most distinctly Southern vegetables are African in origin, brought to N. America by slaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is also a strong Moravian presence in the South, especially in Central NC, but I would say that Southern food/culture has strong Czech influences either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: mpjmph Sep 27, 2008 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But it seems the French & Dutch pastry / baking traditions were extremely influential. This is not to say that most people were of French or Dutch extraction just that the quality of their baked goods was so high that it ended up being disproportionately influential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: DiveFan Sep 24, 2008 02:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Scots, due to climate and soil. cooked mainly w/ oats and barley. Scottish oatmeal, hagus, barley cakes and of course Scotch whiskey. Not biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              kare_raisu RE: DiveFan Sep 24, 2008 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              French Hugenot presence is well recorded in the colonial history of the Carolinas and Georgia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kare_raisu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg RE: kare_raisu Sep 25, 2008 02:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jews too, maybe influenced by the bagel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              DiveFan RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 27, 2008 11:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The links about Huguenots support what I should have articulated better. Being mostly poor farmers in search of land, Scots-Irish immigrants tended to settle away from coastal cities in sparsely populated areas of the Interior.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Due to superior communication, cross cultural (biscuit :) influences would happen faster along the coast where most of the original French and Spanish settlements were. If this biscuit style moved inland from the coast, that would sure point to African plantation cooks as a common factor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW where did the wheat flour come from, prior to 1803?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very interesting subject, but way OT.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              When CKE bought Hardees, they totally destroyed a decent fast food biscuit. Carl's Jr doesn't even serve one. Grrrrrrrrrr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eat_Nopal RE: DiveFan Sep 28, 2008 02:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just consider that many American cooking traditions aren't extensively rooted for much more than 120 years... I was surprised to learn that Pit BBQ was unknown throughout MANY if not MOST southern towns until freed slaves started BBQ restaurants in the LATE 1800's. Biscuits could also follow this pattern? Maybe they only become part of the standard Southern tradition after the railroads were well developed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  paulj RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 28, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did southern style biscuits exist before commercial production of baking soda and baking powder in the 1800's? The same question arises with Irish soda bread and Scottish scones. For another thread I looked up scones, and found that the word can be traced back to 1500, but those were probably dense oat cakes. I recall reading that baking soda could be extracted from wood ashes, but home based processes produced an impure, weak product with a harsh taste, so pre-Arm-and-Hammer raised biscuits would have been an inferior product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the word 'biscuit' more French or Italian ('twice baked'). Why is it used so differently in British English (the American cookie)? That difference in usage points to a post-Revolutionary war development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beaten biscuits are older than the baking powder biscuits, and more akin to hardtack / ships biscuits / pilot bread , etc. Pilot bread hangs on in places with a maritime past (New England, Alaska, Hawaii).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Available grain and flour appears to influence the choice of bread. Yeast breads work best with high protein wheat. An article on soda bread claimed that Irish grains were more suitable for non-yeast breads. The same might be said for softer Southern-US wheats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In contrast, sour-dough is associated with the western migration (e.g. San Francisco and Alaska). Is that a result of available wheat, or conditions that favor a consistent culture of yeast. The American South may be too hot too maintain a long term sour-dough culture (without refrigeration).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj RE: paulj Sep 28, 2008 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another issue when trying to trace the history of biscuits, scones and other breads, is how were they baked. While bakers have had ovens for along time, home ovens are a newer invention. Colonial cooking was mostly done using an open hearth, with pots set before or over the fire. So things like griddle cakes would have been common. Some breads were baked on boards set at an angle before the fire. The dutch oven with coals above as well as below produces conditions closer to what we think of as an oven. But I suspect most home baking had to await the cast iron wood fired stove, some time in the 19th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hill food RE: paulj Sep 28, 2008 11:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      whoa, you have a book on the make there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caroline1 RE: paulj Sep 29, 2008 03:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, "home baking" has been accomplished for millennia by simply taking your unbaked bread (or whatever) to the village baker and having him bake it for you. It's still a common practice in many parts of the world today. Blessed is the village with more than one baker! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and few bakers have only one oven in their yard. Wood fired beehive ovens are fantastic! Absolutely incredible bread, whether you make the dough or the baker does .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          soupkitten RE: paulj Sep 29, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PaulJ has hit on it-- despite the diverse national and cultural origins of american bakers, it was the introduction of commercial baking soda and baking powder in the 1800s that had such a huge & widespread impact on american-style biscuits and other quick breads. greg patent has done some fascinating scholarship on the historical recipes & the impact on baking powder and soda, which he referred to as an early "convenience product." very readable in his book "american baking (great recipes too).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 11, 2008 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tend to think of them as "crumbly little biscuits," until they are dipped into clotted cream. At that moment, they take on a real identity all their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Even on United Airlines, these are great, just before touchdown at LHR at 5:30AM GMT.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Xacinta RE: c oliver Sep 25, 2008 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My scones are triangular because my family recipe calls for shaping the dough into a round 8 inch disk and then slicing it into 6...like a pizza. I would never confuse them with bisquets, besides they have currants or raising and however salty in the inside they are covered with sugar....by the way, we once made beaten bisquets, you have to beat the dough for 30 min, it was woth it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. bitsubeats RE: AmblerGirl Sep 23, 2008 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                maryland crab cakes. I'm from Maryland and I would never dream of ordering a crab cake from out of state or worse yet, from a chain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It should be a ball of crab meat (preferably lump) with a tiny little bit of binder and broiled. I hate seeing crab cakes that are flattened pucks with lots of bread crumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh and speaking of which, what is up with that crab cake throw down with bobby flay? Why in the heck didn't he go against someone from Maryland? Lame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bitsubeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hill food RE: bitsubeats Sep 23, 2008 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c'mon bitsu, other states have crab too, it's only fair to let them play even if they're just going to throw the ball into the cranky neighbor's yard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  did they call them Maryland crabcakes? only DE or VA can get away with that IMO (being all Chesapeake).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree - less binder the better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bitsubeats RE: hill food Sep 24, 2008 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hey DE and va can call them whatever they want...I was just surprised to see someone from Maine making crabcakes (when it's supposed to be the best) when it could've easily have been someone from Maryland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to be honest with you...I dont even like crab cakes that much. I much prefer picking my own crabs and smearing the "mustard" on sourdough bread. mmmmmm crab fat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bitsubeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hill food RE: bitsubeats Sep 24, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do agree that the crabcake is much more iconic of the Chesapeake. I envy Maine their lobster rolls let them excel at that. It would be laughable for someone from Annapolis to try to present a definitive one of those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      definitely agree on the hockey puck version and even that's found around this region and they're all way too ubiquitous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg RE: hill food Sep 25, 2008 02:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, I grew up catching blue crabs in NJ and mom made a mean, round crab cake. I continue making them here in Maine using rock and Jonah crab meat and I feel it works well. We prefer the Maine crab roll to the lobster roll (usually).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bitsubeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MakingSense RE: bitsubeats Sep 24, 2008 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The local waterman would take issue with your crab cake definition and recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hillfood is right about MD not having an exclusive claim to a down-home use for crabmeat in a basic fishcake using the crabmeat that was plentiful for the watermen in the Chesapeake Bay region. The MD/VA State line runs right down the middle of the Bay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Most of the old-timers used all the meat that they picked from the crabs or what was left after the pickers sold the fancy lump off to the packing houses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The recipes in church or community cookbooks use saltines or fresh bread crumbs (about 2 oz by weight) to a pound of crabmeat as a binder.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And they're mostly pan-fried (what we fancy city folks would call sauteed) or deep fried. Plain people are stove-top people.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hate that everybody now wants crab cakes and the old New Orleans traditional specialties of Crab Chops and Stuffed Crabs have disappeared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Local restaurants all serve crab cakes now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not a lot of difference but old food traditions are nice to preserve....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pikawicca RE: MakingSense Sep 24, 2008 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What's a Crab Chop?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MakingSense RE: pikawicca Sep 24, 2008 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Similar to a crab cake mixture but formed around a large crab claw so it looks like a large chop - like a pork chop or something.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They were served in seafood restaurants so I suppose someone dreamed it up ages ago as a presentation thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nobody did them at home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stuffed crabs were popular for home cooks and still are. Similar to crab cake mixture but stuffed back into the top shell of the crab and baked. Easy to prepare ahead and no worries about them falling apart.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There were pyrex crab shells and also disposable foil versions for people who didn't pick their own crabmeat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MakingSense
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: MakingSense Sep 25, 2008 02:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We called stuffed crab Deviled crab and crab chops are an old New England tradition too, but rarely found today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eat_Nopal RE: Passadumkeg Sep 25, 2008 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marco... I think all communities with significant Crab harvest have some kind of stuffed Crab dish... certainly all the Mexican gulf states do (Tampico, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche etc.,) in multiple variations:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: bitsubeats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oldbaycupcake RE: bitsubeats Oct 2, 2008 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not even sure what constitutes a Maryland Crab Cake here in Maryland. One would think that it would be made with local Blue Crab from the Chesapeake Bay & the recipe would be something traditional like the famous recipe from Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook. But in reality most crab cakes here are made with pasteurized Blue Crab from the Phillipines and the recipes are as varied as colors in a box of Crayons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I know is that I love crab cakes! I may have my own preference for what I think of as a Maryland Crab Cake, but I have to admt that I've had some great crab cakes in different states and cities even if they aren't my idea of Maryland style. I'm never sure what I'm going to get in Annapolis, why would I be surprised by what I get in Vegas, Chicago or Miami?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. bucksguy14 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 25, 2008 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One other thing I just thought of that's screwed up in the Philadelphia area is Pork Roll. There's only one Pork Roll - Taylor's! Anything else is a sorry imitation, that includes what most people in the Philadelphia suburbs think is Pork Roll - Hatfield. Hatfield is not Pork Roll! It's an inferior brand of meat that tries to pretend it can compete with Taylor's - it can't!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hill food RE: bucksguy14 Sep 25, 2008 10:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm intrigued - what is Pork Roll? I can imagine it relates to other things and it's something good, but need education. (only really been to Philly once - passed through a coupla times)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bucksguy14 RE: hill food Sep 26, 2008 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This link to Wikipedia explains it a whole lot better than I can - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_roll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: bucksguy14 Sep 26, 2008 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Taylor Pork Roll, on a Kaiser roll with a fried egg, cheese and, oh, my God, ketchup. Heavenly. That, along w/ jfood's previously mentioned Sloppy Joe and the Italian Hot Dog (Maybe the panzerotti too. ) are New Jersey's contributions to the junk food world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eat_Nopal RE: Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think you guys might enjoy some Chicharron Prensado:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fatty roasted, salted pork of various textures pressed into a cake... that is then sliced off & pan fried for a variety of purposes... gordita filling, tacos... or most naughty the Morelos style Pambazo... a sour Mexican roll... quickly deep fried then dunked into a spicy sauce... split open & filled with Chicharron prensado, cabbage, pickled vegetables & crema.... enjoy it while you are still a teenager.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                streetgourmetla RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 26, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Did someone say chicharron prensado!!! Compa, now you are making me hungry.The ultimate treat, fun for the whole family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  porker RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 28, 2008 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  THAT IS ONE AWESOME PICTURE!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kinda like the Simpson's Barney Gumble on Duff Beer: "Where you been all my life?!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I basically try to enjoy all things chicharon (in moderation, hopefully), but have never experienced prensado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coupla questions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where can I likely find it. My travels to Mexico have mostly been to Yucatan and Quintana Roo. I've had some great castacan, but never seen prensado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since I will most likely not get to a prensado producing area for some time, how can I make it?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  churchka posted this back in March, with no favorable results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My search also runs dry.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: porker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eat_Nopal RE: porker Sep 29, 2008 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually... I had some Chicharron Prensado tacos in the village of Tikul in Yucatan but that is near the Puuc Hills region.... I don't know if they make it in Quintana Roo. But you know... Cancun & Playa del Carmen are packed with Chilangos & people from the Anahuac.... that is why you can now find Nopales, Huitlacoche & other dishes not native to the Yucatan... I bet you can find them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      porker RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 29, 2008 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Typical of my luck...we stayed at the Hotel San Antonio, just behind the zocalo, in Tikul 7 months ago while visiting the area. Did not see Chicharron Prensado - however it's probably more difficult finding something you don't know exists...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can you compare prensado to perhaps a particular al pastor, where the cut of pork is belly? Seems to me that I did have roadside al pastor which was kinda like this, although not looking your picture...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: porker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eat_Nopal RE: porker Sep 29, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh no... I don't mean to rub it in at all... we were driving by and decided to stop for some Yogurt etc., and ended up walking around the Plaza & adjacent streets browsing the locally made Shoes (which I believe is Tikul's primary artisinal tradition)... I saw a little shack with sheets of raw pork for cecina hanging in a corner... they asked if I wanted some Cochinita for breakfast... I told them every tourist trap I had been to only offered Cochinita, Pollo Pibil or Poc Chuc and needed something different. To which they offered Tacos de Chicharron Prensado, a guiso of Chaya & Ibes in Pipian & a Pico de Gallo (the real classic style with finely chopped Oranges, Jicamas, Cukes, Onions etc.... not the Tex-Mex misnaming of Salsa Mexicana).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          porker RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 29, 2008 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, its gems like that which really make a trip. (kinda like the 'world markets' thread)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't want to get too far off-topic (chow police, ya know), but its still 'regional' related:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Read about Los Almendros restaurant. They have two loations, one in Merida (which disappointed) and the original in Tikul. Apparently it was here where poc chuc was invented.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Against better judgement, we sought it out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll just say it was a waste of an evening (we were the only two diners in a 100 seat hall, shoulda been the first tip-off). Well not an entire loss, the drive there and back in a moto-taxi fighting off dogs was very entertaining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will say that the roadside shacks are very often tentative to serve us (we're obviously gringos). After seeing our honest interest and that we're not looking for Burger King, they try hard to please and are very proud of their offerings, which can be fantastic....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bucksguy14 RE: Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How about Taylor Pork Roll, 2 over easy, home fries and a Kaiser roll to mop up the yolk? One of the best places I've had that (other than cooking it myself) is at Luna Rosa in Delray Beach, FL. The owner is from NJ and has it delivered because he knows it's the ONLY pork roll!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PattiCakes RE: Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When my son was in college in Western PA, we used to buy Taylor Pork Roll and scrapple to take out to him. We also used to take pork roll camping with us back in the day as well when we would go to Watkins Glen or Pocono for the race weekends. Nothing beats grilled slices of pork roll on a roll with cheese and maybe some eggs. Talk about a portable breakfast and a pretty good hangover meal. Passadumkeg is right about Jersey being able to lay claim to popularizing it. A pork roll sammich was a big treat when you were downa shore on the boards. He's also right about it having to be Taylor's. They have their own unique set of spices -- others are just not the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ya wanna talk ketchup? How about a coupla slices of scrapple, all crispy on the outside & mushy in the middle, along with crispy home fries and eggs, all smothered in the red stuff. grease, carbs, cholesterol, sodium, nitrates.....that's my heritage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg RE: PattiCakes Sep 26, 2008 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go Berg and Yacco's! My cousin owns the Pennsylvania Dutch company Wos Wit (Wild Grouse farms), off Rt 309, Tamaqua (Rushing Waters), Pa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like apple butter on my cottage, hot bacon dressing on my salad and maple syrup on my scrapple! I work ant a community radio station, WERU (www.weru.org) in E. Orland......Maine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just for nice,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PattiCakes RE: Passadumkeg Sep 27, 2008 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What, no chowcow? I am of PA Dutch/German heritage -- my ancestor lies under the olderst known tombstone in Berks county. Wos Wit is indeed a well-known brand to me. It is sold at my local farm stand! Interestingly enought, I live in E. Oreland ----PA. I work in Philly for a boss who commutes (ah-yup) back to Biddeford ME every weekend. Small, very circular world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is apple butter considered regional with the PA Dutch? The apple butter/cottage cheese (schmeer casse) is part of the traditional PA Dutch 7 sweets & 7 sours served with meals? I know that Wos Wit makes many of the items that fall under that umbrella.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never did maple syrup on my scrapple until I went to a Quilters convention in Lancaster this year. I had breakfast a a very good family diner staffed by Amish/Mennonite & decided to try it. I now prefer it! I think you were also part of the bacon fat in the fridge thread that brought up the hot bacon dressing idea. I may do that tomorrow for dinner -- I'm having very pleasant and overwhelming flash backs to childhood dinners. Maybe we should start a thread about foods that evoke strong memories from our childhood -things that really transport you back in time just by smelling or eating them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: PattiCakes Sep 27, 2008 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And don't forget picalilli, peach butter, and saurkraut.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My ancestors go back a hundred years. My grandfather, killed in the coal mines, lies in a Russian Orthodox cemetery in McAdoo. My uncles and I were all shipped off to Muhlenberg to get an education and get away from the mines. Wos Wit is run by Russian-Americans. Caught my first trout and milked my first cow on their farm. Tell your boss we call Biddeford "Little Boston" and the real Maine starts east of Ellsworth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hawk Mountain is one of my favorite places in the world.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eat a pickled egg for me will ya?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PattiCakes RE: Passadumkeg Sep 27, 2008 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Went to the local farmer's market today & bough a jar of peach butter & some pickled beets. My grandmother used to keep bowls of pickled eggs on her bar (yep, she owned a bar) in Mayfield, PA -- up with all those coal miners. She was Rusian Orthodox. I'll tell my boss what you said about Biddeford. I had a lot of fun with him last week after the Pats lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Check out Yelp, if you get a chance. http://www.yelp.com/user_details?user...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chef chicklet RE: Passadumkeg Oct 17, 2008 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really kick myself for not being more attentive to what my Dad was making when I was young. He was always canning something (the time he blew it up, is a story for another day). We had our own garden, grapes, and fruit trees so he made picalilli and chow chow, and during apple season we had apple butter and sauce. I can remember the kraut bubbling away in a crock and he'd lovingly peek in to check it in the pantry ( where he was brewing his beer of the month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He used to talk about scrapple, head cheese, blood sausage and made us pickled eggs all the time. I've always thought he was German. He said he grew up on a farm in Nebraska. But the food roots have to be somewhere else to get these foods brought into his family, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bbqboy RE: chef chicklet Oct 17, 2008 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                here's a start, chef:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chef chicklet RE: bbqboy Oct 17, 2008 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wow thank you bbqboy! I was wondering hot to do a little research, appreicate that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: chef chicklet Oct 17, 2008 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My wife's family descends from Nebraska... the area about 150 miles west of Omaha was dominated by Scottish & Bohemian (Czech) immigrants... then as you go east you will find Dutch & German towns. From what I have learned about their family history it is clear that ethnic roots were very deep in the Plains states until WWI when they started to unravel:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > The Scots no longer saw the Czechs as inferior heathens and began marrying into their families... and so both sides lost intensity in their cultural affiliations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > The Germans had a hard time being German due to Germany "being the enemy" over two World Wars (incidentally this is was the trigger for Menonite communities to immigrate to Mexico)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > The Dutch were able to retain their culture the longest, maintaining Dutch language boarding schools, newspapers etc., right up until WWII & 1950's Nationalist Fervor also undermined their ethnic affiliations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I imagine that the growing integration of Red, Brown & Black people into mainstream America also had an impact on Euro-American diversity... all of a sudden the Dutch, Germans, Czechs, Italians etc., realized they had much more in common with each other than they did with the other people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for my long winded point... the dishes you described all sound in line with a blend of Dutch, German, Scottish & Czech roots (with a little Chinese Railroad Worker influence... as I have been told that is what Chow Chow is all about).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bbqboy RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 17, 2008 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pretty good summation, EN, and yet there are still outposts on the Plains from the Tex/Mex border(or further?) to the Canadian provinces where you can find Bierocks and Deep Fried Tacos and Kolaches and Povitca. Might be Church socials or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fundraisers but the food of the Plains still exists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: bbqboy Oct 23, 2008 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My god, I yearn for a bierock. My father's job took us to Russell, Kansas for nine miserable months when I was 14, and bierocks and one really good record store in Hays are the only good memories I have of that place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hill food RE: PattiCakes Sep 27, 2008 12:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll have some of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FriedClamFanatic RE: PattiCakes Oct 1, 2008 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh man! That one makes me wanna run out to the grocery store, by-pass the bacon and sausage and reach for the red&white box!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sadiefox RE: bucksguy14 Oct 10, 2008 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Case's Pork Roll is a legitimate product! Not Hatfield, though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mpjmph RE: AmblerGirl Sep 27, 2008 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried chicken. It's supposed to be shallow fried, in about an inch of fat, and it takes a long time to cook. Deep fried chicken is just wrong, the breading is too heavy and it all falls off after one bite. Really, any "southern" food that is cooked in an industrial deep fryer instead of cooked in 1-2 inches of fat in a cast iron skillet. Or anything that is dipped in batter before frying, then called southern style. Southern frying, at least in Eastern NC, involves dusting in flour or cornmeal, maybe dredging in egg first, but never dipping in batter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          danna RE: mpjmph Oct 1, 2008 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting. That's the way my Mom made fried chicken(w. sc)....no more than 1 inch of oil, I would guess. She never deep fried anything. I always just assumed she was trying to be healthy, or didn't want to waste that much oil. Don't tell her, but i like the martha stewart method better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            exotec RE: mpjmph May 1, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes! and has to be in a cast iron pan. And if you don't follow all that with a nice milk gravy, well... it just isn't worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            KevinB RE: AmblerGirl Sep 27, 2008 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One thing no one has mentioned yet: poutine. This French Canadian treat of fries, fresh cheese curds, and gravy is fast food's nirvana, but people keep messing it up, trying to "improve" it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Daniel Boulet puts pate de foie gras on it, for heaven's sake - talk about gilding a lily! Other places don't use cheese curds, just curls of regular cheese - it's not the same. And don't get me started on gravy made from powder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blueicus RE: KevinB Sep 29, 2008 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Martin Picard of Au Pied de Cochon puts foie gras and a sauce mounted with foie gras on it... he's pretty French Canadian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Blueicus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                paulj RE: Blueicus Sep 29, 2008 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is there enough history and tradition to poutine to worry about innovations? How far back does it go? 50 years? I see from the wiki article that the word itself has a number of uses, and an uncertain origin, though some claim it is a derivative of the English pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Caroline1 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 28, 2008 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm amused with myself over this more than amused by the question. I had never really thought about it before, but while I KNOW there are "regional" foods,, when I encounter them fixed in different ways I seem to just think to myself, "Oh, this is the way they fix this around here." It never seems to occur to me that they're doing anything wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the other hand, if you read me very often, chances are you know where I stand on such cullinary conundrums as "carrot confit." That's just plain stupid and pretentious! But for the most part, in everyday cooking (but NOT haute cuisine where the language is specific) I don't mind whether they call it a Philly cheesesteak or a beef and cheddar with grilled onions and peppers, if it tastes good, chances are I won't waste the emotional energy over what they call it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PattiCakes RE: Caroline1 Sep 28, 2008 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "oh, this is the way they fix it around here". I think you may have successfully and succinctly closed this topic! Well put.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chef chicklet RE: Caroline1 Oct 17, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well Caroline, I just don't know, because we in Cali ( is the hair raising yet?) do love our Tomatoes Carpaccio. You will get this if you were watching cherf m. Chiarello the other day. Talk about pretentious. Just slice the darn tomatoe and sit down!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do understand the cuisine mixups some of us just have never known any better, but slowly as I go to different restaurants, and like you, I see the differences and I do appreciate them all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What I'd do to have an experience as e nopal, man what a luky duck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Captainspirou RE: AmblerGirl Sep 29, 2008 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm from Texas and I know the 2 foods people should be getting right is steak and pancakes and yet everyone is bad at them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If we're talking about international food though everyone screws up crepes. Not even most of France gets them right. Real savory crepes are called galettes and are made from buckwheat. Yet almost every crepe place I know here does them with practically the same batter as the sweet crepes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will argue about american or whiz on a philly cheesesteak since neither was availible when the original cheesesteak was invented. Also REAL(non plastic wrapped) american cheese is cheddar. It's only called american to distinguish it from UK variants. I go with provolone 90% of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Captainspirou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj RE: Captainspirou Sep 29, 2008 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Curious that even the original poster can't get the philly cheesesteak right! Is there any hope for the rest of us? The wiki articles don't help a lot. The best I can tell, the chopped meat sandwich originated some time in the 1930s. At some point someone started adding (unspecified) cheese, and by the 1950s at least one of the originators was using whiz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PattiCakes RE: paulj Sep 30, 2008 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go into any bar in South Philly (where cheese steaks supposedly originated), and you will find two distinct camps: one side will swear that the meat must be chopped, or pulled aprt with forks as you grill it; the other will argue that the piece of chipped steak (very very thinly cut meat - almost paper thin) should be grilled as a whole. Even Philly has bastardized their own "signature dish". Most cheese steak places in philly routinely offer pizza steak, a cheese steak hoagie, a pepperoni cheese steak, a chicken cheese steak, and (my personal fave), a buffalo chicken cheese steak. Food evolves, just like the rest of our culture. How about a cheese steak pizza, a taco pizza, a chicken cheese steak pizza or a Hawaiian pizza? And we don't even have Wolfgang Puck here -- this is South Philly, cuz!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        paulj RE: PattiCakes Sep 30, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did you see the South Philly 'Mission Impossible' block party on Food Network? They got the meat from one of the established shops, but had to cook it on charcoal grills. I don't recall how they adapted other local specialties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bucksguy14 RE: PattiCakes Sep 30, 2008 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PattiCakes - I think, based on your postings, that we're in about the same age group - grandkids, etc. I think that all those variations of the Philly Cheesesteak (which amazingly enough is where this thread started) are based on business decisions. I have enough family members in the restaurant business to know that it's what the public's willing to pay for that winds up on the menu and what they don't buy soon disappears. Anyone who's 55 or older, who's lived in Philly (or the suburbs and was willing to "go in-town", knows that the meat is chopped up, and, not usually with a fork, but with a couple of spatulas - it belongs in an Amoroso roll. What else goes in there depends on taste. Mine has sharp provolone and fried onions and nothing else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bucksguy14
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eat_Nopal RE: bucksguy14 Sep 30, 2008 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I have enough family members in the restaurant business to know that it's what the public's willing to pay for that winds up on the menu and what they don't buy soon disappears."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The commentary on the bastardization or evolution (depending on your perspective) of the Philly Cheesesteak oddly evokes another thread's dissertation on Naco cusine:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Captainspirou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eat_Nopal RE: Captainspirou Sep 29, 2008 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Not even most of France gets them right. Real savory crepes are called galettes and are made from buckwheat. Yet almost every crepe place I know here does them with practically the same batter as the sweet crepes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps you should consider that the minority of those who make Savory Crepes from Buckwheat are in the wrong... and everybody else correct?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or perhaps you mean to specify that Normandy has the best Crepe tradition in France... and the rest of the French can't make Normandy style Savory Crepes worth their cheap cigarrettes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: Eat_Nopal Sep 30, 2008 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eh, Captainspirou is just saying a traditional regional food (crepes) aren't reproduced correctly, just the same as others are. Crepes originated in Brittany, where they were the daily bread. The majority (i.e., the non-landholder/poor in the feudal system) used buckwheat because they couldn't afford wheat flour. Over time, as wheat flour became more accessible, the custom evolved to use this more refined flour for sweet crepes. Its widespread use for savory is a case of homogenization/bastardization, just as are many of the things you and others decry in this thread. Captainspirou's complaint is no different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            paulj RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 30, 2008 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Older Joy of Cooking editions have a recipe for 'crisp corn flapjacks, which, if made without eggs come out lacy. The Joy'isk story with this recipe is:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "A distinguished botanist friend had as visitors on a field trip a Parisian confrere who traveled accompanied by his gifted Indonesian chef. To amuse the chef, our friend cooked his favorite corn cakes for him over a campfire. As he tossed the flapjacks, the chef cried out in delight, "Crepes Sauvages!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Captainspirou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DiveFan RE: Captainspirou Sep 29, 2008 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, American 'cheese' IS NOT CHEDDAR! American 'cheese' always has been a processed cheese food 'product' which usually contains some non-original added fat and other non-dairy ingredients. Velveeta and Whiz are in the same category. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American... .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For historical branding reasons American producers of cheddar style usually add annatto to color the product, in order that Bubba will not confuse it with jack or other white cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't get me wrong, I'm not associating 99% of the posters here with 'Bubba' (unless they want to be :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          American cheese is to cheddar as 'natural' HFCS is to cane sugar and surimi 'krab' is to real crab meat. Thanks for NOTHING, FDA!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Captainspirou RE: DiveFan Nov 6, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know my answer is delayed but I've been busy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            According to the wiki link it says that american cheese has it's origins in cheddar. It's much older then what is wrapped in plastic. I was making the argument that cheddar isn't a bastardization of a philly cheesesteak in american cheese is allowed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiveFan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kris in Beijing RE: DiveFan Jul 9, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here in Beijing, Every few months I get into a craving fit for what my European friends call "ICFP" -- Imitation Cheese Food Product. To them, and to me, that's American Cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, there was probably some artisanal bovine-based product made in America that could be called American Cheese a long time ago, but for me at least, "American Cheese" is ICFP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rockfish42 RE: AmblerGirl Sep 29, 2008 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Sourdough" bread that wasn't made with a starter, if I see one more loaf of vinegared bleached white bread presliced in a plastic bag I'll scream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rockfish42
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              pikawicca RE: rockfish42 Sep 29, 2008 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Totally agree. SF sourdough (and others) are scrumptious. The rip-offs offered here in the midwest that are "soured" with vinegar are vile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FriedClamFanatic RE: AmblerGirl Oct 1, 2008 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those of you who live outside of New England have probably never tasted a proper fried clam. They are NOT those rubbery things that HoJo's used to sell and folks now pass off as clam strips. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer places even in NE know how to make a decent "Fried Ipswich Clam". The only place in Philly I ever found was the Sansome Street Oyster House. (And strangely, most of the clams served in NE these days come from Md!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Having said that, one of the BEST Fried Clam Platters I have ever had was in Englewood Florida at a place called The Cafe on Dearborn Street. Great huge oak tree patio to sit under and BIG clams with just a light amount of breading - not those overbreaded things most places now serve. Of course, Norma, the woman who owned it, came from Hull, Mass. Alas, she has since sold the place. I should also add a vote for a place in Fort Lauderdale near the boat district that was owned originally by folks from Hingham, Mass

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 1, 2008 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with you except for the "And strangely, most of the clams served in NE (Is this New England ir the North East?) these days come from Md!" Is this true, clarify please. Visited Mom in NJ this summer and a local ade]vertised "Maine Steamers". I share your passion for fried clams. They are very popular her and very good. Maine also has fried clam rolls, served in a top split hot dog roll. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FriedClamFanatic RE: Passadumkeg Oct 3, 2008 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NE means New England. Two reasons:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1)They are still very plentiful around Maryland since folks don't eat them as much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Much of New England suffered red tides this year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eat_Nopal RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 3, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Red Tide is probably going to be a big problem for East Coast seafood as the oceans warm up. Also, isn't Cheasapeak Bay extremely polluted or have the clean up efforts worked?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hill food RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 5, 2008 12:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chesapeake clean up is helping, but still in trouble, one hears of long-time fishers calling it quits. per capita limits and all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 5, 2008 01:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, in Maine, I'd guess 100% of the clams originate within the state and many are exported. Red tide is not a very big problem, but as elsewhere, overharvesting is. We have increased regulation and a lot of reseeding of clam flats going on. Gotta have some fried clams today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bob W RE: FriedClamFanatic May 14, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conversely, oysters -- the other iconic Chesapeake shellfish -- are much more plentiful in New England. "Ersters" were close to extinct in the Chesapeake. The oyster beds are only slowly coming back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 1, 2008 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Those of you who live outside of New England have probably never tasted a proper fried clam. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those of you who live outside of California have probably never tasted a Pismo clam fried on the beach - a real, proper fried clam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg RE: Sam Fujisaka Oct 1, 2008 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can one get a fried geoduck?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          paulj RE: Passadumkeg Oct 1, 2008 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only on a mudflat in Washington! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PattiCakes RE: paulj Oct 3, 2008 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And, how many can even pronounce "geoduck? I can, but only because I saw a show Alton Brown did a while ago, not because I really know what I'm talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never had an "Ipswitch" fried clam until I met my husband, who was originally from RI. I grew up going to HoJo's every Friday here in PA with my mom for all-you-could-eat fried clams. NOW i know they were just a commercial "interpretation" of the real thing, but I loved those suckers. Just thinking about them now gets me drooling. HoJo's Fried Clam Roll, with mayo & relish tartar sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg RE: PattiCakes Oct 5, 2008 01:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooooooo! Gooey duck! I too, was nursed on HOJO's fried clam roll, but real soft shell steamers w/ dad and his brothers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hill food RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 1, 2008 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I ate once at Sansom Street and it was GREAT, but sadly it looks like it's closed for now, although one owner is quoted as planning reopening sometime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would hope my Googling came up with old info but most reports were dated just earlier this summer. what a classic place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. RealMenJulienne RE: AmblerGirl Oct 1, 2008 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've posted before about my love for Midwestern Chinese food and I do consider it a regional specialty. I've never had a good meal at a Chinese restaurant outside Indiana and Illinois, because when I go out for Chinese I don't want authentic or healthy. I want brown sauce and hot mustard and cabbage-filled egg rolls as thick as my wrist. I want crab rangoons dipped in hot pepper oil, and bourbon chicken with blackened bits all over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mother is a treasure and will happily cook an authentic Chinese meal whenever I make it home, but to me at-home Chinese and take-out Chinese are two wonderfully different things!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FriedClamFanatic RE: AmblerGirl Oct 3, 2008 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And a fried clam roll is superb! Alas, though it never seems to be enough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 5, 2008 01:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You otta come up to tne Northern Maine coast. With another coupl, a designated driver and a cooler of beer, we go on fried clam safaris to local clam shacks and compare notes on quality and quantity. A real summer adventure, except when I'm the DD. Wifie and I kick around the idea of self -publishing In Search of the Fried Clam on the Maine Coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FriedClamFanatic RE: Passadumkeg Oct 5, 2008 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOl.I"ll be your first subscriber!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hill food RE: FriedClamFanatic Oct 8, 2008 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                heck Passadumkeg, hire a minivan and driver, book some rooms and it's a micro-tour land-cruise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alternate title suggestions:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "No Bivalve Unturned" "Clam UP!" "A Shucker's Guide to the Down East"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sounds like fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PattiCakes RE: hill food Oct 10, 2008 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Youz guys might be on to something. There's someone here in Philly who runs a beer tour every year & it's quite successful. Every one meets at a particular destination, mini vans & drivers are provided, and you go to 5-6 bars which provide food & beer. They return you to the original destination, which is walking distance to all sorts of public transportation. You could do a Clam-a-Rama.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                krisrishere RE: Passadumkeg Oct 16, 2008 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ugh, heavenly. I want to go too. I'm originally from New England but I'm in Norfolk, VA now. Everyone looks at me crazy when I ask them if they have fried whole belly clams..."what? you mean an oyster?" I'm having Fried Clam withdrawls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              vtnewbie RE: AmblerGirl Oct 15, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Real Indiana fried pork "tenderloin". First of all it's not a tenderloin, and fer goshsakes it isn't made with ground meat either. It is a whopping huge, fairly thin piece of what others call a "pork steak" from the shoulder. It will have a fair amount of fat and connective tissues, because it doesn't incorporate any large muscle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At an authentic Hoosier place (such as the old White Star in North Vernon), you can order it breaded or plain. Plain will be fried in its own grease on a flat "grill". The others are breaded fairly thinly and deep fried. What is absolutely required is good old-fashioned huge cuts of pork with abundant fat. You can't make a tenderloin from "skinny pig."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. krisrishere RE: AmblerGirl Oct 16, 2008 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, I don't want to start any wars here or anything, but being a "New Englander" it kills me to see a lobster roll made with mayo. A lobster roll should be a toasted top split bun filled with huge chunks of lobster meat and melted butter. That's it. Plain, simple and oh so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  iluvtennis RE: krisrishere Oct 16, 2008 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I went to Maine a couple of summers ago and since i hate mayo, i didn't try any lobster rolls. I thought that's just the way all of them were made. I'd like to try one like you've described...sounds really delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iluvtennis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    krisrishere RE: iluvtennis Oct 17, 2008 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It definitely depends on the place you go. I've found that a lot of places in Maine know to do it this way. All you have to do is ask :) Next time you're in Maine, give it a try..you won't be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iluvtennis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg RE: iluvtennis Oct 18, 2008 10:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A regional difference. Stay in Conn for butter; mayo in Maine. Clam pizza in Conn.; lobster in Maine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Sandwich_Sister RE: AmblerGirl Nov 2, 2008 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Southern Grits. I've been places where the consistancy is off too watery too firm, or places that like to add way too many ingredients to them Buter salt and pepper that is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bill Hunt RE: Sandwich_Sister Apr 12, 2011 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Over my very long lifetime, I think that I may have had grits, in almost every possible prep. To me, many are just fine, from a breakfast cereal to a base for some succulent shrimp with sauce. I have enjoyed them in many iterations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, many do get the wrong, and that often horribly detracts from the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have also had too many, who deride grits, and insist that "polenta" would be much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So be it. For those diners, I tell the story of my family raising "grit trees" in an orchard in the Deep South. They usually buy into the story.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: Bill Hunt Apr 14, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i'm not surprised that the "i hate grits but love polenta" crowd buys your tale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bill Hunt RE: alkapal Apr 14, 2011 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I issue the challenge to, "have some polenta," with my tongue firmly in my cheek - just to see the reaction. It's about that point, that I talk of my share-cropper father's "orchards of grit trees," at least until my wife kicks my shin, beneath the table! Hey, at the base level, it's just corn folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            soupkitten RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2011 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            same type of thing works for folks who'd NEVER eat saurkraut, but *looooove* kimchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: soupkitten Apr 16, 2011 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ah, good point -- but at least kimchi has the virtue of heat, no? and can be made from non-cabbage veggies, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chowrin RE: soupkitten Aug 9, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                shame on folks who'd never eat saurkraut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jmckee RE: Sandwich_Sister Apr 15, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ...although with cheese and garlic added, they become a delicious and substantial side dish for lunches and dinners. I even have a recipe for "grits souffle" from Camille Glenn's "Heritage of Southern Cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: jmckee Apr 16, 2011 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i usually have grits, but when i had a grits soufflé, i was impressed with its structure, lightness and -- most important -- good flavor. and one can cut it onto neat triangle shapes, like with polenta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              for those interested in southern cuisine, follow this blog post all the way to the bottom, to the "comments" section for a short documentary on edna lewis -- and some other links by ms. barash, the filmmaker. http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/?p=5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef RE: alkapal May 19, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yum on grits souffle, and extra yum on grits casserole made with crumbled browned sausage or bacon and sharp cheese and beaten eggs; baked till puffy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: mamachef May 19, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i grew up having breakfast sausage crumbled and browned, then eggs scrambled in. that makes a fine sandwich, too! ;-)).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  as for cheese grits, i go back and forth with liking a sharp cheddar versus a creamier cheese like monterey jack. for my run of the mill cheese grits, i like jalapeño jack. yeehaw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gfr1111 RE: AmblerGirl May 14, 2009 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicago hot dogs. It's not that any of the ingredients are impossible to obtain outside of Chicago, but rather, that the people who make purportedly "Chicago hot dogs" outside of Chicago don't care enough to get the ingredients right or the cooking technique right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I moved to Florida in 1990. Since then, I've never encountered a place in Florida that had the black poppyseed covered, thin, eggy chewy buns necessary for a proper Chicago dog. Certainly they could be ordered from many a bakery in Chicago, but noone cares enough (or is willing to pay the shipping charges) to do so. Then, steaming the buns and the dogs seems to be a lost art.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The dogs themselves are thinner than normal dogs, but they have to be because the steamed buns are so thin. If you put a regular dog in a Chicago dog bun, the ratio of bread to meat is thrown all off. Occasionallly, the right kind of dog is being used, but when it is, the bun is wrong--too puffy and bready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then when you get to the peppers, they use jalapenos, not pickled sport peppers, even though you can got to any Publix grocery store and pick up pickled sport peppers. (They taste different than jalapenos.) That's just laziness or a lack of concern in trying to duplicate the finished product, which is ubiquitious in Chicago. This is not brain surgery. But hot dog vendors here act like it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I could go on and on, but I've rambled enough . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gfr1111
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TampaAurora RE: gfr1111 May 17, 2009 10:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you tried Mel's in Tampa or Bruce's in Largo?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Bob W RE: AmblerGirl May 14, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Carolina barbecue"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is no such thing. In North Carolina, there are two distinct styles of barbecue -- Eastern and Western (AKA Lexington). The "pulled pork" often sold as Carolina BBQ might be tasty, but it's not what you'd get in NC. The sauce on what is sold as Carolina BBQ usually bears no resemblance to either NC style,. Further, Eastern NC is finely chopped cue, while Western is either finely or more coarsely chopped (possibly sliced too). I don't think people outside NC expect cue to be so chopped up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, South Carolina has been argued to have up to six distinct styles of barbecue, and somewhere in the state you might get what is often called "pulled pork," but such is certainly not the predominant bbq style in SC any more than it is in NC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I hear pulled pork, I think Memphis, not either of the Carolinas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Naco RE: Bob W May 16, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Pulled pork" in reference to barbecue in either North or South Carolina is a sure sign that you're dealing with a uitlander. Natives just say "barbecue"; this is simultaneously an assertion of the primacy of their local style, and a disacknowledgement of other varietals. Many aficionados will claim to have not even ever eaten or seen a competing style; it's tempting to think that they're being hyperbolic, but the Southern mindset understands that they are both lying and telling the truth...after a fashion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Naco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bob W RE: Naco May 18, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You are so right about the locals. The first time I ever read about NC barbecue was in Calvin Trillin's first book (forget the name for the moment). He was talking to someone in NC and expressed his disappointment with some barbecue he ate. The local asked if he got the barbecue east or west of Rocky Mount. Calvin said "East, I think." The NC fellow said, "Not surprised, there's no good barbecue east of Rocky Mount."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It wasn't until years later that I learned that there was an entire style of barbecue east of Rocky Mount, that it is fantastic, and that Calvin had obviously been speaking with a Western NC/Lexington barbecue adherent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: Bob W Apr 12, 2011 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great points. Carolina BBQ can probably be broken into four types, but Eastern Carolina and Western Carolina, cover the bases pretty well. Too many things differ to even go into in this thread. "Carolina BBQ" is not defining things, as they should be, and is like saying "Deep South cuisine." Much too broad to even consider.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For me, I like a finely chopped pork BBQ, that has been smoked for ages, and is served with very finely chopped Cole slaw, that is virtually dry. Any sauce is optional, though not really recommended, unless one is from another part of the South.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great points, and ones that more should consider, when discussing, or ordering "Carolina BBQ."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bbqboy RE: Bill Hunt Apr 12, 2011 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bill, what does "Deep South" mean to you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bill Hunt RE: bbqboy Apr 12, 2011 09:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Many things. It is a broad culinary region of the US, but not really tied together. Think Low-Country cuisine vs that of NOLA. It is a geographical region, but does not include Texas, or Florida, though they seem to fit in, when one is looking at a map. Last, it is a state of mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If one does the geography and the math, it is an area of the US, that is about the size of Western Europe, and while there are culinary ties, it is almost as diverse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In very general terms, it is a cuisine, that is based heavily on the land and the sea. Being poorer, and without the distribution networks of the North, especially the NE, the cuisine is true to the earth, and to the water. It was about what was available with little trade, beyond perhaps spices - though many were indigenous to the region too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cuisines differ by the country of origin of the settlers, plus also the contributions of the Native Americans of the areas. Add in the slave trade, and one interjected African, Caribbean, and other groups, plus the cuisine of the traders, Dutch, French, English, Spanish and several others. The countries that claimed each segment of the Deep South added their culture, whether French, Spanish, English, etc. Both Biloxi, MS and New Orleans, LA, are two great examples of these influences. That said, if one goes 20 miles inland from either, things change greatly, yet they fall into my definition of the Deep South. There are similarities, but also many differences too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If one only knows the cuisine of say Coastal Mississippi, and New Orleans, as did I, then they would not find THAT many ties with Tidewater Carolina/Virginia. They might even seem totally dissimilar, but upon study, one would see that it was just a different geography, and also culture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Though they are not separated by THAT many miles, there is a great difference between Cajun cuisine, and what would be known as traditional New Orleans cuisine. Some elements of the former DID find their way into the latter, but it was not always that way. Even today, many cannot make the correct connection between those two, different cuisines. They think that NOLA is equal to Cajun. It is not. NOLA cuisine has more Parisian French influences, while Cajun has more Canadian French influences. New Orleans has Spanish influences, while Cajun has few. Same for English influences. Also, New Orleans was a world port, so many things came into the city, through trade. The Cajun country was limited, and the practitioners were limited by the ingredients grown on hummocks, raised on those hummocks, or gathered from the bayous. Only miles apart in geographical terms, but much farther apart in culinary terms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think that typifies my ideal of the Deep South. There is much more, but that gets into the "state of mind," mentioned earlier.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bbqboy RE: Bill Hunt Apr 12, 2011 10:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As always, a wonderful in depth response. Thanks. You've got me thinking again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hazelhurst RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          New Iberia is an interesting case...it had close ties to New Orleans and consequently the food is more similar than scant miles away in any direction. New Iberia grits and grillades, for example. IN St MArtinville, just up the road, grillades (or grillades marinee) is portk on rice.(and on a separate note, "Cowboy stew" in St M. is just an offal mix.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal RE: hazelhurst Apr 16, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hazelhurst -- high 5 on the "offal mix."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't humor him, or we'll never hear the end of it!!!! [Grin]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would also give him 5 Bonus Points for that one too.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            paulj RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Folse has a book and PBS tv series tracing the influence of '7 nations' on southern Louisiana cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I want to know what the 4 types are (vs. the 2)! How do you characterize them? I was talking to an SC caterer the other day who said that Charleston isn't really part of SC. He called it a city-state. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: tatamagouche Apr 16, 2011 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I want to know what the 4 types are (vs. the 2)! How do you characterize them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            neat info. i always thought there were three - i didn't realize tomato had two distinct categories!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Naco RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And two of them are from North Carolina. Poor South Carolina, so far from God, so close to the Tarheel state.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Naco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: Naco Apr 16, 2011 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  heh heh naco. good thing you're not within a stone's throw of s.c.?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, let's see what we can come up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Parisian French
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Acadian French (were once probably closer together, but with this one, there was also some Native American influence, plus different ingredients)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Iberian Spanish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Spanish/Indio (some might easily argue this one)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Italian (slightly later by some accounts)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Irish (later still by some accounts)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps Native American, and not filtered through another cuisine, such as Spanish, or Acadian French.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cannot think of any others right now, but perhaps other scan?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LaLa RE: tatamagouche May 19, 2011 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  well he would be wrong