Sunday, March 22, 2009

Regional Cuisine

Is there a local delicacy, something that can only be found within 50 miles or so of your house?

We were having this discussion over dinner last night. Eastern Missouri is known for two things, which you couldn't find with money in the western side. Toasted Ravioli and pork steaks.

Toasted Ravioli is a deep fried ravioli, served with red dipping sauce and Parmesan cheese sprinkles on top. Generally, served as an appetizer, its as ubiquitous as Budweiser. Pork steaks are whole pork butts cut into 1- 11/2 inch steaks. Best served bar b-qued.

Western Missouri prides itself on its chicken fried steak. CFS is essentially batter dipped and pan fried round steak. Absolutely unavailable in or around Mayberry.

Philly has scrapple and cheese steaks.

What's available only near your back yard?



Martha said...

Toad, when I think of Western Missouri, I think of Kansas City and Kansas City is BBQ -- not Chicken Fried Steak.

In our part of the prairie it is fried chicken -- we have the chicken sisters (Annie and Mary) as well as other "upstarts". In our "Mount Pilot" -- it is hard to find a restaurant that isn't a chicken restaurant!

Since Missouri was a Border State during the Civil War, you found both northerners and southerners. Since a northerner resembled a southerner the only way you could tell them apart was by their dinner -- northerners ate beef and white bread; southerners ate ham and biscuits. They could pretend to be from the other side -- until they sat down to dinner!

Martha said...

BTW, I really like your post today.

DD lived for 3 years in Buffalo, New York -- the food there was wings (of course) and beef on weck.

ms. mindless said...

well, i am a maryland native, and most folks from here will tell you that you can order a crabcake anywhere in the country, but it will not be an authentic maryland crab cake. so, i am going to real claim crab cakes for maryland.

Toad said...

Calvin Trillin has made a career out of writing about regional cuisine. Martha, one of my favorite signs is "pan fried please allow 40 minutes".

Whenever a chicken store displays this badge of courage, I know I've found a friend.

Gladys said...

Now see where I grew up the specialty was chicken fried steaks. Here in Moaningtana it's Buffalo Burgers and back in SoCal it's Albodonagus Soup. In Gladys' kitchen my specialty? Hummmm Nanny's Funeral Chicken. ;)

ADG said...

Inisde the Beltway we got nothin'...Other places I've lived or where I grew up:

New Orleans...Boudin sausage. I have it FedExed to me from the swamp.

New Jersey...the best mom and pop hole in the wall Italian places. I don't even attempt to eat Italian in the DC area...I'm back in NJ enough to get my fix.

South Carolina...vinegar and pepper based pork barbecue. A guy from Sumter S.C. opened a Barbecue joint in London and just like back home, he sells BBQ every day till he runs out. When he runs out, he closes. Just like home. Every state has a claim to barbecue and there is no right or wrong. They are all different and all good.

Mom on the Run said...

In Nebraska, we have runzas. Ground beef, cabbage, onion, salt and pepper fried up and wrapped in bread dough and baked.

At Nebraska football games, they serve runzas, Valentino's Pizza, and Fairbury Hotdogs.

My sorority sister is the President of Runza restaurants, her grandparents started the business. Not sure how far the chain has expanded in the Midwest, you may have some in Missouri.

Toad said...

MOTR: I hope not

Giuseppe said...

White clam chowder (you know, the real kind) and proper fried clams, black bellies and all. One of the better things about living in Eastern New England. Almost makes up for the excesive cold most of the year. By Jesus, I can't wait till it's warm enough to visit the seaside and eat a giant plate of fried clams, with french fries and coleslaw...and beer.

Not to burts your bubble, but I've seen toasted ravioli around here too.

Toad said...

G: that's because Italians are everywhere.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Ham biscuits. Can't have a party without ham biscuits made with a Smithfield country ham. It's written into the by-laws of the Commonwealth, I'm pretty sure.

Toad said...

I'd forgotten ham biscuits. They are one of nature's perfect foods.