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Cujgie  (Level: 170.8 - Posts: 754)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 2:16 AM


Are there specialty or regional foods where you live now or have lived before?

I'm from western NY where one of the regional foods is grilled red or white hots -- kinda like polish sausage but not.

Around here in Chicagoland, the two main regional foods are Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago hot dogs (steamed or boiled, never broiled Vienna all-beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun, topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish (usually a dyed neon green variety called "Nuclear Relish"), a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt; sometimes, but not always, cucumber slices; but never ketchup).

There's also Chicago-style pizza -- from Wikipedia: "Chicago-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza style developed in Chicago. The term also sometimes refers to 'stuffed' pizza, another Chicago style. True Chicago-style pizza features a buttery crust, generous amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Chicago also has many pizzerias serving thin-crust pizzas, some of which are in a style unique to the Windy City, but as a term Chicago-style pizza generally refers to deep-dish styles."

Surreyman  (Level: 257.2 - Posts: 2766)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 4:07 AM

Er ... your regional speciality foods depend on European sausages, sandwiches and pizzas??!!

Makes our Welsh lava bread (which is actually fried seaweed) look almost genuine!

Bigbird  (Level: 236.3 - Posts: 3300)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 5:17 AM

There is nothing like a Manhattan street pretzel. Nothing. Fantastic!

This past fall we were in Austria, and there were pretzel stands all over the local markets. The pretzels looked incredible. Had to try several from different vendors in different cities. Yuck. Tasted like the frozen Superpretzels. Double yuck.

Kaufman  (Level: 254.1 - Posts: 3936)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 5:54 AM

Yes, Alan, we're a melting pot here, taking all those ideas from the old country and bastardizing them.

Often for the better.

Except here. Washington's the melting pot of the melting pot, so we just get swill.

Achad  (Level: 201.8 - Posts: 661)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 7:06 AM

What we need is a really big pan of scouse, with some pickled red cabbage, so you can all try some!

Osuzannacollage  (Level: 132.1 - Posts: 1299)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 8:11 AM

Growing up in Georgia we had Scrambled Dogs -- delicious!

Put a hot dog in a bun, cut it up into bite-sized pieces, and put it in a bowl. Ladle chili generously over the top. Add dill pickles, cheese, oyster crackers, onions and a squirt of mustard. Eat it with a big fork and spoon. Voila!

In coastal Alabama we had moonpies during Mardi Gras. Those things really hurt when you get pelted with one from a float, and you almost never catch one that's not all crushed up. They're blandly unexciting to eat, unless you pop them in the microwave where they take on a whole new gooey texture and taste. Just remember to remove the wrapper first.

My favorite Southern comfort food is and will always be grits. They must be thick, hot and salted. Cheese is great mixed in, but never ever put sugar on them. Grits are also great fried in patties and baked like a casserole. Yum!

Mplaw51  (Level: 176.9 - Posts: 1582)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 8:58 AM

Pork roll, egg and cheese or just pork roll and cheese are a favorite in NJ. Both PA and NY serve pork roll, also called taylor's ham. I'm told it can't be bought in other states.

I don't think anyone can make pizza as well as it is made in NY and NJ. Friends from around the country agree and must have pizza when they are here for a visit.

Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 8:58 AM

Cornish Pasties,,,,,,,,,,,another import. I have sampled some attempts at creating these in other areas but they don't compare to the ones in Michigan's U.P.

Pennwoman  (Level: 152.3 - Posts: 2478)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 11:02 AM

Pierogi's are big in Pittsburgh -- and God forbid you go to a wedding that does not have stuffed cabbage, fried chicken and many many types of Jello salad.
And we have a restaurant called Primanit Brothers -- they serve sandwiches with everything put into it -- french fries and coleslaw --sound gross but is soooooo good.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 12:00 PM

Suzanna, what part of Georgia did you grow up in? Although tasty sounding I've never experienced such a concoction. In North Georgia we have a few regional dishes like Corn Slaw, Banana Soup and Meat Nog. You must have grown up in South Georgia.

Osuzannacollage  (Level: 132.1 - Posts: 1299)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 12:11 PM

Sure did, Felix -- in Columbus. I've never heard of any of the dishes you mention. Corn slaw sounds interesting! Whenever I get out the grill, I also make barbecued cole slaw. Basically, it's shredded cabbage tossed in spicy hot barbecue sauce. You can eat it as a side dish, or better yet make it into a sandwich with pulled pork, dill pickles, sliced onion rings and a bun. Mighty tasty!

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 12:18 PM

That sounds delicious. I kinda made up the dishes that I listed. Steve probably has a recipe for at least one of the, anyway.

Osuzannacollage  (Level: 132.1 - Posts: 1299)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 12:24 PM

You're such a trickster, Felix! I wondered after I posted if you were pulling my leg or not. Gobble, gobble.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.1 - Posts: 3769)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 12:48 PM

Meat Nog


* 6 eggs
* 2 cups milk
* 1/4 sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix very, very well. Put in the refrigerator to stay chilled

* 2 lbs finely ground meat...anything you have, or find on the side of the road
* 1/2 lb.grits (pre-cooked)
* 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
* 1 teaspoon allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 2 medium onions, 1 finely chopped, and 1 coarsely chopped, divided
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* vegetable oil for frying

Put all in a bowl and mix like you are making a meat loaf. Roll the mixture into little balls...about the size of a mothball. Fry them in small batched in the vegetable oil. Fry until lightly browned and cooked through. As they are finished cooking, spoon them onto some paper towel to drain.

When you have finished cooking your balls, put them in the refrigerated mixture. Good to the bar, drink beer and eat pizza.

Osuzannacollage  (Level: 132.1 - Posts: 1299)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 1:02 PM

Surely you'd have had to already been to the bar to make that recipe, Steve! At least it has grits in it. Rolling on the floor here, Funny Man!

Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 1:33 PM

From here in Catalonia (Catalogne) - and what I might serve you when you arrive


Grilled and peeled bell peppers, eggplant, and onion in olive oil with fresh garlic


Young scallions blackened, outer layer peeled off, served with a Romesco sauce (fresh tomato, roasted garlic, ground hazelnuts, parsley and oil)


PAELLA (next dish I master) - saffron rice with seafood, chicken, chorizo sausage . . .

and its first cousin FIDEUA where short linguini pasta noodles cooked in garlic and oil replace the rice

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.1 - Posts: 3769)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 1:36 PM

That last sentence should have said Go to a good bar...

Pennwoman  (Level: 152.3 - Posts: 2478)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 2:42 PM

This is a great thread!

Salzypat  (Level: 154.4 - Posts: 5295)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 3:06 PM

I imagine the rest of you have cream-can suppers, so that would be nothing unusual.

They serve Rocky Mountain oysters at branding time on the ranches. There ain't no way I'm letting any of those things into my digestive tract! Some of the bars serve them on weekends too. Still ain't touching them.

We have Runzas, which my nephew - who was a trucker - says was similar to something in Chicago and on east. It's a cabbage and onion mixture cooked and placed inside a roll and baked. It originated in Lincoln, Nebraska , in the early 1950s. In fact, I think I saw a sign that said this was the company's 60th anniversary.

Probably Nebraska's trademark meal would be a juicy prime rib or sirloin or t-bone steak, with either mashed potatoes and gravy or baked potato and butter, corn on the cob and a slab of rhubarb pie (in the spring) or apple pie. Nebraska's rural families rely heavily on beef for at least 2 meals a day. When I was growing up on the farm we had meat 3 meals a day. But people worked harder back then and no one had ever heard of cholesterol. My dad lived to be 84 and my mother to 88, so don't reckon it hurt either of them too badly.

When my mother fried hamburgers, my dad like to dip a slice of bread into the grease and eat it. Actually it wasn't too bad, but you all can quit gagging any time now.

Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 3:35 PM

Ah, yes, Pat, the best beef in the world.

One of two things I miss in France.

The other is a good ear of fresh corn. You can buy a can of corn here for about 50 cents, but puny ear of fresh costs three times that much.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 6:46 PM

I grew up in a southern IN river town. Small catfish known as "fiddlers" (cause they fiddle with the bait) are gutted, beheaded then fried whole. Very tasty. Brain sandwiches are also popular there with the older folks. Think it's a dying tradition. Cow brains dipped in egg and seasoning and flour, then deep fried. Puffs way up, served on a bun. Ugh! The people who settled the area (German and Dutch), were very frugal with their beef apparently. Haven't heard of any mad cow disease there so far.

Wordster  (Level: 156.6 - Posts: 893)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 7:22 PM

Where I grew up Cape Cod/Boston Clam Chowder is a specialty also Boston baked beans.

Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 7:33 PM

The quiet plodding fellow student who sat next to me in high school English won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for solving mad cow disease. I'll see Dr Stan Prusiner in Cincinnati Sept 2010.

FYI "B" students make the best doctors.

Lancaster  (Level: 228.1 - Posts: 176)
Fri, 20th Feb '09 8:32 PM

From the Amish Country we give you shoo fly pie, red beet eggs,and
seven sweets and seven sours. In a class by itself, from my hometown, San Francisco, sour dough French bread.

Skidrowkiddo  (Level: 4.4 - Posts: 21)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 11:48 AM

When I was in the Army way back in the sixties we were fed S.O.S or %$#& on a shingle. It was chipped beef in gravy served over a piece of toast.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 12:40 PM

I love SOS!

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 12:43 PM

What exactly is chipped beef? Is that just army slang for chopped?

Salzypat  (Level: 154.4 - Posts: 5295)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 12:47 PM

Me, too, Sandra. When I was little, my grandmother used to make chipped beef in gravy often when I stayed with her. I assure you, she would never have called it SOS!

Bokeelia  (Level: 185.9 - Posts: 114)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 12:58 PM

Philly street pretzels are probably better than the NY ones now. It's hard to find the old fashioned type in NYC, They used to dip them ion a weak Lye solution which made em crunchy, now they're pretty mushy everywhere or stale

Headylamar  (Level: 149.5 - Posts: 740)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 1:50 PM

From the Detroit, Michigan area... Vernor's Ginger Ale. It's super carbonated and folks new to the area are surprised by how spicy it is. Canada Dry is wimpy in comparison. Sanders Bumpy Cake. Bumpy Cake is a dark chocolate cake with "speed bumps" of cream filling on top with a rich fudgy frosting on top of that. Holy Cow! it's yummy! Also Sander's Hot Fudge Cream Puff. That's a cream puff split and filled with Sander's vanilla or butter pecan ice cream and topped with Sander's Hot Fudge. Ai, yi, yi! And you've gotta try a coney dog from Lafayette Coney Island. Coney Island restaurants abound in the Detroit area. A "Coney" is a hot dog in a bun with a good dousing of beanless chili, yellow mustard and onions. Add a side of fries, a coke and I'm home!

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 5:28 PM

Pondering odd McDonald's burgers encountered in farflung places:

Korea's MCD's has a Kimchi burger (Ewww, gross)
Australia has the McOz.....with beetroot (red beet) on it (Ewww, gross)
Alaska has the McKinley Burger, which is mountainous in dimensions (Now I know how Alaskans got to be so BIG!)

Which'uns have YOU encountered in your travels?


Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 5:33 PM

And from my home state of Ohio

Sister Lizzie's Sugar Shaker Pie

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:12 PM

Had a pretty darn good lobster roll in Montreal.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.1 - Posts: 3769)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:28 PM

McD's in Maine have Lobster Rolls, which purist may whine are not comparable to the ones at Flo's Offshore Cafe or some other local establishment, but are mighty good.

Donden hit on U.P. pasties, which can only be matched by the ones in their homeland of Cornwall, UK. Good pasties (pronounced pass--tees, not paste--tees, like the things strippers wear) are worth the trip up North all by themselves.

He should have added Mackinac Island Fudge, which is as big as Atlantic City Saltwater Taffy, and twice as good.

Heady picked off Vernor's Ginger Ale...the best ginger ale in the world. Most people don't realize is ties with Hire's Root Beer as the 2 oldest soft drinks in the world (1866).

I don't think Michigan can lay much claim to Coney Island Hot Dogs, but when you get one with a Kogel's Vienna topped with a smooth chili sauce, mustard and sweet onion with onion rings, Coney Island cannot top it.

Lot's of places, including Chicago and New York can lay claim to GREAT pizza, but we can note that the two most successful pizza chains in the world are both from suburban Detroit (Dominos and Little Caesar's)

Anything to do with tart, red cherries runs through Michigan, which grows 2/3 or 3/4 of the world's supply of them. The annual Cherry Festival in Traverse City has too many wonderful cherry dishes to mention.

Mid-Michigan was, if it still not is, the Mint growing capital of the world. You haven't lived until you have driven up US-127 when the mint farms are distilling peppermint, spearmint, etc. You can o.d. on mint at the annual mint festival.

We are not the big kids in production of Maple Syrup or Strawberries, but our maple syrup is the equal of anything from Canada or Vermont. Our strawberries, while smaller than those bloated water bags from Florida and California, are twice as sweet and ten times more flavorful.

Then there is Chili. I cooked chili in ICS competition for several years and was ranked up on the national grid. There is no dispute that chili originated at the jail in San Antonio, TX in the 1800s. However, chili has grown into a national dish with distinct regional differences. Competitive cook learn these so they can adjust their chili to conform with regional differences in taste...otherwise their magnificent pot of chili, which could win in many places, will never see a ribbon.

Michigan has its own "traditional" style of chili. No one in TX, CA, AZ, NM, FL, NY or Cincinnati has to like it, and they can pooh pooh it all they want. The simple truth is it is a regional style, like adding a dash of allspice is to Skyline Chili sponsored/dominated contests across the mid-South.

Michigan-style chili is chunky, instead of smooth. The meat is not broken up as much as out west, and the chunks of tomato are bite-size. The onion is diced, not ultra-finely minced. Michigan-style chili is a little redder than most, as tomato juice is not a sin. I will never content it is the best of its genre, but it is not the worst. And on a winter day after cleaning several inches of snow out of your driveway, it is might %&$@ good.

BTW...using venison burger automatically makes any pot of chili even better. Michigan is big on venison chili. I just made a pot last month.

Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:32 PM

Domino's and Little Caesar's make lousy pizza.

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:33 PM

Caol Isla - 18 yr old Islay malt. Does that count? And maybe some Arbroath Smokies to go with it, with Crannachan to follow.



1lb/500g raspberries
6 tbsp whisky
3oz/75g pinhead oatmeal
6 tbsp malt whisky
3 Tbs Heather Honey
1pt/600 ml Double cream


Spread oatmeal on a baking sheet and toast in a medium oven until crisp for 3-6 minutes.
Be careful they don't burn.
Leave cool.
Whip the cream until it is thick but not stiff.
Blend all the raspberries (except 2 which are for decoration) until they form a smooth purée.
Combine oatmeal, whisky, sugar and cream and raspberries.
Spoon the mixture into tall glasses.
Chill for an hour & chow down.

And, with all due respect to the Cornhusker state, I know some farmers in Aberdeenshire who may take umbrage at the suggestion that their beef ain't the tastiest in the world... (As well as my Argentine and Japanese friends )

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:34 PM

Nearly forgot - better have some Irn Bru on hand in case Smoke turns up!

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:35 PM

I think my lobster roll was in Maine, not Canada. Twas August and lobsters were plentiful all along the coast!

Collioure  (Level: 102.5 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:36 PM

Well, the beef from Kansas might be better than Nebraska's.

Chyenn  (Level: 200.8 - Posts: 1332)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 6:50 PM

Daddy made SOS by browning hamburger then he used the fat to make a thick milk gravy. he added red pepper flakes so it was rather spicy. the meat was stirred back into the gravy and served over toast. i think i am the only kid who grew up WITHOUT a toaster -- the sliced loaf bread was toasted on one side under the broiler just until it was dry and changing color.

i wish i had a plate full today.

my grandma in mountains of southeast Tennessee cooked the wild game that grandpa and my uncles brought home from the woods. deer, turkey, rabbit and squirrel were often on her table. she also prepared roast ground hog, possum and fried rattlesnake. she taught me how to make headcheese (aka souse meat) and cracklings from a freshly butchered hog. i also learned to kill, dress and fry a chicken under her watchful eye.

Scrabq  (Level: 76.7 - Posts: 167)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 7:04 PM

Bushyfox, you watch it, mate. No hamburger is complete unless it has beetroot on it, makes the whole thing really juicy. Have you ever eaten beetroot prepared with vinegar and spices? It is quite different from beets which are grown primarily for animal fodder.

I was grossed out by a description of some foul food you lot enjoy at Thanksgiving - lime jello with grated carrot. Isn't jello usually a sweet? Might look pretty, the green and orange, but I can't imagine the taste.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 7:19 PM

The jello is sweet, the carrots are sweet. Not that I've had this since my grandma died!

Bigbird  (Level: 236.3 - Posts: 3300)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 7:31 PM

Tuz - Cornish pasties - yes! But Vernor's ginger ale?? I never could understand why it is such a big thing. Yuck.

And double yuck to Dominos pizza.

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 7:49 PM

Nanaimo Bar, next town to me or maybe Indian Candy, smoked sweetened salmon, yummy.
We don't really have any regional foods here on Vancouver Island, which is quite a melting pot so I was raised on Italian, German, French food, etc (my heritage doesn't include any of those mentioned) . The climate here helps the cows produce quality milk & cream & yet no one makes a good cheese locally, go figure

Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 7:51 PM

One thing Tuz and I did not mention about Michigan was the fresh fish from the great lakes, Yellow Perch, Walleye and Whitefish in particular. The Cut River Inn on Rt. 2 west of St Ignace has the best whitefish in the state. They offer it either broiled or lightly breaded and deep-fried. The Galley in St Ignace has lake perch so good that I have skipped their delicious prime rib that last few times there.

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 8:02 PM

I forgot to mention all the fine seafood, which I love. Salmon, trout, cod, clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, octopus, prawns & dungeness crab (which I prefer to Alaskan King crab, sorry Alaska)

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 8:14 PM

As a former bay area person, I can vouch for the Dungeness crab. What I'd give for a Crab Louis...

Headylamar  (Level: 149.5 - Posts: 740)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 8:28 PM

Holy Catfish, Donden! How could I have forgotten the fabulous fresh fish available here in Michigan?. I adore fresh walleye, pickerel, whitefish and lake perch! I practically existed on fresh fish at my daughter's wedding a couple of years ago on Mackinac Island. We were there for several days and all that good, healthy, fresh fish almost canceled out all the fudge I ate!

Mistymented1  (Level: 26.0 - Posts: 163)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 9:15 PM

Since i moved to florida, one of the things that I can't get use to is the boiled peanuts.

i guess the northerner in me(CT) just can't get used to soggy peanuts.

Tuzilla  (Level: 131.1 - Posts: 3769)
Sat, 21st Feb '09 11:32 PM

I won't defend Dominos or Little Caesar's against really pizzeria pizza. I can get pizzas that are ten times better than theirs if I want to pay the price and wait the wait. But on a take out/delivery basis, they beat most. I hav eaten pizza in NYC and found most of it too greasy and sliced too big to cover up the fact it is too thin. I have eaten in Chicago, and other than one place over on Halstead off Cermak, found it often not completely cooked because it is so thick.

Yes, the fresh fish available in Michigan rivals the coast.

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