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Apr 30, 2009 10:44 PM

What is the quintessential food of your town?

My hometown of Mobile, Alabama is famous for two seafood dishes that both originated at the same small seafood restaurant: fried crab claws and West Indies Salad (lump white crabmeat marinated in vinegar, salt, pepper and ice water then served with crackers or over steak).

What is your hometown famous for?

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  1. I'm going to take a stab at this and say for Honolulu, Hawaii it is saimin and spam musubi. Now I can't say with absolute certainty they were created in Honolulu, but these are Hawaii food items and Honolulu has the largest population, hence my guess.

    Saimin goes back to plantation immigrant days when Chinese style noodles (mein) married with Japanese soup (dashi) creating saimin. Sai can mean small in Chinese, so maybe it means small noodles, alluding to the dishes simplicity, noodles, soup and a few simple garnishes, green onions, fishcake and char siu (bbq roast pork).

    Spam musubi, arose from Hawaii's love affair with spam, I think we eat the most per capita in the U.S. Sliced spam, usually fried and basted in teriyaki sauce, is placed on white rice, and wrapped in nori (dried seaweed). These are found everywhere, from lunch stands, supermarkets to 7-11 and are a popular snack item.

    12 Replies
    1. re: curiousgeo

      I think for Berlin it's a toss-up between Pfannkuchen aka "Berliner", a jam-filled donut; the "bulette", which is a meat patty that almost always includes bread, onions, and other fillers (it's notorious for that); and the döner. After all, it was invented here.

      1. re: curiousgeo

        How about Portugie sweet bread, 3 day poi, shave ice and char siu bao?!

        1. re: alwayscooking

          Wow! You not some kine hapa haole? How you know dis?

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Went for lessons, intensive family training, and passed the test before I was allowed to marry my ex - and have the recipes to prove it (very chow worthy in their own, very narrow yummy right).

            And I forgot to mention the gravy over rice - and I so make great gravy IMVHO.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              hey, where did my comments about manapua and shave ice go? certainly not something the moderators would have pulled...

              sometimes this site confuses me

          2. re: curiousgeo

            For Honolulu, you can't forget the loco moco. Two scoops rice, hamburger steak, fried egg, brown gravy over everything. Mac salad on the side.

            Me, I'm from Sacramento. Unless you want to count Campbell's tomato soup, we got nothin.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Close alan, but not Honolulu. Loco moco was actually created in Hilo, Hawaii, then migrated over. Still tastes good though!

              1. re: curiousgeo

                Not endemic, you're right, but still quintessential. No ka 'oi, brah.

              2. re: curiousgeo

                Seattle: Wild salmon, prepared as simply as possible, over a fire. Or cracked Dungeness crab. Or steamer clams. Wild blackberry or huckleberry pie. With a latte, of course.

                1. re: curiousgeo

                  Rock shrimp. We're the only place they come from. Of course, you can't really but them in the markets any more because they export them all to folks around the country that can pay the ridiculous price for them.

                  We use to be known for our local blue crabs and oysters but the developers destroyed all the estuaries building McMansions on the water for all the northern retirees. That of course spawned the all you can eat and early bird buffets. Darden really makes a killing in the Land of the Walker.

                2. I would have to say we are known for our southern pork bbq, whic h is slightly sour and tangy after being served with a vinegar and tomato dip or sauce. Cheerwine is a local drink and cakes or ice creams made with this soft drink are popular. Apple Uglies, which is a fried yeast dough with apple pieces added are also popular. I'm sure there are more, but this is what comes to mind right now.

                  1. For Cali it is probably sancocho with arepas and patacones.

                    1. BOSTON

                      Baked beans
                      Lobster roll
                      Clam chowder
                      D&D coffee and donuts
                      Parker House rolls
                      Cream Pie
                      Clam bakes
                      Fried clams
                      Stuffed quahaugs


                      Fenway franks

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: alwayscooking

                        Come on, give it to em like they wanna hear it

                        Parka House Rolls
                        and anything to do with Salt Water !!

                            1. re: Jimbosox04

                              Love that dirty waddah! Down by the banks of the River Charles...

                          1. re: Jimbosox04

                            But- if you are having cocktails with dinner, it is a "vodker tonic"!

                            1. re: Jimbosox04

                              Sorry Jimbo, but it's "Pahka" House Rolls.

                            2. re: alwayscooking

                              Beer is food, so lets not forget Sam Adams !!!!

                                      1. re: Jimbosox04

                                        oh yeah, and I'm from just north of Boston so I'd have to add our famous roast beef sandwiches. I'm partial to Nicks but seriously, Boston's north shore does this fast-food right

                                      2. re: alanbarnes

                                        unless, was was pointed out, you have a good idear

                              1. NYC--Pizza, corned beef, pastrami, dry aged steaks

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                  NYC--Kosher pickles, how could I forget kosher pickles.

                                  Then there are some things that have historically been quintessentially New York that can still be had, but maybe aren't as ubiquitous as they had been in the city's past, like local mussels, clams and oysters. They're obviously not as plentiful as they once were, because of pollution, overharvesting, and straightening out of the coastline through landfill, but there are still clam and oyster beds around Long Island and off the New Jersey shore, and where they're abundant, they're eaten like meatloaf.

                                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                      also... egg creams, chicken & rice from a cart, knish, smoked whitefish