Local foods that are from your area only......

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Having lived in several parts of the USA I've noticed that there are area favorites that outsiders may not know about.....

Memphis slaps coleslaw on their BBQ sandwiches

Baton Rouge has soft shelled crawfish

St. Louis has (deep) fried ravioli (no kidding, breaded fried meat ravioli with red sauce)
Gooey butter cake .....discription escapes me name is probably best indication of product
Rye seed pretzels...they even sell pretzels on the street here

SOOOOO the question is what is indigenous to your area (not necessarily gross/ that is another thread)?
Joined Aug 14, 2000

I didn't know those items were indigenous to any one area. I have heard of them all with the exception of the rye pretzels.

Having lived in New Mexico a while, my favorite item that I can't get out here in FL is green chile. I have to bribe my family to bring it out when they come to visit.

Green chile is so mainstream in NM that McDonald's finally broke down and started offering it in their outlets- little portion packs.
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Well over here in Texas alot of people seem to like "Chicken Fried" Steak with pepper cream gravy. Also slow-smoked brisket and pork ribs, Mexican Taquerias and restaurants-alot of mexican style food is now coming into play and has been for awhile. We like those "1016" Onions, an abundance of different types of chilies sold in the supermarkets, during the fall I have expeienced using Texas farmraised venison(axis deer, antelope,), farm raised ostrich, There are some other ingredients and foods that are indingous to Texas "now" that I can't think of right now, just got up from a little nap.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
M don't know ITS IT can you describe

I'm familiar with chicken fried steak having lived in DeRidder La...
Fiesta groceries is a blast
Texas is big into smoked brisket, white bread,and pickles or chilies

SF sourdough is unreplicable....someone told me it was the bacteria in the Bay and the climate...or the ALCAN HWY starter from years ago that the strain of yeast originated from.....it's a mystery but wonderful...

Green chile...I assume this isn't anaheims
doew it have another name??
Joined Oct 6, 2001
I just think regional differences are fabulous.

OK-so you DON'T order iced tea above the Mason Dixon line. More likely than not, you're told it's "out of season" -- thought my fellow southerners out there would appreciate that! And Texas only has 2 restaurants that routinely serve it sweet! (My hometown state, NC--it's sweet unless otherwise asked for).

BBQ -- the whole range --
Carolina BBQ with it's vinegar based sauce (and yes 'Shrromgirl, it's often served with slaw on top--depending on which end of the state it is, it will be either mayo or vinegar based). Here in Texas, BBQ is beef!--slow cooked brisket with a tomato based sauce on the side- Rudy's makes a wonderful smoked turkey I have to admit. Pennsylvania -- BBQ is a sweet red sauce on chicken or porkchops. South Africa, it's anything on the grill.

Oysters, on the east coast they are light and fluffy in a flour based batter; and you can't beat the NC coast's calabash shrimp! Texas, things are dipped in cornmeal before frying, I have to admit its taking some getting used to.

Pennsylvania small towns have an incredible ethnic mix that you just don't get except in a big city. But going home to Grandma's means a wonderful blend of polish and Italian. Yumm! (But they just got their first brand of tortillas that were not Taco Bell brand!

Speaking of chiles--Texas is the only place I have routinely seen fast food places with packets of jalapenos to add to your fast food sandwich. Ended up at an Arby's the other day while outlet mall shopping--they went through 3 - yes 3 containers of jalapenos in the time it took us to eat -- and it wasn't even prime eating hours!

Texas also has it's German areas that the TexMex craze has infiltrated. Ever had a Polish burrito? Kielbasa, sauerkraut, refrieds rolled in a tortilla and served with guac? At our favourite dive down the street--Wednesdays are lemon chicken; served with refrieds and spanish rice. A definate cultural mix that always makes eating an experience!

Im not saying there isn't wonderful food in Texas--it's just diff from what I'm used to! But Texas definitely has the best margaritas! It's amazing how different they can be!

But I love it all!
Joined Aug 11, 2000
OHhhhh Polish Burritos.....what's next?
That is a stomach churner.

Sweet tea is popular in Memphis. Tetley in LA. and gallons of it. We get it in St.Louis but not sweet and that's really ok

Memphis has Dry ribs...just a spicy rub on them....they also have wet...tomato base

Brats are HUGE in St Louis....we eat more PIGGIES here over memorial day than the rest of the country.....German, Dutch population
Pork Steaks....definately a MO. thing...
sliced shoulder bone and all they grill it with Maulls bbq sauce....
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Where do I begin? I'm originally from Illinois, and besides deep fried pork tenderloin sandwiches, there's not much intrinsically "Illinois" that I can remember. So I'll list the specialities of my adopted home state, Wisconsin:

Frozen custard
Cheese (take that, California!), even Limburger- but all types and many prize-winners
Brewer's stadium special sauce for brats
Fish fry on Fridays (try Serb Hall in Milwaukee....)
Beer- of course!
Door County cherries- the standard tart cherry for pies, etc.
Smelt frys
Roasted corn
Fried cheese curds
Cream puffs (a favorite at the state fair)
In Kenosha, pizza- you can eat a different preparation (mostly home made sauce and meats) every day of the year and never repeat yourself
Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet- I can't find that drink anywhere but in Wisconsin
Obnoxious pickled things as bar food

Major ethnic groups are German, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Swiss (as you might guess!), and they've all left their marks on Wisconsin food.

[This message has been edited by Mezzaluna (edited October 03, 2000).]
Joined Jul 30, 2000
shroomgirl -

from Lafayette, through Baton Rouge, to New Orleans --- (you know what I mean, lol)

For starters - Gumbo, rich dark, with lots of seafood, over long grain rice.

Jambalaya - a "sortof" rice pilaf, with sausage, chicken, cooked in a big 'ol black cast iron kettle - accompanied, of course, with plenty of "Dixie" beer

Boudin - wonderful Cajun sausage-like "meal-in-a-casing"

Soft-shell crab & crawfish, lightly battered & fried.

Oyster Poboys, New Orleans style - on FRESH french bread

and, lest I forget - Sauce Piquante' and fish coubillon, mmmmm mmmmm.

Enough said, now i'm hungry

[This message has been edited by Bayou (edited October 03, 2000).]
Joined Aug 8, 2000
Out here in the Bay Area, there's an ice cream sandwich called It's It. Also, I've heard that it's hard to make sourdough bread made elsewhere taste like the stuff out here.
Joined Aug 8, 2000
Shroomgirl, it's (IT'S!!!!) an ice cream sandwich. 2 oatmeal cookies, I believe, with vanilla ice cream, although now they've branched out into other flavors, and then dipped in chocolate. It's (IT'S) not cooked, I know, but they're only around here.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I have grown up and lived in many parts of the US. Here are some of my favorite local specialites.

New England:
Sugar on Snow Parties-done during maple sugaring in Springtime. They allow some of the maple syrup to cook further to soft ball stage. They then drizzle it over snow, let it harden and eat it. Served with cake dounts (not too sweet) and pickles (nice sour ones)
Clambakes or Lobsterbakes out on the Cape
Vermont Hams!!!

Sausage Gravy and biscuits
Sausage and saurkraut
Pork loin sandwiches
Many German influenced foods

Crawfish boils
Bourbon and Mint Juleps
Smithfield Ham
Carolina BBQ (not too many people know of this great BBQ style)

It really is very hard to come up with some of my favorites. One thing I really love about this country is the diversity you find. Unfortunately, much of this diversity seems to be disappearing with the growth of chain restaurants.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I had heard of the syrup on snow with donuts but not the pickle part.
Vermont Hams???? How are they different from VA or Country
Carolina mustard BBQ????Someone uses an oil based marinade for their bbq.
You're right about indigenous foods, check out jambayla at Chilis....People have gotten away from cooking period...that's why we're teaching the general populace at the market how to prep fresh vegetables. The eigth grade class I taught Mon asked if I gave classes to teenagers...(response was I just did) They had never had a meatless burrito, several did not know yogurt could be white
(plain)....There's a generation that lost the skills to go from scratch, and all that that entails (selecting fresh products, knowing where they come from (farms),substitutions, herb use,etc...you get the idea)
But what drove me to create the market was that shoppers at the "farmers" market we did demos at did not know the difference between brokers and local farmers.....they did not know what was grown here. AND the farmers were going out of business.
sorry soapbox....something I feel strongly about
Joined Aug 11, 2000
California guys how about dry jack or
Gilroy garlic whatevers( they have weird foods at the Garlic Fest and I personaly think they eat them on a regular basis)
Joined Aug 8, 2000
Whadaya mean? You mean like Garlic ice cream? I've never been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
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