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

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Hey, you can't talk about horribly guilty pleasures without mentioning deep-fried cheese curds! Add some deep-fried vegetables and round out the menu with a deep-fried candy bar, and you've become your cardiologist's best friend!

Incidentally, I first heard of the deep-fried candy bars (Mars, I believe) being sold in Scotland. Now they're becoming popular at fairs in Wisconsin counties and the Wisconsin state fair. Who says the Midwest is slow to adopt new trends?! ;)
Joined May 6, 2001
There's also the "walkin' taco" that's popular at the fairs. Bag of fritos, taco meat or chilli, cheese, sour cream, and a teeny bit of iceberg to round it. Put it all in the frito bag and use a spork to attempt to eat it. I have no idea where they originated though..........
Joined Mar 2, 2002
There is a chain near where where I live that apparently originated from the 1982 World's Fair. The main thing on the menu is a "Petro", which is Frito's with chili and stuff on top. And, yes, you eat it with a spork, I think. I'm sure the 1982 World's Fair is not where the idea truly originated, but the folks at the "Petro's" chain around here would certainly like to convince us of that. I tried their version recently, and I thougnt their chili was very bland. Otherwise, it might have been okay for drive through stuff.

Here's a food experience, although not exactly where I live, but not far off...
I grew up pretty much unapposed to grits. But I have a friend who swore he hated them - until we went to South Carolina one time and had them the way they are cooked all day. They were wonderful! And even though I can still manage quick quits in a pinch, every time I see grits, I think about those I had in SC. Totally different!

One more thing. Around where I live, you can get a really good tomato in the summer (usually, at least, weather cooperating). Sometimes they are so good you just bite into them like an apple. If you are a bit more patient, you can slice them and eat them with just a little bit of salt. Perfect, at least sometimes (like I said, weather cooperating - not all years are good).

Which reminds me of something else.... My boyfriend puts salt on canteloupe. I've tried it, and its good, but is this normal behavior???

Joined May 1, 2001
Some years ago I dined in a restaurant in SOHO (NYC) where they wanted to put fresh-ground black pepper on the cantaloupe. With some trepidation I agreed. It was really pretty good.

Everyone on my dad's side of the family (from Iowa) salts watermelon.
Joined Dec 30, 1999

It's the secret recipe.


Many people raised here who move away and come back to visit family always have to get their Springfield Cashew Chicken within 48 hours.

The first place to start selling it was the Bam Boo Inn on S Glenstone St. Back in 1974 or 1975 I believe.

Many people restaurant's have it but this is the best, the original.
Joined Aug 27, 2002
Had to jump in this one (after much lurking), ever hear of "Frito Pie"? I moved from upstate NY to a very small town in Texas in the late 70's. The big treat for Friday lunch at my very tiny Catholic school was this gross casserole-like pie-thing. It consisted of a layer of Fritos, covered with orange-grease-oozing mystery meat, buried in cheese. MMM-MMM! Even though I was like seven, and not very particular about food ( I loved WonderBread/Miracle Whip/lettuce sandwiches:eek: ), this kibble was just inedible! All of the other kids loved it...I still have nightmares.

Joined May 26, 2001
Well, you haven't tasted MY Frito Pie! :lips: I brought it to a July 4th gathering of people from all over the world who work at the United Nations. Actually, it was deconstructed, since I couldn't find enough individual bags of Fritos. But with good chili (which mine of course is ;) ), good cheese (very sharp cheddar, hand-grated), and good guacamole and sour cream, it's one of the joys of Americana!
Joined Sep 3, 2002
Being that West Virginia is not known for being a culinary mecca, the traditonal dish here has to be Pinto Beans.
Cook them with a ham hock and top them with chopped onions, chow chow, or if they are in season, ramps.
Eat them with cornbread, made with white cornmeal and buttermilk, and you got yourself a hillbilly dinner.
I know several older men that expect beans and cornbread be served at dinner every evening. Its a staple.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Sponge candy - when we lived in Buffalo, it was everywhere, but I'd never heard of it before then! It's a square of spun molasses covered with either milk or dark chocolate, that just explodes in your mouth! Totally awesome.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
wow, another archive that has been returned from the black hole.

What is beef weck? and what makes buffalo wings in your neck of the woods special? Genny Cream Soda?

I've had the good fortune of visiting DC, VA and Hudson Valley.....I drove up Eastern Shore stopping at various seafood shops, roadside stands and farmer's markets.
At Eastern Market there is a woman that still makes bean pies as well as other fairly funky pies. The crabcake sandwiches at the market diner are very fine, served with cole slaw.

The seafood market by the Capital is huge, but amoungst the offerings are surinami and frozen imports.....I was saddened that they felt it necessary to bring in sub-par products from thousands of miles away. The oyster/crab man at Dupont had superior products.

\finally I was able to visit Dupont market....what a gem!!!! Loads of incredible dairies in your area! The produce was gorgeous....I had a fun time shopping, thank goodness my hotel room had a dbl sink, one was a makeshift fridge.
DC is such a food town.

So, after reading this from the beginning it's interesting to see how the southern states have very strong historical foods....unique in each locale.
I've lived in Arkansas, Memphis and southern Louisiana.....each has it's own food. Somethings cross all the borders but there are intrinsic difference in each area.

STL has an egg foo young sandwich (St. Paul Sandwich) found in cheap chinese restaurants....white bread, mayo, slice of cheese and lettuce.
usually costs $2.30-$3.00. For years many of the bars served brain sandwiches.....they all but left the scene with mad cow emergence.
St. Louis has an incredible German heritage, so there are alot of breweries, and sausages....G&W has a liverwurst to die for....literally of course. I could wax poetry but it is a thing of beauty, packaged in a section of gut tied with white string....ultra rich with fat, it's German version of foie.

Since this thread started I've taught innercity low-income African-American kids....one of the surprises was that they didn't eat jambayla....it's a standard down river because it's cheap eats that can be made with rice, veg, and whatever meats you have available....it can stretch to feed alot for little $. Chocolate chocolate muffins were favs...wasn't that a cupcake in the 60-70's. Interesting experience.
Joined Jan 11, 2006

And Genny Cream Ale is a type of Beer I dont recall the word Soda in there.

Some people consider Beef on Weck - thinly sliced rare roast beef (piled high as 6 inches) on a freshly baked kummelweck roll - the best roast beef sandwich in America. This sandwich is a staple of Buffalo, New York. Few, if any, restaurants outside the Buffalo area serve this sandwich or even know what it is. Also called Beef on Wick, an alternative spelling usually used by older people from Buffalo and eastern suburbanites. It is a roast beef sandwich on a salty kummelweck roll. In fact, it is this roll that makes the sandwich unique
Joined Jan 13, 2005
you will find Beef on Weck has stumbled across the border also. I heard of it not long ago as a staple in the Fort Erie area of Ontario - not that far from Buffalo
Joined Aug 11, 2000
It amazes me that the standard sandwich would have the maker add caraway seeds to the bread......rare prime rib....ummmmm....

Frito Pie was pretty big in Santa Fe. We had it as kids in CA. and Little Rock too.....slit a bag of fritos pour on chili, cheese and top with onions.

Do you remember the 60's King Ranch Chicken Casserole.....as I recall it had cream of ----soup, salsa (or rotelle), cheese, shredded chicken and tortilla chips? Think that was Texas or all of the US?

I've been on line with a couple of southerners and their stance on food is stronger, deeper and way more emotional than others. Don't mess with biscuits. Grits come on every breakfast plate. Beans, Greens and Cornbread as well as pig are standard fare. Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee....
Southern Missouri maybe, borders Tx, Fla and I'm not sure where to put Georgia but it's gotta be south....S.Carolina, Virginia, KY....

I wonder how strong the food culture is NOW. And what shape it's in......
Joined Dec 30, 2007
:lips: Does anyone have a recipe for Cornbread like Tippins made?? It was almost like cake and served with honey butter
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