regional food delicacies we have loved

I’m currently hooked on Man vs. Food via Netflix streaming.  We LOVE food!

In this post we’re talking about stuff you can’t find everywhere but you also don’t find in just one restaurant.  They’re town or city or regional specialties.  Here’s some favorites from places we’ve lived or visited:

kolaches — sweet egg enriched dough with meat or fruit or cheese in it, similar to a danish but the dough is more bready

cheese curds — they make your teeth squeak!

beer nuggets — deep fried lightly fermented (day-old) pizza dough, served with pizza sauce or sprinkled in cinnamon sugar

frozen custard — eggy soft serve icecream like substance

Pittsburgh steak salad– comes with steak and french fries on top

red bean frappe– red beans in an ice cream shake… or should I say frappe?

king cake– colorful cake that hurts your teeth with the sweetness

St. Louis style ribs– sweet goey pork bbq in a rich tomato based sweet sauce, charred to perfection.  It’s all about the sauce.

TX style brisket– The other end of the bbq spectrum where only the meat matters.  You can tell it’s real by the smoke ring.

Bialy– Like a bagel with *stuff* in the center

Apple pie with cheddar cheese– on the East Coast they thought I was an abomination but they just go SO WELL together.

any deli sandwich with coleslaw and Russian dressing, oh man I miss sloppy sandwiches

almonds from almond plaza…. and chocolate from Giardelli square

The absolute best regional food:  Chicago style stuffed pizza!!!  A layer of deep dish dough, a layer of cheese and meat/veggies (I’m partial to spinach… or sausage and onion), another layer of dough, then covered with pizza sauce.  You only need to eat one heavenly piece to feel full, but you might have two anyway.

What are your favorite regional foods?

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38 Responses to “regional food delicacies we have loved”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Wow..there are a lot of these things I’ve never heard of.

    Here are some of my favorites:
    NY Bagels – hate it when I get the bread like ones. they have to be chewy
    Chicago Pizza for sure. In fact, there are several styles of regional pizzas I really enjoy.
    Maryland Crab Cakes
    Tea from the Boulder Tea Room (forget the name)

    Generally I love the ethnic parts of big cities. China town, little italy, etc. I particularly like finding the grocery stores there and coming home with great stuff. I was just at an Italian grocer this week and came home with pumpkin ravioli.

  2. Everyday Tips Says:

    Kolaches are delicious. I don’t see them in restaurants around here, but we had a ‘cultural lunch’ at school where people brought in food from their background. I could have eaten Kolaches all day long.

    Man Vs Food is an interesting show. I don’t know Adam or whatever his name is is not 800 pounds.

    I didn’t know it until a few years ago that Coney Island restaurants do not exist everywhere in the country, but there are countless Coneys here in Michigan. My brother always wants to go when he visits from where he lives.

  3. Jacq Says:

    Beignets!!!
    Least fave (grew up with this); lutefisk und lefse

  4. Becky Says:

    Pierogies, potato dumplings, lefse, poutine…hmmm…my favorites are a little carb heavy, huh?
    I didn’t try it when I lived out there, but I hear scrapple is popular out east.
    Maryland Crab Cakes are the best. It makes me sad that I can’t get a good crab cake in MN.

  5. Linda Says:

    I must have been a southerner in a previous life because most of the regional foods I love are southern. Or maybe I just appreciate them so much because they are associated with the annnual vacations we’d take down south when I was young. (Disneyworld seven years in a row!)
    * Grits. Plain cooked grits with butter and salt are yummy. Cheese grits are gross.
    * Cornbread. Up north most cornbread is made sweet. That is wrong. The southerners have this one right.
    * Biscuits. Yes, I can get something called “biscuits” in the north but they don’t seem as flaky and delicate as biscuits down south. I do not like gravy, though. Only butter and/or honey go on my biscuits.
    * Greens. I love them all: collards, turnip, and mustard are all good. Slow cooking with some sort of smoked pork product makes them especially tasty. Add a dash of vinegar for some kick just before eating.
    * Beignet are great. I think it would be hard to find anyone who’d argue with that!

    Odd as it may seem, I live in Chicago but prefer thin crust pizza. I guess having the deep dish pizza so readily available, I just don’t crave it very often.

    Some of the Chicago style pizza places will make up a pizza and freeze it so you can transport it out of town. I once brought a frozen one down to the Bahamas where I was staying with some friends. I carried it right on the plane. When I got to customs the guy was a bit confused but let me through. ;-)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Wow, my tastes are like completely orthogonal. I LOVE sweet corn bread and HATE greens.

      And gravy oh heaven… we stopped in El Paso once on a cross-country road trip and got biscuits with jalepeno sausage gravy. Beyond wonderful.

  6. Becky Says:

    I just saw this and thought it was ironic that you were both writing about regional food on the same day: http://www.foodlushblog.com/2011/01/regional-foods-an-incomplete-check-list.html

  7. eemusings Says:

    My most fave cuisines are Malaysian, Thai and Indian esp south.

    When I get to the states, i’m so keen for southern and cajun.

    Also, Mexican. And cheese steak. And NY/Chicago pizza.

  8. Molly On Money Says:

    Green chili on/in stew, enchilada’s, relleno (OK, that is a chili!),…throw a fried egg on top and I’m in heaven!
    I SO love beignets!

  9. Debbie M Says:

    Tex Mex enchilada plate (enchiladas, refried beans and Spanish rice with lots of cheese on top)

    Liege waffles – a waffle with a sweet slightly crunchy exterior served in paper bags (like french fries are served in) in Belgium

    gelato

  10. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    “Biayl– Like a bagel with *stuff* in the center”

    Lord have mercy!! First, it’s a bialy. And second, it’s not like a bagel with stuff in the center.

    A bagel is boiled before baking. Bialys are not boiled first, and the texture is completely different than a bagel.

  11. frugalscholar Says:

    We moved here for the hot sauce.

  12. Donna Freedman Says:

    Cheese steaks. The roll has to be a Philly-style roll, i.e., from the Amoroso bakery.
    Hoagies. Ditto.
    Soft pretzels right out of the oven at the Reading Terminal Market, spread with butter and sprinkled with coarse salt.
    Herrs potato chips. It’s a Delaware Valley thing.
    Tastykakes, a snack cake that began in Philly and is gaining nationwide attention from fans of the Stephanie Plum mysteries. My brother sent me Tastykakes for Christmas. Bless his heart.
    Ponczki, a Polish yeast doughnut filled with fruit and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I discovered these in Chicago. My favorite is the kind with fresh strawberries.
    Okay, now I’m hungry.

  13. SassyGirl Says:

    Mmm… Chicago deep dish pizza… I would fly 9000 miles for that.

  14. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Pastelitos de queso and croquetas de jamon aka Cream Cheese Pastries and Ham Croquettes Cuban style all washed down with a Cortadito de leche evaporada or a Cortadito with evaporated milk. Cortadito is a small cup of cuban coffee cut with milk- evaporated or otherwise.

  15. Rumpus Says:

    I’m not sure if arepas count because I’ve only had them from one place. Like a sandwich made from corn with tasty fillings. They’re from Columbia and Venezuela apparently.

    Chicago’s stuffed pizza would be my top choice too. More than once I’ve thrown three-course meals/parties in which each course was a pizza.

    New England sandwiches come a close second…why can’t other areas of the country make sandwiches that good?


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