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stella1751
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Strangest Regional Foods

I had so much fun reading the responses to Nickolas' sugar addiction thread that I want to start one on odd regional foods. What is the oddest region-specific food in your area?

I'll get you started with Rocky Mountain oysters, which are deep-fried bull testicles. (I think that's okay to say in a forum composed of adult members.) I had them once, years ago. They were pretty good, tasted a lot like chicken 8)

Here's one for North Dakota: My mother kept a jar of pickled pigs feet in the fridge for snacks when I was a child. She also ate horseradish on almost everything.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

lily51
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In a minuscule town on the area, it's bar and restaurant
Had a "testicle festival" every year. It was a big event. We never did attend the event.

gumbo2176
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Here in La. if it walks, runs, crawl, slithers, flies, swims, it is considered food.

From the water I've eaten all forms of fish, frogs, turtles, gators, crawfish, crabs, oysters, nutria, snake and eels. If any of you have seen that ridiculous show "Turtle Man" on TV, those are the turtles that make the best turtle soup----those large snapping turtles or "Cowan" as they are called locally.

One of my late father-in-laws favorite regional dishes was "Gog". It is the cleaned and stuffed stomach of a pig that is baked. It is stuffed with pork, vegetable seasonings, dry seasonings,rice, etc. and baked till done.

I tried escargot once and didn't care for it, but I'm not a real fan of a lot of butter and these were swimming in it.

Stella, one of the guys I once worked with before I retired married a gal who's family owned a business that specialized in Pickled Pigs Feet and Lips. They sell that stuff by the gallons down here in N.O.

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applestar
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My friend who loves to cook and had studied Chinese cuisine told me that chicken feet are indispensable for making authentic Chinese chicken stock. She wanted us to go to Chinatown in the city to get some so she could show me the rudiments of that technique, but -- alas :wink: -- we never got the chance to have that particular cooking lesson before she moved away.

She lives in Korea now, and no doubt, are wading through their regional cooking techniques. :D

:?: So, is there a Chinese culinary influence in Texas?

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rainbowgardener
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My father used to love pickled pigs feet, so they were often around in our house. But they looked gross enough in the jar that I never tried any. He was raised Jewish, his parents came over from the old country. So he used to take us to Jewish delis (since my mother didn't cook ethnic). I don't think of any of that stuff as "weird," but lots of great Jewish ethnic food - kasha, knishes, halvah, hammentash, matsoh ball soup. .. Lots of that stuff I haven't had since I was a kid.

Let's see, grew up in Calif eating a lot of Mexican (our big family Christmas Eve gathering dinner was tacos), my dad's Jewish deli stuff, live in Ohio now (is there any midwest regional food?). I cook ethnic a lot these days, Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, etc.

Made a wonderful Pav Bhaji recently. It's chopped up garlic, onions, chili peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, carrots, potatoes stir fried with ginger, lemon juice and Baj Masala (coriander, cumin, chili, turmeric, mango pods, cardamom, cloves, cumin, star anise, fennel, ginger, gram masala, asafetida). In India it is stuffed into dinner rolls and sold as street food.
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lorax
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Here in Ecuador, it's like Gumbo is describing for Louisiana. If it moves, we eat it. Gog sounds like pork haggis!

Marlin: chicken feet are for soup, although you can also fry 'em up. They do make excellent stock, though - I can buy big bags of them at the market, or if I buy a whole chicken I'll also get its feet packed with the other tripes.

Probably the two dishes that would astound y'all up north are the following:

Chontacuros. These are the fat grubs of chonta-palm beetles; they're skewered and roasted over charcoal. Very tasty - like big chewy peanuts.

Cuy. Northerners know this animal as a Guinea Pig and figure it's a pet. I know it as a gourmet meat, slow-roasted, with peanut potatoes.

Then again, there's also Caldo de Manguera, a soup made with bull's penis, and Caldo de Patas, which is boiled hoofs and hocks. I have yet to eat either. Neither do I touch Triena y Uno, which is stuffed beef tripes in broth (ick!)

On the tastier side of things, we've got Chugchucara (earthquake breath), which is little chunks of tender pork cooked in their own fat until crispy, and its sweeter companion Fritada, which is pork belly cooked in its own fat with sugar and spices.

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stella1751
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All of these great responses, besides making me laugh and, in cases, feel a little ill, make my mother look downright normal. Did I mention she also loved headcheese? (I think it's a dish made from cow brains, but I never wanted to know so didn't ask.)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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rainbowgardener
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I loved the food in Costa Rica, among other things hearts of palm salad, rice and beans for breakfast, yucca root cooked as a starch the way we might use potatoes, jerusalem artichoke etc, pastel de tres leches - a cake, baked, cooled and then soaked in the tres leches (three milks)

cream syrup for soaking
12 oz. evaporated milk
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon rum or brandy (optional)
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Allegre Nee
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Rainbowgardener - I'm Jewish and I was laughing so hard that you called Jewish food ethnic food because I am anything but ethnic. :lol: (Did you see the SNL episode where Ben Stiller hosted after Yom Kippur last year and he and Andy Samburg sang a song about Jewish food? You should check it out, it's hilarious!!)

I grew up in PA and there are some weird PA Dutch foods like scrapple which is pork offal...boiled down...made into a patty...then fried, usually served as a breakfast meat. Never eaten it!! Also hogmaw which is similar to gog or haggis. Several generations of grandmothers on my mom's side make something called Corn Pie, which is corn, boiled potatoes, and sliced hard boiled eggs baked into a pie crust. I eat mine with hot milk poured on top. My husband was dubious but he actually loves it.

He's from W NC and eats something called livermush (pretty much exactly what it sounds like) on his grits. I prefer my grits SC lowcountry style, topped topped with shrimp, onions, peppers, and andouille sausage or bacon.

Oh, and count me as another TX resident (I am NOT a Texan!! :twisted: ) who things chicken fried steak is horrible. It's exactly as Marlingardener described! I've tried it 3 times at places reported to have "the best" CFS, including one where the CFS had been featured on Food Network's Diners Drive Ins and Dives and thought all of them were disgusting. It's a cheapo piece of meat that's so bad you've got to deep fry it and smother it in pepper gravy to cover up the flavor and texture. Now...chicken fried chicken??? Heck YES!

A regional dish here that is unusual is barbacoa, which is the face/jowls/cheeks of a cow where the meat/head has been buried....oh dear. The smell....the horrors! However, it does taste a LOT better than it smells and kind of resembles a fatty roast beef. Makes yummy breakfast tacos!

No Chinese culinary influence here that I can tell - the chicken feet are for Mexican food, usually caldo which is a kind of soup. I live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood and they sell all kinds of chicken feet, pigs feet and ears and whole heads, etc. at my local grocery store.

A food I love, which thankfully we can get here because of a large military population is a Korean dish called bibimbap - rice, veggies, seasoned meat, a raw, poached, or fried egg on top, with chili sauce. So delicious. I love to eat it when I'm not feeling well, I swear it will cure whatever ails you. Especially (oddly) stomach distress.

I could talk about food all day. Any good food blogs out there??

gumbo2176
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stella1751 wrote:All of these great responses, besides making me laugh and, in cases, feel a little ill, make my mother look downright normal. Did I mention she also loved headcheese? (I think it's a dish made from cow brains, but I never wanted to know so didn't ask.)
In Louisiana, headcheese is made from a hog's head. The head is boiled with many seasonings and the meat is picked off the bone when done and chopped up a bit. After it is chopped, more fresh seasonings are added and the liquid from the cooking process is what makes it jell when cooled in a loaf pan. It is generally eaten with crackers and spicy mustard, pepper jelly or horseradish.

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!potatoes!
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during my tenure on the navajo reservation, some of the culinary highlights included bend-down bread with blood (basically a fresh cornmeal and sheep or goat's blood tamale), and a delicacy i never caught the name for that consisted of a stick of belly-fat, wrapped in washed intestine, then fried. lots of chewing and saturated fats, not much flavor.

a friend who spent a fair amount of time in laos brought back a jar of badek (sp?), which is small fermented whole fish.

i would love to try those beetle grubs. I'm definitely the bug-eatin'est in my neighborhood.

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Marlingardener wrote:Headcheese is good eatin' (as they say around here. They also say "good groceries" instead of "that's delicious' but that's a whole 'nother thread). We live in a basically German/Czech populated area and I have learned not to ask what is in the homemade sausage we are given. All of it has been delicious so far, and we still have all our internal organs in working order, so I just let the ingredients list go. :roll:
I forgot to mention Menudo, which is a soupy stew or a stew-like soup made from some meat, potatoes, and ears of corn. Honestly, there is an ear of corn floating in the stew/soup. I have yet to figure out how you eat that, so I've avoided it. Menudo is supposedly a great cure for a hangover. I've avoided one of those, too, so far!
Gumbo, my husband loves escargot, but I refuse to prepare it. The thought of murdering all those little snails, sob . . . . :cry:
All the Menudo I have ever have seen uses tripe as the "meat". No thanks, I'll stick to boiled peanuts as my favorite regional "oddity". Or livermush.... :D

Allegre Nee
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nosta wrote:All the Menudo I have ever have seen uses tripe as the "meat". No thanks, I'll stick to boiled peanuts as my favorite regional "oddity". Or livermush.... :D
Yep. Blagh. I'll eat a great many things, but if it ever contained doo-doo, I ain't eatin on it. I do love boiled peanuts, though. :P

Susan W
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I was looking at this thread again, shouldn't have before eatin'!

We came to Memphis, I am thinking by age of kids 30+ yrs ago, stop before was Southern Illinois.Hubs had job, I arrived for real around holidays with the 2 little ones. I was at the major super market (perhaps Kroger) after Christmas, and am in a majority black area. In the meat bins Hogs Heads. I kid you not! These were heads, split half from snout to back of ear. What one could purchase a half head, cut part on styro foam tray, upper covered with saran wrap. This included 1/2 snout, eye, ear. I won't digress further.

BTW, I got some bacon, can of black eyed peas and a head of cabbage for New Years.
Have fun!
Susan

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stella1751
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Susan, your story reminded me of the summer when I was 17-almost-18, and my father received a job transfer to Hawaii. My first trip to the grocery store there almost made me sick. The meat section, real meat, was about a quarter the size of the seafood section, which had some really gross looking offerings like eel, octopus, squid, and whatever. I still get the strong desire to take to my heels, just thinking about it!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Wannabeegreen
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Gumbo, my husband loves escargot, but I refuse to prepare it. The thought of murdering all those little snails, sob . . . . :cry:[/quote]

Aren't snails a gardeners worst enemy? ;) my grandma goes huntin for them each night in summer with salt and pellets in hand like a crazed woman...in fact it's an obsession...
Zone equivalent 10b for USDA zone, growing herbs, chill plants, garlic onions ATM...suggestions welcome for edibles!



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