Curious Local Flavours

Apparently, people like to eat.

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existential_elevator
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Curious Local Flavours

Postby existential_elevator » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:06 pm UTC

I've been wondering a lot what kind of more local / regional flavours there are that I've never encountered; in particular, types of food that are generally peculiar to a certain location, where they are likely to be found, and perhaps what they taste like. And also, it would be cool if people wanted to share their unusual likes and dislikes.

Some unusual things I like:

Tamarind juice - the only way I can describe it is like really fruity ginger. It's tasty though!
Rose - I think this is maybe more common to England. It tastes nice with raspberry.
Rosehips - sweeter than rose
Haw berries - tasty. Just tasty.
Elderberries - have kind of a mulled stewed fruit flavour

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Mother Superior » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:34 pm UTC

Soured herring- It's diabolical. I don't really know how to describe it and do it justice. Come to think of it, maybe I won't have to. EE, your birthday is coming up, right? Great, I was having such troubles thinking of a good present to give you... thanks to your thread, you'll get a nice batch of stinky fish for your b-day.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby axilog14 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:32 pm UTC

Is cheese-flavored ice cream an unusual flavor?
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:15 pm UTC

Yes, yes it is. Unless it's cheesecake.

Sourdough. You apparently can't get it on the east coast. There are some breads that are *labeled* as sourdough, but they aren't really sourdough at all. Apparently it's a west coast of the united states thing, particularly California (which makes sense, as it was invented for the miners during the goldrush.)
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Amarantha » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:46 am UTC

Vegemite.

:P

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:08 pm UTC

A few foods well-known in the southeastern U.S.:

Fried okra
Yellow squash
Grits - not to be confused with Cream of Wheat
Chitlins - these are just gross, but some people like them.
Sorghum syrup - best. syrup. EVER.
Moon Pies
R.C. Cola
(usually served together)
fried chicken
fried catfish
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (better than Dunkin)
fried green tomatoes
jambalaya
gumbo
low country boil
green beans (cooked slowly with small, red potatoes and a ham hock)
cornbread - must be cooked in a cast iron skillet. No sugar is added.
buttermilk biscuits
pecan pie
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Megatriorchis » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:38 pm UTC

Do alcoholic drinks count? If so, then moonshine. 'Nuff said.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PictureSarah » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:A few foods well-known in the southeastern U.S.:

Yellow squash
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (better than Dunkin)
cornbread - must be cooked in a cast iron skillet. No sugar is added.


These things are nationwide. At least, they were fairly well-known and frequently eaten during my childhood in northern California.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Decker » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:57 am UTC

REAL Buffalo wings. I honestly don't travel much, but where I have gone utterly fails and Buffalo wings.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:39 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:Yes, yes it is. Unless it's cheesecake.

Sourdough. You apparently can't get it on the east coast. There are some breads that are *labeled* as sourdough, but they aren't really sourdough at all. Apparently it's a west coast of the united states thing, particularly California (which makes sense, as it was invented for the miners during the goldrush.)
Sourdough bread is incredible. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to enjoy it. I knew it originated in the bay area, I had no idea it was still mostly local.

We've got tamarind juice down here, and I like it a lot. Most taco shops have tamarindo and horchata. I'm not sure how regional horchata is, I know it's traditionally Latin American.

San Diego is dominated by Mexican restaurants, and we have Carne Asada Fries. French fries with carne asada (Mexican style marinated beef which, outside of San Diego or Mexico, nobody seems to know how to make properly) heaped on, covered in cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Most places will make it with carnitas (pork, usually diced or shredded, prepared in a unique style that I can't really describe) if you ask for it, which is my favorite variant. I've also never had a burrito more than an hour from San Diego that I've really found satisfactory.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby colonelspecial » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:30 am UTC

Rocky Mountain Oysters: take the testicles off of a bull, pound them flat, bread them and fry them up. People have yearly 'nut frys' where you get together, drink beer and eat bull nuts. I have only had them once. They taste like very lean beef. If you don't know what you are eating, you figure it is just lean beef. People get grossed out when they find out what it is. Before I had one, I figured they were still a rounded shape. I was wrong!

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:25 pm UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
PictureSarah wrote:Yes, yes it is. Unless it's cheesecake.

Sourdough. You apparently can't get it on the east coast. There are some breads that are *labeled* as sourdough, but they aren't really sourdough at all. Apparently it's a west coast of the united states thing, particularly California (which makes sense, as it was invented for the miners during the goldrush.)
Sourdough bread is incredible. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to enjoy it. I knew it originated in the bay area, I had no idea it was still mostly local.


I love sourdough. We used to have a sourdough recipe that I would make almost weekly when I was a teen, and wanted some sourdough. A slice of hot sourdough bread with some melted butter? DO WANT! NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM...

Damn. Now I want some sourdough. We don't have any at home. I should remedy this tonight. Sounds like a trip to the bakery section of the grocery store. *dons beret*
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby eds01 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:27 pm UTC

Decker wrote:REAL Buffalo wings. I honestly don't travel much, but where I have gone utterly fails and Buffalo wings.


The only other real Buffalonian food is Beef on Weck. Essentially, roast beef on a kaiser roll with salt and caraway seeds (wiki says that the roll is technically a kimmelweck), usually eaten with horseradish spread on the rolls.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Decker » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

eds01 wrote:
Decker wrote:REAL Buffalo wings. I honestly don't travel much, but where I have gone utterly fails and Buffalo wings.


The only other real Buffalonian food is Beef on Weck. Essentially, roast beef on a kaiser roll with salt and caraway seeds (wiki says that the roll is technically a kimmelweck), usually eaten with horseradish spread on the rolls.


And get it at Steve's Pig and Ox Roast.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Azrael » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:17 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
TheAmazingRando wrote:
PictureSarah wrote:Sourdough. You apparently can't get it on the east coast. There are some breads that are *labeled* as sourdough, but they aren't really sourdough at all. Apparently it's a west coast of the united states thing, particularly California (which makes sense, as it was invented for the miners during the goldrush.)
Sourdough bread is incredible. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to enjoy it. I knew it originated in the bay area, I had no idea it was still mostly local.
I love sourdough. We used to have a sourdough recipe that I would make almost weekly when I was a teen, and wanted some sourdough. A slice of hot sourdough bread with some melted butter? DO WANT! NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM...


It is my understanding that the issue is the local yeast strains not existing (or packaging well in order to get) elsewhere.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby existential_elevator » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

I realise that I can add violets to the list. Unsuprisingly they taste floral. Also gooseberries I think are somewhat uncommon outside of the UK, and cloud berries aren't so common outside of Northern Europe? I'm not familiar enough with either of those two though.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby StrixVanAllen » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

Is cheese-flavored ice cream an unusual flavor?


# Nope. In Brazil, there is cheese-flavored ice cream with pieces of guava jelly. It's called "Romeo and Juliet" ice cream, and I love it. =3

# A disgusting local flavour here is "fried tanajura". Tanajura is a very big ant, with wings. People catch it, put in a wooden stick and fries. Eeek!
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby podbaydoor » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

Some things that do exist in Asian stores outside of China, or the ingredients can be bought in Asian stores, but 99% of my non-Asian friends have never heard of:

Grass jelly
Haw flakes
Sweet red bean paste and all pastries containing the same
Sweet red bean or mung bean soup
Sweet tofu pudding (douhua)
Black sesame soup (zhi ma hu)
Egg tart/custard thingy (dan ta)
Lime-flavored chips
Kiwi gummis
Suncakes (tai yang bing, produced in Taiwan)
Sticky rice cake/square thingy (nian gao)
Sticky rice and meat/other filling wrapped in bamboo leaves (zongzi)
Eight-treasure rice (ba bao fan)
Sticky rice balls usually eaten in soup (tangyuan)
Sticky rice carrot cake/square thingy (luo buo gao)
Most things involving sticky rice, I guess
Taro cake, taro dumplings
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:30 pm UTC

Man, I love eight treasure rice, grass jelly and haw flakes :D

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:51 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:A few foods well-known in the southeastern U.S.:

fried chicken

You can get fried chicken anywhere. It may be KFC, but seriously. Everyone knows and loves fried chicken.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

I get haw flake at asian supermarkets--also that jelly with coconut in it. Mmmm asian junk food.

Ok, regional things.

White vinegar on fries. Vinegar on fries is popular in the UK as well as in Canada (though the UK tendency is malt vinegar I think). But, it's very rare in the US--outside fish and chips. Though becoming more common, potato chip flavours Ketchup and also Salt and Vinegar used to be harder to find in the States when I visited.

In highschool my friends used to eat fries with gravy, ketchup, white vinegar, salt and pepper. Messy but satisfying.

I don't think maple syrup on bacon is regional--but it sure is tasty.

My grandmother makes fish cakes: Mashed potato patties with onion and salt cod in them. These are a Newfoundland (and possibly Maritimes in general) thing.

If in Quebec, poutine(cheese curds --aka squeaky cheese and gravy on fries)--particularly from Chez AshTon at ridiculous o-clock.


And speaking of regional differences--Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up, do you call the stuff they put in the Turkey dressing or stuffing?
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Some things that do exist in Asian stores outside of China, or the ingredients can be bought in Asian stores, but 99% of my non-Asian friends have never heard of:

Sticky rice and meat/other filling wrapped in bamboo leaves (zongzi)


Love those.

I get "Lotus Leaf Rice" sometimes when I get dim sum - that's similar but not exactly the same, I think?

Also, all the Cambodian markets around here have a larger version, that looks sort of like a burrito. Those are really great. I have no idea what they're called.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby telcontar42 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:44 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:pecan pie

Restaurants try to serve pecan pie in New England. It's always really disappointing.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

Dude. Go to Redbones, on Chester St. in Davis. Their pecan pie isn't as good as the one I make myself, but it's still pretty damn good. For food there I highly recommend the sausage of the day (their mustard is so good I once bought a pint of it to take home), pulled pork sandwich, any of their hot sauces, hush puppies, and the various styles of ribs they offer. Unfortunately their cornbread leaves much to be desired, though, in my opinion.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:07 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Unfortunately their cornbread leaves much to be desired, though, in my opinion.


Do they put sugar in their cornbread?

If they don't, then they're doing it right. Cornbread is not supposed to have sugar in it of any amount. Those boxes of Jiffy cornbread/cornmuffin mix are a travesty.

If they are, and are trying to be a Southern restaurant, then I apologize on behalf of all Southern cooks. They need to come back down here and take a few lessons on Southern cooking.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:09 pm UTC

It's not sweet, the problem I have with it is that it's too dry.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby existential_elevator » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

Pecan pie is amazing in general. I'm pretty easily pleased when it comes to pecans.

Discovered something new recently which is pretty amazing - sour sop. It tastes like the very essence of "tropical".

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby bejoicing » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

And speaking of regional differences--Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up, do you call the stuff they put in the Turkey dressing or stuffing?[/quote]

i've heard both. i use stuffing. i just made some wheat-free stuffing. i add apples for moisture.

is back bacon regional? cuz it's yummy. maple syrup added to entire breakfasts (including hashbrowns) is not unheard of, in a region with lots of maple syrup. or any syrup. birch syrup, mmm.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Jebobek » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:11 pm UTC

Soupies. A very spicy sausage sliced into little strips, often as thin as a quarter with an oval shape.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:And speaking of regional differences--Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up, do you call the stuff they put in the Turkey dressing or stuffing?


If it goes inside the bird, it's stuffing. If it's cooked on the side, it's usually dressing.

That's pretty much the difference. I prefer dressing, mainly because when you stuff the bird, there's a risk of cross-contamination, plus i lengthens the time to cook the bird.

Proponents of stuffing say that the only way to get that authentic flavor is to stuff it up the bird's arse. You can still get that authentic flavor after a couple of hours of cooking the bird: ladle off a cup or two of what drippings are already surrounding the bird, and mix that with a little extra spices. Mix with the stuffing mix (my dad bakes a pan of cornbread specifically for dressing), and it's just as good as if you stuffed the bird, plus there's less risk of cross-contamination, and it doesn't take as long to cook the bird unstuffed, as it would stuffed.

Another bonus: cooking without the stuffing prevents the meat from drying out, since otherwise all the juices get lost into the stuffing.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Azrael » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:30 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Dude. Go to Redbones, on Chester St. in Davis.
And whatever you do, don't get the jerk beef. I know you might think you're a manly dude who can handle it but like whoa.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Rinsaikeru » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:25 am UTC

Oh I always cook the dressing in the bird (which is what I use for the word stuffing). There's no point in it otherwise, its purpose is to keep the turkey moist. There is no risk of CC (cross contamination) if you cook them together and at an appropriate temperature/length of time. If CC were the most important consideration--how could you cook any items together at all? How would you eat fried rice or stir fry? Whether it's roast chicken, turkey, duck or goose--the cavity needs to be filled--even if it's only with citrus (or a beer can :P).

I have gluten free stuffing too--usually rice based. Though, I had an excellent one this weekend at a friend's thanksgiving dinner. It had bacon, ground pork, apricots, onions, celery and some rice with a bit of savoury and ground black pepper--and a few other things--and then he put a whole orange in to close. Delicious.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby dubsola » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:00 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:I love sourdough. We used to have a sourdough recipe that I would make almost weekly when I was a teen, and wanted some sourdough. A slice of hot sourdough bread with some melted butter? DO WANT! NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM...

It is my understanding that the issue is the local yeast strains not existing (or packaging well in order to get) elsewhere.

It's possible to grow your own sourdough starter, which you can then use to make sourdough bread. Just google "sourdough culture". Apparently it's a messy process when you don't know what you're doing, but with patience you end up with something ALIVE, which you have to FEED.

Sourdough is frickin tasty!

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby PictureSarah » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:35 pm UTC

This week I am officially making my own sourdough starter. No more of this "sourdough only a few times a year" nonsense. I will make my own crusty sourdough rolls!
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:46 pm UTC

Regarding bird stuffing, the best I ever had was one with prunes. I don't remember what else was in it, but oh man, that prune stuffing was amazing. I love stuffing to death; it's my favorite part of Thanksgiving.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby hermaj » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

I had sourdough for the first time ever at a friend's place. It was gorgeous. It was toasted crispy on the outside and almost moist on the inside, topped with fresh butter... and Vegemite. :P Most delicious hangover cure ever.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby Jebobek » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:06 am UTC

Sourdough makes good and "reliable" soup bread-bowls becuase the bread itself is a good flavor enhancer, and the hard crust stops leaks when you lift it up. I always get the Panera bread soup bowls with sourdough.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:29 am UTC

Sourdough was the best thing about going to San Francisco.

I hear there are some strains of the culture that were originally brought over with the pilgrims? If true, that's pretty amazing.

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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby cypherspace » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:37 pm UTC

What we have here is cockles and laverbread, taken directly from the estuary in North Gower. Laverbread is actually seaweed, and you generally eat it fried with oatmeal, bacon and cockles. Surprisingly good if you do it right.
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Re: Curious Local Flavours

Postby UmbrageOfSnow » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

While people in other places put maple syrup on pancakes/waffles, I think that outside of New England/Quebec people don't realize that
MAPLE MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER
including anything with apples, squash/pumpkin, breads, oatmeal, and snow.

Also, coffee milk seems to be a regional thing, but I'm not exactly sure of the boundaries of the region. It's the official state drink of Rhode Island, and growing up in New Hampshire, my family/friends were always big on it, and they definitely have it in Maine, but here in Vermont, a lot of people haven't heard of it (although walmart and price chopper sell it).
yellie wrote:Confession: I just had to look up the word ubiquitous because I kept seeing it all over the place and had no idea what it meant.


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