In the Wisconsin supper club thread, some native Wisconsinites mentioned that when they were growing up they didn’t realize supper clubs weren’t universal, i.e. that they weren’t just a midwestern (and mainly Wisconsin) thing. So I wondered if there were any regional foods or regional restaurants you grew up with that you just assumed existed everywhere.
I grew up in North Carolina, so for me it was Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Growing up in the state where they were founded, they were pretty much available in every grocery store, in addition to their standalone shops. It was very common for charities to sell boxes of Krispy Kremes as fundraisers. I don’t think it was until the early 2000s, when they tried to expand nationwide and the rest of the country was undergoing Krispy Kreme mania that I realized the rest of the country didn’t always have Krispy Kreme.
The other one was Calabash style seafood, particularly shrimp. Pretty much any seafood restaurant in the Carolinas inevitably serves Calabash style fried seafood, even the far inland parts of the state far from the actual town of Calabash. So I grew up thinking that was how fried shrimp was prepared everywhere. So after I moved to California I eventually learned to avoid ordering fried shrimp in seafood restaurants, because every time I did I was disappointed because I got served something that was nothing like the fried shrimp I grew up with.