So, what's your favorite/least favorite local food?
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Thread: So, what's your favorite/least favorite local food?

  1. #1

    Default So, what's your favorite/least favorite local food?

    Two shows I "watch" while painting and DVR the hell out of are Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Both preach this message that truly the only way to experience a place is in it's local foods, which is true. Why do you go all the way to France and eat pressed Duck when no one really eats that everyday? Sure, it's good in it's own way, but there's a reason people keep going back to a certain local preparation and even have preferences to where the best can be found. We have an international following here on CMON, so my question to you becomes what is your local favorite? I should state that international chain restaurants don't count. Sure, you can get a Big Mac pretty much anywhere now, but hopefully the locally owned place across the street is giving the clown a run for his money outside the U.S.
    Anyhoo, to get the ball rolling here:

    Tacos.

    Specifically, Tacos Alambre style or Pork Carnitas.

    Living on the border and the Tex-Mex capital of the world, it's no surprise to have dozens of Mexican eateries in this town, and all pretty much know what their doing. The tacos from any of these bear as much resemblance to Taco Bell tacos as a Fillet Mignon to a skirt steak. REAL tacos are served in 2 corn tortillas with plenty of fresh onion, cilantro and a lime on the side:


    Doesn't that look good? And get this- I HATE Cilantro! That's right, I'm willing to suffer through it though for the taste of these. Of the 2 I mentioned, Alambre style is meat cooked with onions, bell peppers and bits of bacon and pork carnitas are made from cuts of pork that are fatty which are slow braised or roasted for hours until the outside is crisp and the inside falls apart. Pork carnitas also lend themselves to burritos of this meat, refried beans, (the ever prensent) cilantro and onions, sometimes with guacamole on the side.

    Now, the flip side of this is there are local "delicacies" that every area has that likes to pawn off on tourists while the locals steer clear of. For me, that has to be Mole (MO-lay)...
    The story is a Nun in southern Mexico threw everything in the pantry together at the last moment to serve to a bishop... the pantry contained chili spices and baker's chocolate. While some have a preference for this, I am not one of them. I have eaten the tripe stew called Menudo before even attempting Mole.. To this day, I politely say "No thank you" when offered. I should keep some Lutefisk in my pocket for those people who want me to try their Grandma's prized recipe..

    Well, that's my story. What's yours?

  2. #2
    Brushlicker gohkm's Avatar
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    So many!

    Singapore has a local favourite called nasi lemak. It's coconut rice, that is served with deep fried tiny anchovies, peanuts, a fried egg, and if you're really lucky, a fried chicken wing. This, Hainanese chicken rice, roti prata .... spoilt for choice, really.

    In Oz, it's a lot more cut and dried. There's a place in Sydney, a suburb called Alexandria, where a cafe called The Grounds is. They serve an awesome beef brisket burger, which is my current favourite. The patty is meaty and chunky, and bites like a tender steak, the brioche is hand-made daily, and the sauce - I don't know what they put in this, but it's the best thing on the burger.

    Dessert wise, nobody has ever beat Quay's double chocolate dessert - it's a blend of white and dark chocolate laid out in a yin-yang symbol, underlying this is a bed of crystallized cocoa and crushed candied almonds. They squirt some sort of berry jam all over this. Heavenly! It's not just sweet, you can clearly taste each and every component.

    In Amsterdam, I developed an unhealthy taste for herring. In Spain, more things than you can shake a stick at, but particularly, the roast pork in Segovia, the jamon iberico you can get at the House of Jamon. In Italy, the beef tripe in tomato sauce in Firenze, the pizza blanco we hit when we touched down in Sardinia.

    So many things! Mate, you're just making me hungry; stop it, it's 0530 right now, I have to go to work, and the food places won't be open for another 30 mins ...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy
    Doesn't that look good?
    Oh yes indeedy it does *chomp*

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy
    Now, the flip side of this is there are local "delicacies" that every area has that likes to pawn off on tourists while the locals steer clear of. For me, that has to be Mole (MO-lay)...
    The story is a Nun in southern Mexico threw everything in the pantry together at the last moment to serve to a bishop... the pantry contained chili spices and baker's chocolate.
    Well like a lot of stories about the history of food that could be true or it could be just a fable. It does sort of sum up what mole seems like when you read the ingredients list but the only thing I find offputting about that is the idea of making it myself, not eating it.

    I get that the classic dark-brown mole looks a bit, er, challenging, but lots of foods taste better than they look. And it's not like the marriage of chocolate and spices isn't something that works in other contexts....



    Anyway , favourite local food. There's nothing that stood out immediately TBH. If I were to answer the question truthfully it would be chocolate, because we have a really good chocolatier in the city, but that's a bit of a cheat obviously.

    So for something from here it'll have to be a historic reference, not something current: these particular pork chops with a seasoning mix (a dry rub in modern parlance) that used to be available from a local butcher. To say it made ordinary chops into something special doesn't even begin to do it justice.

    My mum and I tried a few things to replicate the recipe while she was still alive and even working from memory as we were forced to do we knew we were missing the mark by quite a margin. I worked hard to hone in on this seasoning perfection over the years and I got closer, but it wasn't until I found out they produced powdered sage that a light went on in my head and now I think I've nailed it. Only took 25 years!

    Now, least favourite. There's not much in food that I truly dislike, but there is one thing that's considered a local speciality that would be way down near the bottom of my to-try list and that's boiled tripe. It's not the idea of it that puts me off at all, I have no problem with offal generally, it's just the smell of it cooking. I'm honestly not sure I could keep it down if it smelled like that while I was trying to eat it, so for now at least it's definitely not on the menu.

    Einion

  4. #4

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    Given that I live in the Pacific Northwest, there's an obvious combination (to me anyway) ... salmon (not from a farm) and a lovely Oregon pinot noir ... not everyone would immediately gravitate to a red wine w/ fish, but I think salmon works really well w/ a red and the pinots from Oregon rival the best in the world.

  5. #5

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    Truly local food for me would be a small farm restaurant that's half a mile outside the town (Rowdy Cow). They do the most amazing breakfasts and all of the meat/veg products come from within a 10 mile radius... We also have an amazing butchers so a BBQ in the garden is always good Can't say that I have a least favourite local food in truth

  6. #6

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    Well local in Wales, is Cawl - a lamb stew, which is rather nice even though I don't like lamb. Also Glamorgan sausages, despite being meat free, are rather lovely
    cawl:

    glamorgan sausages:
    [img]http://www.channel4.com/media/images/Channel4/4Food/recipes/monthly_additions/2011/october/visit-wales/glamsausages_A0.jpg[/img]
    For those who like whisky (is there an e if it's from Scotland?), Penderyn make some lovely ones and some lovely gin and vodka...

    FOr things I hate, it has to be Welsh cakes with spice simply because I hate spice and Welsh cakes are normally so lovely, it ruins them. Yeah it's a cop out...
    [img]http://uk.glam.com/files/2012/09/Welsh-Cakes.jpg[/img]

    @Einion, know what you mean about tripe. We used to cook it for the dog when I was younger. That smell sticks with you. Tip - never smell inside a Greggs pasty, although I doubt you would. Same smell


    edit - why aren't my pics working?!
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  7. #7

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    When it comes to local food I have an absolute favourite, the Sandwich Cake. The short description of it would be a gigantic sandwich filled with absolutely everything you can imagine on a sammie and then some.
    Name:  smorgas11.jpg
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    My least favourite dish would be the fermented herring, not because of the taste but because of the extremely intense smell from when you open the can. It literally (and for good reason) smells like a rotting carcass and anyone who have been close to a rotting fish knows how that smell is. Now imagine that concentrated and in your kitchen. Yep, you open the can outside unless you want your home to smell like an open graveyard for a couple weeks.
    That said, the dish is quite nice once the preparation is done and you've forgotten the smell.
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  8. #8

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    sandwich cake has to be the most overrated meal ever!
    agree with you about the herring though.

  9. #9
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    Hate = Tripe, Tongue, Brawn, Kidneys, Liver, Salmon and any fish cooked in the house. Fried, poached or hard boiled eggs.

    Like = Food with flavour, we're spoilt by our friends Mother cooking us REAL Biryani's. (Food to make your mouth tingle, not burn)
    Omelettes, scrambled eggs, HAGGIS, porridge. Trout.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sivousplay
    ... salmon (not from a farm) and a lovely Oregon pinot noir ...
    Yeah but as a fan of Portland myself what I really want to know is what's bad there When I was there pretty much everything I had was good, from cheap to pricey.


    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage
    edit - why aren't my pics working?!
    Because embedding is image theft? Kidding, here's why:
    PHP Code:
    [img][URL="http://www.channel4.com/media/images/Channel4/4Food/recipes/monthly_additions/2011/october/visit-wales/glamsausages_A0.jpg"]http://www.channel4.com/media/images/Channel4/4Food/recipes/monthly_additions/2011/october/visit-wales/glamsausages_A0.jp[/URL]g[/img]
    [img][URL]http://uk.glam.com/files/2012/09/Welsh-Cakes.jpg[/URL][/img] 
    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage
    Tip - never smell inside a Greggs pasty, although I doubt you would. Same smell
    What, every type? Thanks for the tip.

    Einion
    Last edited by Einion; 06-18-2013 at 09:27 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkelettetS View Post
    sandwich cake has to be the most overrated meal ever!
    agree with you about the herring though.
    Pff, you're just too hipster for something that mainstream! ;P I love it! Therefore it has to be good!

    (Now I just -have- to make a non-meaty purely awesome sandwich cake just for the hell of it... And If I succeed it's heading to gothenburg. ;D )
    Last edited by Chrome; 06-18-2013 at 05:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  12. #12

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    soda bread...yuck
    LAAARRFF, I SPLIT MY SIDES!!

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  13. #13

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    Least favorite:

    Have this new local fast food place called Five Guys. They have been popping up all over in the western US. After hearing all the hype I went to check it out. It's a typical burger joint but they also do hot dogs.

    Place is insanely expensive (can get 2 times the food at McDonalds for the same price), the food sucks, the employees are rude, the service is slow. I didn't even finish my burger because it was raw in the middle and I spent the majority of that night on the toilet with my face in a bucket. MMmmm food poisoning. To say the least, I will never go back.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and the fries were a trip. Some of them were soggy while some of them were raw in the center. How do you mess up fries? Seriously?

    Favorite:

    Paesano's

    This place makes the best Pizza around. I don't know what they add to their sauce, but it's amazing. And when you order toppings, they give you toppings. Not like Domino's where you get like 2 pepperonis per slice, this place drops a pepperoni bomb on the pizza. I order Jalapeno/Bacon pizza and it is OMG delicious. Their calzones are like size of half their large pizza, and only 7 bucks. Their appetizers are amazing across the board as well. Especially the jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks.
    Last edited by Phoulmouth; 06-19-2013 at 05:17 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoulmouth View Post
    Least favorite:
    Have this new local fast food place called Five Guys.
    I knew someone who worked there. Wouldn't eat the food either. They wanted to promote him to manager, ran a background check they should have done when they hired him, found his run-in with the law and weed.. and then proceeded to fire him.

    I also enjoy local pizza way more than any chain. It doesn't have to be wood fired or anything special, but I swear you can taste the work that people put into it.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Hate = Tripe, Tongue, Brawn, Kidneys, Liver, Salmon and any fish cooked in the house. Fried, poached or hard boiled eggs.
    Any kind of offal turns my stomach, cooking it for the cats stinks the house out, but waste not.

    DR - I'm guessing you don't like the whites of the egg, as the two types of egg you do like no white is seen, my sister never ate the whites, she'd cut all the white from a poached egg, and would even remove the skin thin layer from the yolk itself, it was like watching some one peel a layer from an eye ball.

    I don't like cauliflower only because I had warts on my knees as a kid that looked like it, one trip on a log and I cut them all clean off.

    Anything cooked in a ton of grease......plays with my guts other than that I eave about anything except Mexican, too spicy and rank.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post

    What, every type? Thanks for the tip.

    Einion
    Nah just any with "meat" in them...
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  17. #17
    Brushlicker gohkm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoulmouth View Post
    Least favorite:

    Have this new local fast food place called Five Guys. They have been popping up all over in the western US. After hearing all the hype I went to check it out. It's a typical burger joint but they also do hot dogs.

    Place is insanely expensive (can get 2 times the food at McDonalds for the same price), the food sucks, the employees are rude, the service is slow. I didn't even finish my burger because it was raw in the middle and I spent the majority of that night on the toilet with my face in a bucket. MMmmm food poisoning. To say the least, I will never go back.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and the fries were a trip. Some of them were soggy while some of them were raw in the center. How do you mess up fries? Seriously?
    Reminds of when Taco Bell first opened in Singapore. Talk about showing my age! This must've been at least 20 years ago.

  18. #18

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    The good:

    It's not exactly a local food, but there's a phenomenal ramen place near where I live. It's the only ramen place where I will actually pick the bowl up and drink every last drop of the broth. As further testimony to its greatness, there is always a queue outside, whenever you go. Always.

    As for actual local food, yakitori or yakiniku is the mutt's nuts. The former is flame grilled chicken on a stick (with sauce/seasoning varying from place to place), the latter is meat (usually beef) grilled by you at the built in barbecue at your table. Beer is often involved in both these types of restaurant.

    The bad:

    natto. It's fermented soy beans. Looks like beans covered in a combination of snail slime and pus. The taste is pretty bland, but the texture? It's like...beans covered in snail slime and pus. Yech...

    Also, live food. I do not like it when my food tries to crawl off my plate. This has actually happened to me. No kidding.
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  19. #19
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talion View Post
    DR - I'm guessing you don't like the whites of the egg,
    Sorry Andy, not it.
    1 Don't like the taste
    2 At school had to dissect numerous fertilised eggs, during a hot summer term. (In a time where refusal to comply with a teachers instructions would result in a caning.)

    I suppose that's where my respect for 'food chain' animals and dislike of authoritarian bullies developed from.
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  20. #20

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    To me egg whites don't have much of taste, mostly texture. For dissection in biology, we had to work our way up- started with a worm, then frog, then a rat. I was in groups with mainly girls, so I did all the work. Maybe they've learned not to have kids cut open anything that can be food by now (though I have heard of small pigs).
    @Me in japan- I think Bizarre Foods had 3 episodes devoted to japan; one on Tokyo and it's small bars/ restaurants, one on northern Japan, and one on Hokkaido. I have yet to hear anyone mention any redeeming qualities of Natto. The most disgusting thing he tried was some 4 year old fermented fish. The guide told him that not many regions do it anymore.. I'm guessing there's a reason for that..

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