Here in Ireland (as in perhaps the rest of the world) Chinese takeaways are ubiquitous and popular. One local ‘dish’ that I don’t know is too common elsewhere is a ‘3-in-1’ or ‘half and half’ which consists of an aluminium tray filled with chips (ie fries), boiled or fried rice, and lashings of gloopy curry sauce. I used to live on this particular delicacy for a number of years. I’d say it’s available elsewhere but they’re hugely popular here (in Dublin anyway).
The Washington, DC area has a huge Salvadoran population, and Salvadorans’ favorite fast food appears to be Pupusas. I tried one once; it was a beef gravy sandwich.
The dining hall at the university I attended in the early 80’s served an open face sandwich called a “Macintosh.” It was a slice of whitebread topped with a slice of spam-type luncheon meat, some canned fruit salad, and a slice of processed American cheese. The whole mess was placed under a broiler just long enough to make the cheese droop a little. Absolutely vile.
Again, DC area/Mid-Atlantic.
Scrapple. It’s the stuff too nasty for use in pet food that they scrape off the slaughterhouse floor.
And I’m a Southerner who is not the least bit squeamish…
Scrapple, The Pride of Pennsylvania! (YouTube link)
A well travelled friend told me of his disgust on finding that the Ukraine “delicacy” salo - sliced pork fat served with bread, raw garlic and vodka had been enhanced to become chocolate coated pork fat.
Pupusas are all over L.A., and it’s easy to get a bad one, but they can also be really good. A pupusa has to be fresh, and you have to know exactly what it’s filled with.
One “local” cuisine that I find almost always bad is Caribbean food. As Naipal said, it mostly consists of “ground provisions” (starchy root-like things) and boiled meat, which nobody ever thinks to season. It’s bland and unmemorable.
For this reason it always makes me laugh when someone in the States opens a restaurant with “Cuban cuisine.” It’s only because few North Americans ever go to Cuba and eat there that they can get people to patronize the place. They hope people will think the food is “exotic.”
A local Chinese place in the suburbs has sold chow mein sandwiches for years. Basically, it’s just chow mein on a white hamburger bun. They wrap them in paper and sell them by the dozens out of a drive-up window. They are so ubiquitous in that town that locals are surprised that it’s not standard fare at all Chinese restaurants.
That actually sounds good. Do they toast the bun first?
The everyday food in Northern Cameroon sucked.
The staple was boiled millet paste called “cous cous” (not the same thing as what we call cous cous.) It had the same consistency as, uh, paste. This was served painfully hot in football sized portions. It’s extremely rude not the eat the whole thing. It just kind of sits there in your stomach, especially when it is 110 degrees out.
Cous cous comes with sauce. We had a dazzling variety of sauces- all of which were some kind of green leaves cooked with peanut butter. Usually this was supplemented by whole tiny dried fish that you ate bones and all. If you were unlucky, you might end up with one of the slimier leaves in your sauce and it’d have a snot like consistancy.
I cooked for myself.
At Virginia Union U, the snack shopped offered “balogna burgers”.
Thick (like a quarter pounder) pieces of balogna on a bun.
Here we have it because the place was started by Cubans (sort of like why you have so much Mexican food out there). It’s pretty damned good, and doesn’t match what you are saying.
I had the same experience with Puerto Rican food. A Puerto Rican friend dragged me to this new PR restaurant that opened and was “authentic.” Well, plantains and completely unseasoned meat is pretty damn boring. Salt & pepper were the only condiments available too. I’d have killed for a bottle of hot sauce.
Brazilan food is mostly good-except for this stuff (which is always served). it is toasted manioc (cassava) powder, and tastes exactly like sawdust.
Don’t ask me why people eat it!
In Holland, the traditional lunch is poached eggs on white bread – and not very interesting white bread, more like Wonder bread or something. It’s not nasty, but it’s incredibly not worth eating.
ETA: sorry, the eggs are fried, sunny-side up, not poached. This makes the dish not a whit more worth eating.
Just me, but here in Charleston and the surrounding areas, people put chilli and coleslaw on their hotdogs and it makes me go “eeeeeeewww!”
Is that an ‘uitsmijter’?
But Holland is full of magnificent food, like ‘Rijstaafel’ or ‘Dame Blanche’.
Hmm, chili on a hot dog sounds pretty normal to me. I’ve never seen cole slaw on a hot dog, but it is a common hamburger condiment, so that’s not too much of a stretch. (Then again, I’ve never understood all the hate for people who put ketchup on a hot dog, so I’m certainly not an expert on the things.)
While not exclusively local, I’ve always been mildly disgusted by the amount of stuff in the South that’s deep fried. You’re often left with a small pool of oil on your plate, and if you encounter a location that doesn’t understand the concept of seasoning, each bite is a greasy mouthful of bland nothing. And there are often interesting digestive side-effects too, in my experience.
That sounds fantastic. I love chips and curry sauce, but a whole portion can get a bit stodgy. The addition of rice is genius! (Incidentally, why is chicken curry from Chinese restaurants always so good? And what are those little meat-like “bits” (soya?) in chip-shop curry sauce? And does all chip-shop curry sauce come out of one centralised vat somewhere in the Midlands? It’s always exactly identical in both colour and flavour, and served in a polystyrene cup… so many questions!)
I forget what it’s called – I’ve blocked out virtually all the details at this point, apparently, including how the eggs are cooked.
Yeah, we ate very well in Holland – we had Italian a couple of times, Indian once, etc.