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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
                      Scrod
                      Parker House rolls
                      Cream Pie
                      Clam bakes
                      Fried clams
                      Stuffed quahaugs

                      and

                      Fenway franks

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: alwayscooking

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

                        Chowda
                        Beenz
                        Lobsta
                        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

                                    2. For San Diego, CA it would probably be the Carne Asada Burrito, Fish Tacos and produce from Chino Farms.

                                      1. Santa Cruz, CA

                                        tourists -- anything you can buy on the beach boardwalk

                                        locals -- tacos and burritos

                                        1. I no longer live in the Chicago area but still consider it my home town:

                                          1. Steak, due to the former existence in Chicago of the Chicago stockyards.

                                          2. Deep dish pizza because it was first popularized by Pizzeria Uno, just after World War II.

                                          3. Chicago Italian beef and peppers on a bun, due to the large number of Italian immigrants.

                                          4. Pan fried perch because of the formerly ubiquitous supply from Lake Michigan.

                                          5. The Chicago hotdog, a thin hotdog on a thin, long (but not foot long) steamed bun with black poppy seeds, yellow ballpark mustard, neon green pickle relish, coarsely chopped onions, coarsely chopped tomato, pickled sport peppers, a wedge of cucumber as long as the hot dog with the seeds and gushy stuff removed, sprinkled with celery salt.

                                          6. Pierogies because Chicago has a larger Polish population than Warsaw.

                                          7. Carmel corn because it was first featured at one of Chicago's World Fairs (or so I have heard).

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: gfr1111

                                            Comments from a current Chicagoan:
                                            1. Steak is ok here, but every American city of decent size has good steak. The stockyards factor is no longer in play.
                                            2. Deep dish pizza (NOT the Uno chain variety) but also stuffed pizza with a crust; then cheese; sauce, sausage, pepperoni or other toppings; a second crust and more sauce.
                                            3. Italian beef with sweet and hot peppers on a hard italian roll (preferably Gonella) and dipped into juice.
                                            4. Since the demise of Phil Schmits in Hammond, together with the pollution of the lake, you don't see much perch any more.
                                            5. Chicago hot dog. yep. Also Hot Dougs -- every imaginable variety of gourmet specialty sausage.
                                            6. Pierogies. ok.
                                            7. I get the connection with caramel corn at the World's Fair (turn of the 19th - 20th century) but the truly Chicago version is the mind-bending Garrett's mix of caramel corn with cheese corn. Sweet and salty. Lick those fingers.

                                            Today, however, I have to believe that Chicago is one of the culinary centers of the world. With Alinea, TRU, Spiaggia, Everest, Trotters and dozens of other lesser-known, but extraordinarily creative culinary outlets, the fast food stuff has become part of the background to a much richer food tradition.

                                            1. re: chicgail

                                              I have to disagree on the steak, my relatives from the midwest (southeast Illinois) always had far better beef in general, even the preformed frozen patties had more flavor than you would casually buy in AZ. Sure, you can get great beef here, but in general it's just got more flavor in the midwest. Of course, I haven't been back there since the relatives all died about 20 years back, but maybe the cattle back there get a better diet. I dunno. But I wouldn't pass up a good midwestern steak, probably ever.

                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                I'm from Southeast IL and now in TX and the beef here certainly is better....now the pork back home is definitely better!

                                                1. re: pickychicky1979

                                                  Just before last Christmas a friend "retired" their Scottish Highland breeding bull, and they gave us a few cuts. Quite wonderful once you got beyond the sentimentality.

                                          2. Here in Southern Delaware we have bays that provide a home to the blue crab. We love to eat our local blue crabs steamed and covered in Old Bay and served up on a newspaper-covered table with ice cold beer. Crabcakes and crab bisque are also quintessential dishes here but yesterday my son had a fried soft shell crab sandwich for lunch and my husband had crab stuffed flounder. We are allll about crab here in my hometown.

                                            1. Sarasota, FL
                                              So many tourists. Local to a wide area of our west cost from Ft Myers just south to Tampa to our North, Grouper Sandwich, fried with coleslaw, tarter and some variation that includ tomato or cheese, but the basic grouper sandwich. Now blackened or just grilled.

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                                Kim, you beat me to it; I was going to say our area is famous for three things:

                                                1. Bad Italian-American food, thanks to all the snowbirds from NYC & Jersey
                                                2. Grouper Sandwich, which I do as a Po Boy with Chaurico
                                                3. Gulf Shrimp in any of a hundred incarnations

                                                Ken Hulme
                                                The Kilted Cook PCS
                                                Venice, FL

                                                1. re: KiltedCook

                                                  How very true :)
                                                  Italian ... what is that, I'm from MI and we at least had better Italian than here, Grouper!! a million ways, but it is still good how you put it together, shrimp only a hundred, lol. I got at least 500. My all time favorite

                                                  And by the way, Hi Ken, Kim. Didn't realize you were so close. Hope I didn't offend you in any emails. I tend to be a bit ... difficult or opinionated at times but not against anyone. I just state how I feel is all. Hope I didn't say anything bad to ya!

                                                  Left over sushi from last night for me, working out in the yard all day Im still working just took a break to get some info from the web. back to work and sushi for dinner. Totally lazy today. Am walk for sunrise, sushi dinner, pm walk for sunset, and jacuzzi follows. I think we are spoiled here.

                                                  And some one just gave me a smoked trout dip. I'm on the water Tues-Fri, guess what I'll be doing ... fishing for trout or grouper, smoke them when I get home and smoked trout dip. Good excuse to play rather than work this week huh?

                                                2. re: kchurchill5

                                                  Grew up in Clearwater/Largo....how I miss a a "real" grouper sandwich!

                                                  1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                    Yep, tis the best! Believe it or not when I went to college years ago in MI, Central Mich U there was this little restaurant, a hole in the wall type of place. A bar at night and daytime they served amazing lunch however there was only a few tables. The owner was born in Sarasota FL. Well one night we got talking about Sarasota because my family and I always vacationed there. I ended up working for him while I went to school and he taught me this great recipe for a killer sandwich, a "grouper sandwich." I just though he made it up, little did I know until I moved here how POPULAR it actually was. He also made conch chowder, key lime pie, and this great carribbean shrimp. He was an awesome cook in a bar called Nicks. People loved him for all his original and different dishes. Well he sold the bar the last year I was there and planed to move back to FL. I still make his recipe for his grouper sandwich.

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                                      Stop I am getting so homesick!
                                                      now I hav a super craving for a Grouper Sandy, conch salad and Key Lime pie...Guess what I will be doing this weekend!

                                                      I use to love going to Tarpon Springs for the fresh seafood and Greek food for that matter!

                                                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                        Oh ditto though, gyros, greek salads, good beer, tarpino beer and this wierd red wine (no clue on the name) but damn it was good wine :) Yes, I love those and they are favorites

                                                  2. re: kchurchill5

                                                    We are lucky that fresh grouper is so ubiquitous. Stone crab season ends tomorrow, and I went to Cortez and picked up 8 claws, almost the size of boxing gloves. We are blessed here in Florida.

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      Ditto that. My ex, ex as far as I can throw him. However he is still to go me in that they dive every year opening seasoning Oct 14 I believe. I get 12 to 30 large freezer bags of claws depending on how they do. It is 12 of them and only 3 like the crabs. So 400 plus are divided among 3 people. Do the math. They dive all night. 1 boat out, 1 in, then another out then another in for 12 to 18 hours. Heaven. then boil quick boil them all in a turkey fryer and then we pack them all up. I have 5 claws left. My problem is I could eat 12 - 15 at one time easily. My son 20 plus. I never buy them, But they are fantastic. We are very lucky down here. Yes end of season. I'm going out to the beach this weekend and hope to get some whiting, hard time of year, anything else tht bites. Fresh fish for Sunday I'm hoping. I could eat fish 5 times a week. I'm going off shore next week so hoping to get some grouper which will be nice. Even snapper.

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        When I was a kid, my family lived in the Miami area for about four years, and I think the best fish I've ever had was a grouper I caught on a friend's boat off Islamorada, filleted and fried as soon as we got home.

                                                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                          I used to spend a lot of time fishing in Islamorada. Fond memories there. I hold a fried yellowtail in high regard. That was before the Islamorada fish house was bought out by a corporation. You used to be able to take your own fish in and have it cooked. We would come in from Bud n Mary's and head right over to the restaurant. The Cheeca Lodge did the same.
                                                          7 am and I'm thinking about fried snapper and an ice cold Red Stripe at the Lorelei.
                                                          Hey at least it's Friday!

                                                    2. Brooklyn - Bagels

                                                      Westerville, Ohio - pecan loaf from Schneider's Bakery

                                                      1. Montreal

                                                        Smoked meat
                                                        Bagels
                                                        Maple syrup
                                                        creton
                                                        steamed hot dogs

                                                        7 Replies
                                                                1. re: bigfellow

                                                                  And tourtière! Had a nice canard de barbarie one.

                                                                  I'd also like to mention the growing influence here of Middle Eastern and Maghrebi foods, and in particular Lebanese dishes.

                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                  Poutine is not from Montreal... Some say its from Victoriaville, other from Drummondville... but definitely not Montreal.

                                                                  oh yeah... and maple syrup? It is popular here in Montreal, but the sugar shacks are not located in the city! We need lots and lots of trees!

                                                          1. Australia:
                                                            meat pies
                                                            pavlova - meringue and whipped cream topped with fresh fruit dessert
                                                            vegemite sandwiches - either with cheese or vegemite and lettuce
                                                            lamingtons - sponge cake with chocolate coating and rolled in shredded coconut
                                                            fairy bread - cheap white bread with 100s and 1000s sprinkles on top of a slather of margarine
                                                            Barbeques - usually featuring steak, sausages, onions, potatoes and salad.
                                                            burgers with a fried egg and beetroot on them
                                                            kangaroo steak

                                                            19 Replies
                                                            1. re: aussiewonder

                                                              what exactly is fairy bread? By sprinkles do you mean seeds?

                                                              1. re: Jacey

                                                                I am guessing sugar sprinkles, not seeds. Too healthy to get the name "fairy" bread...

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  100s & 1000s are coloured sprinkles for cakes - can't remember what you call them in the US

                                                                  1. re: Athena

                                                                    See, that's what I thought. From Germany here, where 'just sugar' is thrown on the buttered toast. Gross, unless you're 4, I suppose --

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      The Dutch use the chocolate sprinkles for that purpose.

                                                                    2. re: Athena

                                                                      Jimmies. Rainbow jimmies, chocolate jimmies, etc.

                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                        I always thought "jimmies" was a New Englandism. Specifically, it reminds me of Friendly's. Is "sprinkles" more common than "jimmies" in the rest of the US?

                                                                        Oh, and in Middletown, CT, we are noted for:
                                                                        1. the steamed cheeseburger
                                                                        2. scacciata (broccoli, spinach or potato pie)--like pizza pie, but usually rectangular and stuffed, so the dough encases the filling. Sadly, my two favorite places for scacciata are no more.

                                                                        Edit: "shots" works, too, as a sub for sprinkles or jimmies.

                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                          Only heard of jimmies when I moved to Boston - they are sprinkles everywhere else I've been.

                                                                          Just who was Jimmy?

                                                                          1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                            I don't remember this from Friendly's back when (70s), but maybe someone else does.
                                                                            http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              This NYer (and former NJian) uses the words jimmies and sprinkles interchangeably. According to Wikipedia, the name comes from Jimmy Bartholomew, who was associated with the candy company that manufactured them early last century. But that's according to Wikipedia, so who knows, really.

                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                My dad (born and raised in Philly) called them jimmies. But he also called them Melvins and Snerdlies. My dad is an odd man.

                                                                                1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                  Melvins are made of white chocolate. Snerdlies contain maple syrup.

                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                    Of course, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLVig4...

                                                                                    "We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of dreams!"
                                                                                    --Willy Wonka

                                                                                  2. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                    <My dad is an odd man.>

                                                                                    Inventive. Your dad is an inventive man. Yay, inventiveness!

                                                                            2. re: Athena

                                                                              we call them sprinkles, or if you're from new england (and unaware that it's racist), you can call them jimmies. and they usually go on icecream.

                                                                              1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                I'm almost afraid to ask, but who determined calling jimmies "jimmies" is racist?

                                                                                1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                  Re: "jimmies" being a racist term. Look, I try to be as progressive as the next guy, but with all the bad stuff out there in the world, it seems unnecessary to work to invent things to be oversensitive about.

                                                                                  Apparently, the term "Jimmies" was coined in Pennsylvania in the 1930s. A guy named James "Jimmy" Bartholomew was worked for the Just Born candy company (makers of Peeps). He decided to make some elongated chocolate grains that you could sprinkle on things. Jimmy's chocolate sprinkles caught on and took his name.

                                                                                  Of course, I have no doubt that some idiot could make a comment or a connection related to chocolate sprinkes and people of color. These days, rainbow sprinkles are probably fair game, too. But just because there are a few racist morons out there doesn't mean we need to eliminate all the words they use from our vocabulary.

                                                                          2. re: aussiewonder

                                                                            Australia is a TOWN? Live and learn.

                                                                          3. Hot Browns and derby pie are "the foods" of Louisville. Both delicious when done well, both hideous when done badly -- and alas, they are far more often done badly than well.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                              What are Hot Browns and what's in derby pie?

                                                                              Toss up in Bermuda between macaroni and cheese and peas and rice.

                                                                              1. re: Athena

                                                                                A hot brown is an open-faced sandwich, first made at the legendary Brown Hotel in Louisville as a late-night snack for guests. Toasted white bread, sliced turkey, bacon, sometimes tomatoes, sauce Mornay, cheese. Broiled. Served with a side of CPR, anti-coagulants, and defibrillator paddles. Ha!

                                                                                Derby pie is a chocolate-walnut pie. Officially "Derby Pie" is a trade name denoting a particular brand of product (they just got in on the copyright before anyone thought to object).

                                                                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                  Thanks for the explanation LauraGrace.

                                                                              2. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                When i think of Louisville I think of Butter Kuchens. Those really used to rock- I hope they still do (it's been a while...)!

                                                                              3. Along with peas and rice and mac and cheese
                                                                                There is also Bermuda Fish Chowder
                                                                                Paw Paw Cassrole
                                                                                Casava Pie
                                                                                Local Wahoo - Olive Oil, salt and pepper and Grilled - that is all it needs
                                                                                Cod fish and potatoes - my hubbys is off the charts

                                                                                And the Fish Huts Fish sandwich, what is a Friday without a Fish sandwich!

                                                                                Love Derby Pie, I make it once a year for the hubby

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                  bermudagourmetgoddess, every post you've made on this thread has left me salivating helplessly, imagining the culinary delights.

                                                                                2. Toronto - we have great food from a hundred different ethnicities, but a specific Toronto food?

                                                                                  Sad to say - we got nuthin.

                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: KevinB

                                                                                    I was waiting for this comment to come out :)

                                                                                    It's always hard to think of something specific to Toronto that has really caught on. People often mention the Peameal sandwiches at SLM but those are hardly all over the city or particularly well known outside Toronto.

                                                                                    WON

                                                                                    1. re: KevinB

                                                                                      Very little in the way of food in the New World didn't come from elsewhere. When the Dutch came to the island of the Manhattoes, I don't think the Lenape offered them bagels. They did harvest clams, though.

                                                                                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                        "Very little in the way of food in the New World didn't come from elsewhere."

                                                                                        David, I beg to differ. The New World had thousands of food items to offer the interlopers. Corn, several varieties of beans & peas, squash, tomatoes, chilies and bell peppers, turkey, chocolate, dozens of fruits & berries, bison, pemmican (the original energy bar), crayfish, and quinoa just to name a few off the top of my head...

                                                                                        1. re: KiltedCook

                                                                                          Sorry, I should have phrased that differently. That wasn't what I was implying. Of course there were many interesting foods in the New World before contact with the Europeans, but those don't seem to be the topic of this discussion. I just meant, in response to KevinB's post, that most of the foods that any given location is famous for, at least in the New World, probably came from elsewhere, and that's probably true for Toronto as well.

                                                                                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                            I might agree that some components of the food came from somewhere else, but I think many of the unique foods were developed/adapted in-situ.

                                                                                            Boston Baked Beans
                                                                                            New England Clam Chowder
                                                                                            San Francisco Sourdough
                                                                                            Chicago Hot Dogs
                                                                                            New Orleans Cajun
                                                                                            Northwest Salmon
                                                                                            Hawaii Spam Musubi
                                                                                            Chop Suey

                                                                                            I think you would be hard pressed to say that polenta is really just a variation of corn mush eaten throughout much of the Americas.

                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                              No disagreement that these are all reflections of local culture, but at the same time, they are with the exception of salmon in the Northwest U.S., products of immigration.

                                                                                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                                Anything from the southwestern US or of Mexican origin (including Tex-Mex and old Californian, from US regions formerly parts of Mexico) will incorporate Amerindian staples.

                                                                                                Popcorn. Here, anything with maple syrup - surely you don't think the French brought it to Québec?

                                                                                            2. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                              I respectfully disagree. As others have pointed out, my home town of Montreal (and the province of Quebec) have maple syrup and candy, tourtiere, Montreal smoked meat, and of course, poutine. The only thing I could think of that is even considered "Ontarian" is the butter tart, and I'm sure someone will dispute that.

                                                                                              However, I did find two things that did originate in the GTA: Swiss Chalet chicken and Harvey's hamburgers. Both chains have spread across Canada, but they did get their start here in T.O. So I guess we have some (very) small bragging rights. (I still think Swiss Chalet has the best fries of any fast food chain!)

                                                                                              1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                As a native Torontonian I'll pass on the right to claim Harvey's and Swiss Chalet :)

                                                                                                I'm willing however to accept the butter tart.

                                                                                                WON
                                                                                                http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                                                                                                1. re: wontonfm

                                                                                                  When I lived in Toronto around 1990-91, I used to spend a lot of time at the Future Cafe, so I associate Toronto with good pierogi.

                                                                                                  1. re: wontonfm

                                                                                                    Specifically Toronto for butter tarts? Basis for that claim? They are native to Ontario, perhaps...I have a strong personal interest in the topic. As is probably obvious.

                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      i wouldn't attribute the butter tart to Toronto for sure. MAYBE to Ontario though. Did a quick search and Wikipedia says that the origins are unknown but that one of the oldest recipes is from Ontario: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tart

                                                                                                      WON
                                                                                                      http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        They are definitely an Upper Canadian goodie. In Québec, the similar tarte au sucre is rarely made into wee tarts, and the filling is a bit different. If Sir John A. was a fan, that would predate a "Northern Ontario" recipe, as there were few permanent settlers of British or French descent in Northern Ontario then, and they certainly aren't an Amerindian food (unlike maple syrup).

                                                                                                2. re: KiltedCook

                                                                                                  "several varieties of beans"

                                                                                                  In Cajamarca, in northern Peru, and close to the center of origin, in a few villages alone we collected, geo-referenced chancterized, grew out and recorded agronomic inofrmation for 235 different bean varieties (working on in situ conservaion). Huge numbers of traditional varieites continue to be grown in traditional bean growing areas in the Andes, central America and Mexico, and countries like Ruwanda and Burundi. We at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture have several thousand varieites in the genebank and have released near 400 new varieties over time.

                                                                                                  And don't forget potatoes and cassava - both major global foods now.

                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                    Sam, I'd love to read more about that centre. Will be googling it.

                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                        Yes, I' already found it but hope others will have a look too. I already knew about the seed thesaurus in northern Norway, and have read about Colombia sending samples up there. CIAT and related centres are a very important food topic, and I hope they can be discussed somewhere on the site, perhaps as a feature story.

                                                                                            3. While a longtime resident of Honolulu, my long buried roots are in San Francisco... can't match the dungeness crab or the sourdough bread anywhere in the world.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                I moved from SF a few years ago (alas) and I miss the cioppino as well.

                                                                                                1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                                                  I'd say the quintessential San Francisco foods are sourdough, cioppino, and Irish coffee (invented at Buena Vista Café in the 1950s). Cioppino's certainly just a variation of Italian fish stews, and has its origins with Italian immigrant fisherman, but is very much characterized by local ingredients.

                                                                                              2. Here in Oklahoma, our state legislature has codified the official state meal;

                                                                                                "In 1988, Oklahoma's state legislature gave legal status to the state's official meal. Its menu includes fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas."

                                                                                                A lot of politics went into that, to include most of our major crops.

                                                                                                You, too, can write your state legislators and encourage them to give a statutory imprimatur to your local cuisine.

                                                                                                Chicken fried steak, if done properly, can be a great entree. Most usually plated with real mashed potatoes and green beans, with gravy made from the pan crispies of the breading.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                  That's one big meal! More like the state's official buffet line. How do strawberries end up in the middle of a savory line up? I didn't know strawberries are grown in Oklahoma.
                                                                                                  I should talk, just about everything on your state meal list is served at every diner in the South, but most often poorly. Southern food is comfort food and should be considered a national treasure.

                                                                                                2. North Kingstown, Rhode Island - Clam cakes and chowda...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Sean

                                                                                                    My Charlestown-origin sweetie wants to clarify-- that's CLEAR broth chowda, right?

                                                                                                    1. re: Vetter

                                                                                                      Yes, but I prefer the more creamy myself...

                                                                                                  2. I live only thirty minutes away in SoMS - love that salad. Could you recommend a couple of good seafood restaurants in Mobile? I saw Wintzell's in your bio - we almost ate there last week but went to Bone Fish instead. Also rec a fine dining place? (thanks)

                                                                                                    1. NJ Sloppy Joe, pork roll,

                                                                                                      NewProvidence NJ

                                                                                                      1. Hancock County, Maine: sweet Maine shrimp in the winter, fried clams, scallops, lobster and blueberry pie for dessert. Pickled periwinkles for an app.

                                                                                                        1. One of the first signs of Spring here in Burlington Vermont is the reappearance of Beansie's Hot Dog Bus, a retrofitted school bus that parks in between the police station and Waterfront Park. They serve a Michigan Dog, which is a sweet chili/sloppy joe tomato sauce. Why Michigan, no one knows.
                                                                                                          While not great chow, it is an institution.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                                                                              Natchitoches Meat Pies, and crawfish everything.

                                                                                                          1. In upstate new york, we have...
                                                                                                            half moons (they're not called black and white cookies).
                                                                                                            chicken riggies
                                                                                                            salt potatoes
                                                                                                            greens.

                                                                                                            1. CA central valley (ceres, modesto, turlock, etc....)

                                                                                                              Taco trucks. Carne asada on two little corn tortillas, topped with onion and cilantro, and sometimes a squeeze of lemon or lime. When mr. popkin was still driving a big rig doing long haul, the thing I most missed about home was the taco trucks, and that was the first thing we got whenever we got back :)

                                                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                  I always wanted to know what a Coney Dog was. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY (where Coney Island is) and I never heard of a Coney Dog before. Could you explain?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                    A lot of people say originally developed in the Detroit area, who knows. But traditionally they are a hot dog made from beef, topped with a beanless chili, diced onion and yellow mustard.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                      We had Coney Island Reds when I grew up in Fresno. I looked for them in Coney Island - but found nothing!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                        I was to corney island twice and had them both times, probably 15-20 years ago. We also had them in Detroit growing up all the time. Even down here there is a hot dog place and they serve the same dog and call it the Coney Dog

                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                          The story I've heard is that the coney (a/k/a coney dog) - a hot dog with chili, onions, mustard, and maybe cheese - isn't named for Coney Island in New York, but for Coney Island amusement park outside Cincinnati, Ohio (est. 1886 as "Grove Park, the Coney Island of the West"). Legend is that hot dog vendors there began putting chili, cheese, and other such toppings on hot dogs in an effort to outdo one another.

                                                                                                                          Coneys are served at every Cincinnati chili parlor (Skyline, Goldstar, etc.). They inspired a type of independently-owned restaurant (American Coney Island, George's Coney Island, etc.) in Detroit. And they gave their name to a chain in Tulsa (Coney I-Lander). The chilis evolved over time - a coney dog in Detroit is very different than a Skyline cheese coney - but the name stuck.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                          Coney Dogs were invented in Mi. They have nothing to do with Coney Island NY or the "coney Island" restaurants that can be found in OH or MI.
                                                                                                                          I know it's Wikipedia but it's so much easier to give you this link than write a big post that says essentially the same.
                                                                                                                          The one thing that is probably a bit deceptive in the description is that while Detroit coney sauce resembles beanless chili the authentic stuff is made from ground organ meat.

                                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coney_Is...

                                                                                                                          http://www.todoroffs.com/Our_History/...

                                                                                                                          http://www.americanconeyisland.com/hi...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                            A similar dog called the michigan can be found in Montreal and northern New York state. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                              Many thanks for the clarification. I knew that the hot dog of my childhood (Nathan's) could not have been what was described. Since the Coney dog didn't and doesn't exist in Coney Island (NY) I wonder how kchurchill5 had it "twice".

                                                                                                                              1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                                I've never been to Nathan's but I hope to try them some day. If you make it to Detroit both Lafayette and American are down town and worth a visit.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                Somehow I would just like to remember it as beanless chili with beef hotdogs and NOT know anything else.

                                                                                                                                I still like them however.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                  LOL Your probably not alone and today it may well be one of the reasons that the sauce is a secret.
                                                                                                                                  OTOH you get to have a dog and keep up with the latest trend by eating offal!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                    In RI we have a version that is locally known as a "Hot Weiner", "Hot weinies" or "Gaggers" (pronounced "gaggas")

                                                                                                                                    http://www.olneyvillenysystem.com/hom...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sean

                                                                                                                                      I grew up in NW PA and there was a dinor (proper NW PA spelling BTW) named "Greek's" that served coney dogs. My father would order them, but they were too hot and spicy for my childhood tastebuds. My memory is of fiery chili and mustard and onions.

                                                                                                                                      Greek's is still there as of 1 1/2 years ago, but I did not peruse the menu when I was there. i will next time, and I will try a coney dog.

                                                                                                                            2. In Las Vegas??? Overpriced food at celebrity chef restaurants. And chicken fingers seem to be ubiquitous.

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: mtngirlnv

                                                                                                                                If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times people: Chickens just don't have any fingers!

                                                                                                                                1. re: bigfellow

                                                                                                                                  Neither do fish, much less than chickens do actually (if you look at chicken feet, they do have sort-of-toes). But fish fingers are an old childhood staple. Much older than "chicken fingers".

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                    Whereas in the US, the chicken comes in fingers, but the fish comes in sticks. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                        OMG. I HATE that commercial. That preposterous little brat would be lucky to get any dinner at all in my house.

                                                                                                                              2. San Diego: fish tacos

                                                                                                                                Tempe, AZ: burritos enchilada style

                                                                                                                                  1. Los Angeles: French Dip Sandwich originated at Phillipe's

                                                                                                                                    1. My hometown of Bradford, Pa has a sandwich called a Beef on Weck. It is slow-roasted beef on a kummelweck roll. Basically this is a hard kaiser roll with caraway seeds and kosher salt baked on top. The bun is drizzled with a little of the beef juices, the beef piled high. Traditionally horseradish is added by the diner. You order the beef to whatever done-ness you prefer. If you are ever in Bradford stop by Beef Eaters. Or the Beef-n-Barrel just across the border in Olean, NY has good Beef on Weck also. Actually the Olean restaurant has been serving their speciality for about 30 years.

                                                                                                                                      Bradford also has a large Italian-American population so italian sausage on a long roll with sauteed peppers and onions is also an iconic sandwich there.

                                                                                                                                      Now that I am in the Chicago area I have fallen in love with Italian Beef sandwiches. Beef simmered with peppers, onions, garlic and piled high on a long roll. Hot peppers and giardinieri to top it off. No cheese necessary, but plenty of napkins as it is a messy sandwich, but well worth the juice trying to run down your elbow.

                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: KristieB

                                                                                                                                        I've been eating "beef on a weck" in Buffalo, NY since I was a university student in the 1970's. Don't know where it originated, but it's pretty popular in upstate NY.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                          Of course beef of weck or "wick" kummelwick. Worked at a buffalo bar, basically a kaiser roll with coarse grain or pretzel salt and caraway seeds. good thin sliced beef and au ju. The top was always soaked for a minute in the au jus and topped, and of course a creamy horsey sauce. Amazing sandwich.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                            When I ran a diplomatic school in Helsinki, our "sister" school was In Hamburg. Hit beef on weck first thing, to hell w/ wings!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                              I love the sandwich, when I first worked as a bartender at the restaurant I was "what is this," I love it still do and I still make it at home. I cheat and make my own kaiser rolls with the salt and caraway, but I love to make it when I can. I actually did a whole Buffalo party once and did it from scratch and they were awesome!!

                                                                                                                                              Screw the wing, hello BOW!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                                Buffalo is a CH dream. So many "fast food" specialties that aren't "fast food" at all. Yes, chicken wings (not breaded-ever) and beef on weck (extra horseradish and ketchup on mine, please), but also Ted's charcoal grilled Sahlens hot dogs with a side of super crispy fresh onion rings. Sponge Candy; Anderson's frozen custard and lemon ice; loganberry drink.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sbp

                                                                                                                                                  Sahlens are great agreed, I do like those, although 1 I had I hated, I don't think Sahlen. Sponge candy ??? Lemon Ice ??? yes forgot that and good. Loganberry didn't have.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                                                                  I can remember when a friend from Bradford moved to Eau Claire, WI and was searching high and low for kummelweck rolls. Finally she called me and I had to let her down by telling her you can't get them outside of the Buffalo-Bradford area. And bringing them home from there and freezing them doesn't work. The salt and seeds just fall off. Though you can brush them with beaten egg whites and sprinkle more on and re-bake them for about 6 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KristieB

                                                                                                                                                    Actually it is nothing more than a kaiser roll with caraway seeds and salt pretzel salt. You can make them at home but for some reason they never tasted the same. This is the recipe I used and seems to work well, maybe just because I had to make them they tasted different.

                                                                                                                                                    http://shelleysrecipebox.blogspot.com...

                                                                                                                                        2. This was a tough one. I polled a few people I know and we all agreed that here in Harrisonburg, VA, the quintessential food, or at least the food that has the most familiarity and greatest reknown is the chili dog from Jess’ Quicklunch, located at 22 South Main Street.

                                                                                                                                          The diner is a local landmark and there is hardly a person in a 30 mile radius who has never partaken of this local “delicacy”.

                                                                                                                                          Oddly enough, there really isn’t anything special about it at all. It’s a thin hot dog on plain bun, with chili and/or onions. I don’t know why they taste so good, much better than from anywhere else. The running joke is their extremely well-seasoned grill hasn’t been cleaned since they opened, lol.

                                                                                                                                          1. I live in Mamaroneck, NY, a NYC suburb and we have two insititutions.

                                                                                                                                            One is Sal's Pizza. The place has been there forever. It's a staple for families and high school students and just about everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone who grew up in the area grew up on Sal's pizza. The line goes out the door every night.

                                                                                                                                            The other is Walter's Hot Dogs. It's a big hot dog stand that looks like a pagoda. They have their own hot dog recipe. You can't top the dogs with anything other than ketchup and mustard. When it's open in the summer, it's also always crowded.

                                                                                                                                            1. I live in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which is the moniker for a collection of cities and other municipalities at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, including: Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Smithfield, Newport News, Hampton, the Eastern Shore, York County and Williamsburg.

                                                                                                                                              We have eight distinct Culinary Calling Cards in our region - food that either has its roots here, or food that we have a true affinity with.

                                                                                                                                              These are:

                                                                                                                                              1. Blue Crab
                                                                                                                                              2. Oysters
                                                                                                                                              3. Fresh catch, especially rockfish and flounder
                                                                                                                                              4. Fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes and corn
                                                                                                                                              5. Fresh fruit, especially strawberries and watermelon
                                                                                                                                              6. Pulled pork barbecue
                                                                                                                                              7. Virginia-style (gourmet, large sized) peanuts
                                                                                                                                              8. Country ham, such as the traditional Smithfield ham

                                                                                                                                              We are fortunate to have the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay right here, as well as good farm land. I love our region and our good eats.

                                                                                                                                              Chef Patrick

                                                                                                                                              1. Bristol (UK) - cider. That's hard cider in US terms. Or very very very hard cider. Scrumpy, in UK terminology. Cloudy, with a heavy sediment for preference. Known to cause brain damage (really).

                                                                                                                                                1. I am happy to be the first to mention Philadelphia and our wonderful contributions to the culinary world:
                                                                                                                                                  wiz wit or wit out (a cheesesteak with cheese wiz and friend onions)
                                                                                                                                                  Tastykake, the butterscotch krimets are deeply ingrained in my childhood memories
                                                                                                                                                  Hoagie, this is just a sub but for some reason all southeast PA-er's call it a hoagie
                                                                                                                                                  pickled watermelon rind- this is an Amish specialty and much better than it sounds
                                                                                                                                                  scrapple, not a personal favorite but a philadelphia-region specialty for sure.

                                                                                                                                                  i hope other Philadelphian's add on to this short list, i know im missing things!

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                                                                                                      Nope, NY (I originally thought so, too). Add this little bit of info to the list of many things I've learned on Chowhound. And, if I remember correctly, thanks BobB!
                                                                                                                                                      http://www.philadelphia.co.uk/philade...

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: contessa15

                                                                                                                                                      Pork sandwich
                                                                                                                                                      Sing for me: "Tastykake cake and pies." Hmmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Nobody's mentioned Albuquerque, so here goes: A stuffed green chile sopapailla, Frito Pies and stacked Christmas enchiladas (Christmas? With red and green chile sauce.).

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                          Do stuffed sopapaillas exist outside New Mexico?

                                                                                                                                                        2. Oregon really has nothing in the way of quintessential food to speak of. Hazelnuts of course are very available. We do have lots of small local producers that are growing and raising wonderful food for our tables. Farmers markets are doing a great business in season.

                                                                                                                                                          Instead of food I think Oregon is known for great Pinot Noir and a huge hand crafted micro beer industry. No food, just alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: duck833

                                                                                                                                                            Calistoga, CA:

                                                                                                                                                            Water
                                                                                                                                                            Wine
                                                                                                                                                            Forni, Brown and Welsh greens

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: calalilly

                                                                                                                                                              In Springfield, IL our culinary claim to fame is the 'horseshoe sandwich':

                                                                                                                                                              layered, from the bottom:
                                                                                                                                                              texas toast
                                                                                                                                                              meat (typically a burger patty, but anything goes really - chicken strips, pork chops, sliced turkey, etc etc)
                                                                                                                                                              french fries
                                                                                                                                                              cheese sauce

                                                                                                                                                              I've seen 'em with the fries on top of the cheese sauce, but I think cheese-on-top is probably more typical. it's awesome but lethal. Cheese sauce is hotly contested: a nice robust mildly spicy sauce including beer is tops.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Los Angeles ~~ besides the French Dip is the original home of the Cobb Salad, Hot Fudge, and In n Out.

                                                                                                                                                            However, the quintessential food is impossible to define today. There is Little Saigon, Little Tokyo, China Town, San Gabriel Valley, Little Ethiopia, Thai Town, Koreatown, East Los Angeles (2nd largest Mexican city in North America, only Mexico City is larger). The huge immigrant population affects greatly the food associated w/the city.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I guess I won't claim NYC, it's already been mentioned, but let's see...what can we claim in my adopted home region of northeast NJ...

                                                                                                                                                              The best I can come up with are deep fried hot dogs- sort of a mild pork/veal/beef type, and kinda large (5 to a pound, maybe), that really grow on you after you've had a few. And at that point you have to get them at the hot dog joints because you definitely can't replicate them at home. Think Rutt's Hutt or Hiram's, but we do have a local place up here in Dumont called Jolly Nick's that also fits the bill.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. Now that there are umpteen answers, just because it is the quintessential food of your town does that mean it had to be "invented" there? San Francisco Sourdough is world famous, but we all know that sourdough was around when San Francisco was still hidden from Europeans in a perpetual fog bank. Same goes for chicago deep dish pizza and Coney Island hot dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                    I think just about any one that grew up in a Northern Mi resort town could say fudge is the quintessential food where they grew up much like the lobster roll in Me.
                                                                                                                                                                    If you want to trade some fudge and coneys for fresh ono just let me know!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                      Mackinaw Island fudge. WOW, the best. Petosky, Charlevoix, Leelenaw, Iron City. Takes me back.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                      Gotta disagree about SF Sourdough. Yeh, sourdough has been around forever - but SF has a unique wild yeast/bacteria mix that makes its bread unique. No matter how hard you try, you cannot make SF Sourdough anywhere outside the greater SF Bay area unless you continually fly in starter from SF.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. no one here from KY, huh? we have a few state-wide specialties, not necessarily specific to my hometown of Lexington:

                                                                                                                                                                      - mint juleps
                                                                                                                                                                      - bourbon
                                                                                                                                                                      - chocolate bourbon balls
                                                                                                                                                                      - corn pudding / spoonbread served with honey and butter
                                                                                                                                                                      - barbecued mutton (Owensboro)
                                                                                                                                                                      - KY hot brown (Louisville)
                                                                                                                                                                      - derby pie (Louisville)
                                                                                                                                                                      - country ham with gravy (probably pan Appalachian)
                                                                                                                                                                      - benedictine spread (Louisville)
                                                                                                                                                                      - squirrel burgoo (Appalachia)

                                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                        You had me at chocolate bourbon balls (mmmmmmm!) and lost me at squirrel burgoo. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                          that's ok. i lost myself at benedictine spread. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                          squirrel burgoo is increasingly rare because folks don't like to go to the trouble of skinning and gutting so many tiny squirrels for a single pot of burgoo and chicken has become ever so much cheaper. but if you ever have the chance to try the real thing, you should. it's good! the flavor is sort of similar to chicken, but the texture is much more interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                            "but the texture is much more interesting"

                                                                                                                                                                            LOL. Still no sale

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                ah well, guess you're holding out for squirrel brains, our other regional specialty. =P

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                  Folks here would fit in with folks there...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Other specialties of my area are pig brains (the kind you buy in a bucket in the grocery) and squirrel gravy. (One doesn't necessarily go with the other.) :-\

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll pass again, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I just don't get it. but that is ok, everyone has their won't try or don't want to try dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll pass of cuccubear too, sorry no offense really.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                  Squirrel burgoo done correctly is great!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                    Indeed. Tree rat makes a fine meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                      i think it's going to be the next big thing once this whole bacon trend dies down!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                          huh. you always have an interesting article up your sleeve, alanbarnes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          folks in the US ought to retaliate by eating British reds. it's the patriotic thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                        I would probably be cool with eating a squirrel. I liked the rabbit I had once. But I simply have no interest in eating a brain.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Very cool topic - here in the lovely Southern Tier of New York (which is upstate from 'the' city, if that makes any sense...), our specialty is the spiedie. Cubed marinated meat (originally lamb, then typically pork or beef, but much more chicken nowadays) cooked on a grill (typically) on a skewer, then placed on a slice of italian bread. Started here in the Binghamton area - you can get them in many places here, but the best are to make and marinate your own. You can buy the marinade, or make your own version of that as well .

                                                                                                                                                                                  We even have a festival here to celebrate them...

                                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiedies - in case you're curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Brooklyn - Egg Creams, Manhattan Special, Shatzkin's Knishes (alas, no more), Nathan's hot dogs (not to be confused w/ NYC's dirty water hot dogs), Di Fara's pizza and Peter Luger's steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm also from Brooklyn but never heard of a Manhattan Special. What is it? Miss those Bklyn egg creams. Ever have a coffee egg cream?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                                                                                        Manhattan Special is a coffee soda. I could go for one right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I remember seeing them -- glass bottle, yellow label with the Manhattan skyline. I know just where to get one and I'm going now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not coffee, but in summer I make an almond egg cream, using orzata syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                            I love almond anything! I already have an official egg cream glass with measurements and orzata, so I will have to give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I was always intrigued by egg creams, having read about them over time, but I didn't dig that U-Bet syrup when I tried it. Orzata's another story, though. Thanks for the suggestion!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                              The key to a good egg cream is to get a nice creamy head of foam. After putting in the syrup & milk, hold a spoon over the glass & pour some seltzer so that it cascades over the spoon and into the glass. This creates the foam, but once you have a decent head, pull spoon away or you'll get a glass full of bubbles. The art of making good egg creams is getting the head right. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Pour some seltzer"? If it's not from a siphon bottle, I'm not entirely sure it's really seltzer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, cool--I'm familiar with that spoon trick from making layered shots. Because orzata is so sweet, I'm guessing you probably put less of it in than the U-Bet (it's been too long for me to remember how sweet U-B might have been). Will have to play around with it. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I don't see a response for Mexico City... so here goes:

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pre Hispanic Dishes Inherited From Tenochtitlan / Texcoco Lagoon Communities Still Popular Today

                                                                                                                                                                                          Duck in Mole Verde
                                                                                                                                                                                          Huazontles stewed with Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                          Tomato-Jalapeno sauces
                                                                                                                                                                                          Acociles (Cambarellus) a family of Cray Fish endemic to Central & Southern Mexico
                                                                                                                                                                                          Huitlacoche (Fungus that grows on Corn) particularly served on big quesadillas made from fresh corn masa

                                                                                                                                                                                          Contemporary Classics

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tacos Al Pastor
                                                                                                                                                                                          Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
                                                                                                                                                                                          Enchiladas Suizas
                                                                                                                                                                                          Carne a la Tampiquena
                                                                                                                                                                                          Tortas (Pepito, Milanesa, Pechuga Enchipotlada)

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup classic dish invented by a cook at Sanborn's There is of course a lot more dishes endemic to Mexico City... I just quickly put together some of the more glaring.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                bacon wrapped hot dogs, now that is glaring in a list of mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess Hot Cakes con Cajeta (Goat Milk Dulce de Leche from Celaya) would probably be pretty glaring as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are also the Potato Chip vendors at every Street Market... fresh fried drenched in table salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                              In a city of 20MM+ people, 700+ years of continuous food innovation, and 100,000+ prepared food vendors, you can fill up entire books of Quintessential foods & local inventions... if you understand Spanish this guy is starting to get good at documenting the Blue Collar side of Mexico City's food offering:

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/user/teknoshopmex

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I was just thinking that Bradford, PA has another culinary contribution. Ramps or leeks whichever, are a spring tradition in Bradford. They just had their annual Stink Fest. I can remember the boys being thrown out of school for stinking to high heaven every spring during the digging season. They are the culinary gift that keeps on giving. I can remember my grandmother taking Nullo tablets to counteract the awesome power of Leek Breath and Leek B.O. before going back to work at the hospital. But the stink aside, they are a very tasty spring tonic for those who are brave enough to indulge.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Well I live outside of Washington DC and I would have to say DC is known for its' Senate Bean Soup and Ben's Chili Bowl Half-Smokes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I've been waiting for Jdog, but here goes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The New Jersey Sloppy Joe; not the ground beef BBQ sandwich at all.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Northeastern NJ. Deep fried hot dogs with chili sauce,onions,& mustard. Taylor pork roll (commonly called Taylor Ham ) on a hard roll w/ or wo american cheese. Ketchup is also an option. And of course, Italian food. My favorite hot dog joint is Johnny & Hanges but The Hot Grill is also incredible

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: zeed

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't forget a fried egg on the Taylor Pork Roll and on a Kaiser Roll!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Butter Roll
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Italian Hot Dog
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stromboli
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Down south: Panzarotti
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I grew up on Hot Dog Johnny's up by the Gap, and a place called the Greeks in South River for my first addiction to chili dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Vancouver, B.C.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any locally grown berry (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry) mixed with rhubarb and made into a pie by your grandmother.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dim Sum on Sundays (love Chinatown)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Outdoor grilling anything but particularly salmon or skewers of BC spot prawns. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you are drunk downtown then $1-$2 slices of pizza slathered with chicken wing hot sauce (like Franks). Poutine be damned, spicy pizza it is!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: acooknamedmike

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "If you are drunk downtown then $1-$2 slices of pizza slathered with chicken wing hot sauce (like Franks). Poutine be damned, spicy pizza it is!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Done that! Had the spicy pizza from a little middle eastern owned shop near the Hockey stadium. I was too drunk to remember much... but Vancouver's definition of Spicy... is certainly not very intense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. New Haven, CT: The hamburger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ravac

                                                                                                                                                                                                        First thing that comes to mind for New Haven is Apizza! White clam pie is supposed to be what it's all about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was born in Changsha, Hunan, China, which is known for cured/dried/smoked meats, briny and spicy pickled red peppers (and a huge variety of fresh/dried/cured peppers as well), freshwater fish (which, when steamed with aforementioned pickled peppers, is heavenly), blackened crispy stinky tofu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is my first post. I look forward to reading about and sharing thoughts with a community that cares so much about food. Nice to meet you all).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Welcome aboard... no pressure... can you write up a Qin Dynasty Cuisine Primer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Welcome! And I wholeheartedly agree that apizza is the quintessential New Haven food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you! Though Hunanese cuisine is definitely peasant-inspired rather than high cuisine... I love taking pictures of the food when I go back... Here, I'll show you...This is something my aunt made last summer: Red-braised pig trotters, duck bones with spicy fresh peppers, and fresh tomato with raw sugar (to quench the spiciness).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hm, the file was too big. I'll figure out a way to compress it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think this will work... The 2nd picture is of mung bean flour noodles... with pickled peppers...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's not fair. Not right before lunchtime. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        >>Though Hunanese cuisine is definitely peasant-inspired rather than high cuisine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pish posh. That's a useless distinction. Hunanese cuisine is darn tasty and that's all we need to know! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome to Chowhound, Cookiephage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was born in Taipei so can definitely relate to the stinky tofu! Too bad nothing in the SF Bay Area compares.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I don't think anyone has mentioned the Washington-DC area where I grew up. Other than half-smokes from Ben's Chili Bowl and Hamburgers from Five guys I cannot think of other local foods off the top of my head. I vote Blue Crab, anything made with it, and Old Bay because I'm from Maryland but that's more of a Maryland food than a D.C. food. Ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. St. Louis:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Toasted ravioli (deep fried, served as appetizer or entree)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ted Drewes' frozen custard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anheuser-Busch beer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fitz' Root Beer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gooey butter coffee cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Imo’s Pizzas (thin crust, provel cheese)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pork steaks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        White Castle “bellybomber” – hamburger for the strong of spirit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top it off with a hometown-produced Tums antacid

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: spoonball

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I went to St. Louis on a Motorcycle trip 10ish years ago. I really enjoyed the food and the street atmosphere at night. Cannot remember the names of the places we ate at, but all were first rate. That's were the toasted ravioli came from, good to know. It is becoming more available here in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Brussels , famous for Waffles and the greatest chocolates in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Glasgow, Irn bru and a deep fat fry anything culture

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: OMilne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I spent about 36 hours alone in Brussels near Christmas last year and I swear to god I had more waffles and spiced rum (what is that drink?) than most Belgians consume in a week. I brought basically a suitcase full of the individual packaged ones to my friends in Amsterdam. We spent a significant amount of time (probably at a coffee shop) marveling over just how incredible they were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I was in Leuven a couple of years ago I was attending a conference and we were traveling with baby, and it seemed that we were never in the right place at the right time for waffles, which seemed to be served exclusively as an afternoon snack. We couldn't get them for breakfast or order them for dessert in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was the wrong time of year as well for moules frites, but we did eat a lot of fries, steak, speculoos ice cream, and drink a fair quantity of the local brews.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great beer in Brussels (5 different kinds of Hoeggarrden?). Did not try the waffles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. OH, goodness! It is not really specific to the town, but rather to the entire of the upper part of Michigan (the UP,) the PASTIE. It is a meat & potato pie made with a crust that is slightly less short than a pie crust. It can include onions, carrot, & rutabaga. In the UP it is served with ketchup. (icky.) Other places might try putting brown gravy on it. (not cool.) I like mine plain. It is from the Cornish miners who settled the area and worked in the copper mines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Specific to the town of Norway...I have to say that every banquet I went to in high school was held at the Rialto (restaurant, bar & bowling alley) and always had fried chicken & spaghetti. I don't know why. I hear their fish frys were amazing...but I didn't eat fish back then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Someone mentioned morels in another thread...My stepfather and my mother used to go out morel hunting and were quite successful at it. I never developed a taste for them. They looked too much like little brains, I think.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: renowynn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The UP is the only place I can find Finnish restaurants on line in the entire US of A! I can't even find one in NYC!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad to see that you are not a troll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why do you think that is? I just read your thread from 2007, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4189..., and was wondering why there aren’t more Finnish (or at least Scandinavian or Baltic) restaurants in the US. Small populations? Lack of an entrepreneurial spirit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My town has a huge Russian population and no where to can I get Russian cuisine. We have Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Peruvian restos and those populations are tiny compared to the Russian. I’m beginning to think it’s a cultural thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. London, United Kingdom: Haven't seen one done for London! It is true we are not known for our diverse culinary skills but what we do well we do better than anyone in the world!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your olde fashioned full English fry up! bacon, beans, sausage, toast, chips, mushrooms, tomatoes and the crowning glory of black pudding. you cant beat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The next plate of food would be Fish and Chips. Mushy peas if your feeling extra lucky..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Singapore - Chicken Rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pretty much just like it sounds. Poach a chicken, use same water to cook rice. Serve with chili sauce and dark soy sauce. Simple, but endless debate over who's is the best rages on...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shawntripp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the funniest movies I've ever seen was a film from Singapore called CHICKEN RICE WAR, a Romeo and Juliet story set at a food court where two chicken rice stalls were operating side by side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: t19103

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm from Nantucket, so you know what I'm going to say: Nantucket Bay Scallops! And Portuguese Bread, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I must give props to my friends "across the pond"...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Wellfleet Oysters- Cape Cod!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Johnny Cakes (w/maple syrup) - Rhode Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Indian Pudding (corn meal and molasses. Served hot, best w/ a scoop of vanilla ice cream)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Whoopie pies! Somehow Maine thinks they invented them, but I grew up on them. And I'm old.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Necco wafers. Yuck..but they are a New England tradition. Double yuck on the black (licorice) ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, here in Omaha we're really only known for our steaks. Although, we do lay claim to the reuben sandwich (along with NYC).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Here in Napa, its fermented grapes - the nectar of the gods. I've never developed a strong affinity for wine drinking though. For me it's the incredible abundance of Northern California fresh fruits, not fermented. Peak cherry season was last week and hopefully for another week or so. And any number of other tasty organic fruit treats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. nyc: dirty water (hot) dogs topped with mustard and kraut or onions in red sauce.