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Regional Foods of The U.S.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – The United States takes enormous pride in the individual identities of its regions.

No matter where you grew up, you’re likely to feel an attachment to that section of the country.

Regional Foods of The U.S. – The differences between areas of the US pop up constantly, but one particular topic seems to inspire more memes, debates, and strongly-held opinions than any other: regional foods.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – Burger With Peanut Butter in Indiana

Midwesterners have a strict “no half measures” policy when it comes to comfort food, and in the case of the Duane Purvis All-American Burger at Triple XXX Family Restaurant in West Lafayette, IN, Hoosiers really make the most of that philosophy.

Topping many a Purdue student’s things-to-do-before-I-graduate list, eating the Duane Purvis All-American requires some suspension of disbelief.

Specifically, you need to lose the idea that peanut butter and burgers don’t belong together.

The peanut butter gets smeared on both buns before the cheeseburger with all the fixings is assembled.

The result is messy, indulgent, and unique enough to earn the approval of Guy Fieri, a dude who knows a thing or two about ridiculous but delicious American eats.

Burritos Filled with French Fries in San Diego, CA

A SoCal institution particularly associated with the beachy city of San Diego, “California burritos” have much in common with their northern cousin, the Mission burrito.

Both dishes involve an enormous flour tortilla, a choice of grilled meat or veggies (carne asada FTW), and a generous spread of house-made guac.

But while the Mission burrito fills itself out with rice and beans, the California burrito opts for a different starchy stuffing: a heap of French fries.

As it turns out, this fast-food and diner staple works wonders in the context of a burrito, offering a welcome textural shift and a salty punch that works well with the other burrito accouterments.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – Hot Dogs With Cream Cheese in Seattle, WA

Like Chicago, Detroit, and NYC, the nation’s grunge capital, Seattle, has its very own signature hot dog.

But compared to the ‘dogs from these other major metropolitan areas, the Northwest’s version strays a bit farther from frankfurter norms.

Yeah, we’re all used to seeing mustard, chili, and pickled veggies on hot dogs but cream cheese?

That’s a unique one. And that’s what the Seattle dog is all about.

In reality, however, the Seattle hot dog makes an odd sort of sense.

Cheese and meat often go hand-in-hand, and the mild tang and richness of the cream cheese provide a solid counterpoint to the hot dog’s savory saltiness.

And because the cream cheese is served cold, the temperature difference gives the sandwich an extra level of contrast to keep it interesting throughout the eating experience.


Pizza and Ranch Dressing in the Midwest

Some of us are of the opinion that ranch dressing is a perfect condiment, suitable to pair with innumerable snack foods. Fries and ranch? Amazing.

Chicken fingers and ranch? Transcendent. Pizza and ranch? Well… if you’re in the Midwest, then, yeah.

Ranch dressing originated in the Midwest, and if you head to a pizzeria in America’s Heartland and ask for a side of ranch, they’ll generally be happy to accommodate you.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – Kool-Aid and Pickles in Mississippi

The super-sweet powdered beverage of our childhoods makes an unlikely partner for tangy pickles, but in the Southern Delta regions of Mississippi and Alabama, “Koolickles” are here to stay.

The Kool-Aid lends a bright red hue to the green dill pickles, and the artificial-yet-awesome flavor of the powder gives the pickles a sweet-and-sour quality that’s pretty tough to resist.


Cantaloupe With Black Pepper in the South

Refreshing melons are rightfully popular in the steamy climate of the American South, and some Dixie denizens like to literally spice up their slices with a regionally-beloved seasoning.

Inspired by a common practice in the Mediterranean region, many Southerners grind black pepper over their cantaloupe wedges, often supplemented by oil and vinegar.

This technique gives an extra flavor boost to the mild melons, and the spice of the black pepper plays well off of the cantaloupe’s sweetness.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – Salted Peanuts Coca-Cola

If you head below the Mason-Dixon line, you may come across a curious habit involving packets of salted peanuts and good old Coca-Cola.

Many Southerners like to combine these two treats by taking a swig from a bottle of Coke, then pouring in some salty peanuts and drinking it all down (chewing the peanuts first, of course).

Plenty of myths exist to explain this Southern standby, but when you think about it, there’s really no explanation needed.

Salty + sweet = delicious, and that’s what you’re getting with Coke and peanuts. As far as we’re concerned, it all checks out.


Pizza Topped With Clams in New Haven, CT

The oldest pizzeria in the United States may be located in NYC, but many pizza aficionados believe that the dish reached perfection in the nearby city of New Haven, CT, home to Yale University and Frank Pepe Pizzeria.

Frank Pepe’s thin-crust, coal-fired pies rank among the nation’s most celebrated, especially the pizzeria’s most legendary creation: the white clam pizza.

Clams are indigenous to the Long Island Sound (which borders New Haven), so it makes some sense to try putting these native shellfish on the city’s signature food item.

Traditionally, New Haven clam pies don’t involve any tomato sauce, allowing the briny clams, grated Mozzarella, and garlic speak for themselves.

You’re not likely to find clam pizza on a Domino’s menu anytime soon, but if you can grab one in an area that’s flush with fresh clams, you won’t be disappointed.


Regional Foods of The U.S. – Sip an Egg Cream in New York

Before we say any more about the egg cream, we have to clear one thing up: this drink contains neither eggs nor cream.

Instead, the egg cream combines chocolate syrup (the regional favorite is Fox’s U-Bet), milk, and the offbeat item, seltzer.

Fizzy chocolate milk may sound a bit bizarre, but when it’s done right, the egg cream feels both refreshing and luxurious.

If you’re a fan of ice cream floats, you’ll want to give this more lightweight variation a try.

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