What are your local delicacies?

I’m talking about the really good stuff available only in your general area. You know, food you love, but can’t get anywhere else.

For me, in Maryland, number one is steamed crabs, obviously. Nothing like 'em in the world. They have to be fresh, hot, and right off the steam. Fresh is the key. If you ship them a couple hundred miles and then heat them up, it’s just not the same. Hot steamed crabs and a cold beer…ahh, heaven.
Add to that raw oysters and steamed mussels.

Berger Cookies. I don’t think these are available very far outside the Baltimore region. It’s a dense, slightly cake-like plain cookie, with thick, rich, fudgy frosting on top, about a half inch of it. God help me, I can almost eat a whole box by myself.

Utz Potato Chips. I know these are limited pretty much to the Mid-Atlantic region. Best chips in the world.

Snowballs. No, not Italian Ices, they are completely different. A snowball is a big cup crushed or shaved ice, with flavoring poured over the top. You can get just about any flavor you want…strawberry, grape, sky lite (light blue), blood orange, chocolate, tutti-fruity, banana, mint, sour cherry, Tootsie Roll, Granny Smith Apple, Pina Coloda, oh, the list goes on and on.
Available May thru September only. I lived in Florida for a few years and they had no idea what I was talking about. Relatives from Colorado visited about a year ago and wanted to know what all the little wooden huts that said “Snowballs” where for…when we explained, they didn’t know what they were, either.

Ok, where do you live and what is your local delicacy?

Hoo boy, you asked for it.

California wines from the Napa Valley, need I say more?

Dungeness crab, some of the sweetest, off the Pacific coast.

Fresh fruit, year round from the Central Valley.

Superb garlic and artichokes from Gilroy.

Excellent small run cheeses from Sonoma county.

Fabulous variety of mushrooms from Morgan Hill.
This state is a cook’s paradise.

From my hometown, Cincinnati Chili. Imitations abound–most godawful–and a few recipes come close. But for the real thing ya gotta go to Zin. (Or pack it home in a cooler and freeze it–and I’m running low!) Skyline, specificially, though Camp Washington chili is fine too. The only use for Empress Chili is removing tar from your hubcaps.

For those deprived souls who’ve never tasted this, it’s a highly spiced Greek version of chili: cumin, unsweetened chocolate, etc. It’s thin and very even in texture, served over pasta. A 2-way is spaghetti and chili. A 3-way is spaghetti, chili and a heaping mound of finely shredded cheddar cheese. A 4-way adds finely chopped onion and a 5-way adds beans. It is always served with a little bowl of oyster crackers to sop up the stray puddles of chili. (It can also be served over hot dogs, in quesedillas, etc. but they’re a waste of natural resources.)

I yearn for this stuff. The perfect dish is a 4-way with Tabasco sprinkled on top.

'Scuse me, gotta go check my freezer.

Ithaca NY, Finger Lakes Region (where I grew up, not where I live now):

Spiedies - chunks of meat marinated in vinegar-based, heavy-on-the-salt marinades, skewered and grilled, then eaten in sub rolls. The trick is to hold the roll in one hand, the skewered meat in the other, then lay the skewer right in the roll, wrap the roll around and pull the skewer out without popping chunks of meat across the table at Aunt Bea. I think there is an annual Spiedie fesitval in Binghamton. Most families have their own special secret Spiedie recipe.

Salt Potatoes - little potatoes (bigger than “new” potatoes but smaller than regular potatoes) boiled in heavily salted water. I didnt realize until moving to Boston that I don’t know how much salt to put in the water. Salt potatoes are so popular in Ithaca, all you have to do is go to the supermarket and buy a bag of “Salt Potatoes” which is a paper bag of appropriately sized potatoes and a little baggie of salt. Put them in 6 quarts of water and boil 'em!

** Half Moon Cookies** - sort of puffy cookies, about 5 or 6 inches in diameter, frosted on one side - one half with chocolate and the other with vanilla. Only the frosting isn’t the same as cake frosting, it is kind of shiny and hardens a little on the top. I’ve seen these as far away as the city, so I know they aren’t exclusive to the Finger Lakes, but I have yet to see them in Boston. Ithaca bakeries sometimes take the same cookies and type of frosting they use for Half Moons and make yellow smiley-face cookies.
Cornell Recipe Chicken The marinade is akin to a Spiedie marinade, but different. It is a white marinade with egg and is truly yummy. I am happy to share the recipe with anyone who wants it.
Gewurztraminers and Rieslings The Finger Lakes climate is very similar to the wine region in Germany, and German grape varieties do very well there. The Finger Lakes have been producing outstanding award-winning Rieslings and Gewurztraminers for decades. All the wineries are quite small, though, so distribution outside the region is very limited.

I’d sure appreciate it if you’d post the recipe, Motorgirl. Sound unusual and delicious.

And Kinsey, would you get upset at an unnanounced visit from a midwestern Doper who adores fresh Maryland crab? I’ll bring my own sleeping bag and bury my own shells.


I’m from Chicago. I know you can get these things elsewhere, but it’s not nearly as good as it is here:

Deep dish pizza

Beef Sandwiches

White Castles (okay, some don’t think of it as a "delicacy, but I think they’re great)

Hot dogs


Polish Sausage
Yes, folks, we are the “Health Food Capital of America” :slight_smile:

I’d have to say Martin’s brand potato bread. I don’t know if this is available outside of PA. Also, sweet Lebanon bologna…looks like salami, but tastes like neither salami or bologna. Wonderful on Martin’s potato bread with mayo and lettuce. <dreamy sigh>

Also pierogies and homemade kielbasa with white horseradish (the real stuff, not horseradish flavored mayonnaise).

It seems that we reside in the same state, Kinsey, so I’ll consider Maryland covered, and add a RIP to National Bohemian Beer, still available but sadly no longer brewed here in Charm City.

In Philadelphia, where I was born and spent my formative years, one can get the only true Philly Cheesesteak. My favorite is from Pat’s: take an Amoroso hoagie roll, and add grilled steak, fried onions, and Cheez Whiz. You heard me: Cheez Whiz.

Hey Motorgirl, the Washington Post food section had a big article about Spiedies last week…they sure sounded good to me…

I’m originally from Pittsburgh and have never found Chipped ham anywhere except western Pennsylvania…grew up on it and have always loved it…It was a major shock when I moved to Wash DC and could not get it

Boston checking in:

Clam chowder…and none of that funky shit with the tomatoes, either.

Boston baked beans Mmm…nothing like beans n’ franks with brown bread. Bread from a can, that is!

Thin crust pizza Chicago has perfected the deep dish. New York has perfected the normal crust. And Boston (or, more specifically, Pizzeria Regina and Papa Gino’s have perfected the thin crust pizza.

Roast beef sandwiches Kelly’s may get all the press, but it can’t hold a candle to Nick’s in Beverly. Of course, Arby’s (not worth a bold tag) was “inspired” by a Boston roast beef shop, but come on…there’s a reason that there’s only 1 Arby’s inside 95. I’m ashamed to admit that they claim Boston as their inspiration.

Fried clams Invented by Woodman’s Clam Shack in Essex, Mass, perfected by dozens of others. Yum!

Washington State wines.
Grants microbrews.
Smoked steelhead and salmon.
Lingua tortas.

Looking over my previous post, and this one, I realized we ate a lot of salt in the Finger Lakes…

Cornell Recipe Chicken Marinade

(for 5 pieces)

1/2 cup oil (I usually use safflower or corn oil)
1 cup cider vinegar
5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 egg

Mix together all ingredients except egg. When salt is mostly dissolved, beat the egg slightly and add to oil/vinegar mixture. Whisk until well mixed, a minute or two.

Place chicken pieces in a bowl or large zip lock baggie. Add marinade, cover (or lock) and refrigerate. Marinate at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Turn chicken periodically to redistribute the marinade. I always marinate a minimum of 3 hours.

Drain and blot chicken, and grill over a medium fire until done. If you are worried about the raw egg, don’t baste during the grilling.


  • By 5 pieces of chicken, they mean pieces about the size of a smallish leg/thigh or breast/wing quarter.
  • We found out, through a weird freakish accident that arose from a misunderstanding, that boiling the chicken parts for 20 to 30 minutes and THEN marinating accomplishes three things: 1. very tender chicken, because it doesn’t need to stay on the grill as long 2. excellent penetration by the marinade and 3. no guesswork about whether the chicken is done or not.

If you pre-boil the chicken, rinse in lots of cold water before adding to marinade, or you’ll cook the egg.

Ohhh I know who my favorite moderator is now. I can’t help it I have a soft spot in my heart for Cincinnati Chili. I cannot reiterate the point enough. Nothing equals it because well it simply is a god send. Okay but now anyways for right now a delicacy is anything that isn’t dorm food. Ahhh the downside of college is nasty ass dorm food*

*to any college dorm food preparers this isn’t a diss towards you so please Unclebeer don’t come after me with that big bad moderator stick of yours :wink: just kiddin’

I grew up in Trenton, which is the only place I’ve ever been able to get a pork roll sandwich. Pork roll is like a tube of Spam packed in a cloth casing, but firmer than Spam. Fried slices with provolone on an Italian roll - good stuff.

Here in good old Edmonton…

Hawaiian pizza. Needs to be done PROPERLY with fresh pineapple and backbacon. An intriguing variation on this is to replace the backbacon with moose or deer sausage. Very different, very delicious.

Pepperoni Cheese Sticks. I’ve never encountered these anywhere else. You cover a pepperoni stick with cheese bread dough and bake. Out of this world.

White hots with Nance’s hot and creamy mustard
Upstate New York has a lock on these. My relatives from Texas freaked out when they saw them. Summer is not Summer with out White hots

*Originally posted by The Mighty Tiki God *

Dorm food is always nasty ass. Many have suffered. Since it sure isn’t unique it doesn’t fit in this thread, but there have been discussions about what adult human beings do to Ramen noodles that…well, buy Maalox. Now.


UncleBeer is cool. As a matter of fact he’s a demented, sideways hoot. And I’m not just saying that because he brings brews to Group.

Scratching under Kevlar,


Hot Dogs. Yes, they’re only available in Chicago - the rest is some kind of odd thin little New York perversion with only ketchup (gack) or mustard, or else a big polish. Oddly, I had a great polish from a cart outside of the British Museum in London. Damn fine sausage.

Pizza - same deal.

Green River soda. Great South Side of Chicago lime soda, especially good when used to make a float (try 'em at the Sugar Bowl on Northwest Highway in Des Plaines).

Chicken and dumplings. A rarely used, extremely local term for them is yardbird and slips. This says something about Southern DE, I just know it.

Also scrapple, but… people tend to have a love/hate relationship with that one.

New York City

The culinary capital of the world. Where to begin? Forgetting the fancy-schmancy stuff, I’d say:

Deli Food. A corn beef sandwich at the Second Ave. Deli.

Hot Dogs. Nathan’s at Coney Island. They are much better there than at the chain store Nathan’s. And yes, Chicago hot dogs are superb.

Pizza. And yes, Chicago pizza is great.


Cheap, excellent Indian/Chinese/Middle-Eastern/Japanese/Caribbean/French Bistro/Italian/Vietnamese/Thai/American

One could argue that this is not “local” food, but it might as well be.

Of course there’s more, but you might as well surrender your wallet at the door.