Local Food Traditions, History and Myths...
OK, every city, region, state, etc... has it's food traditions. What things are called, what was initiated there, what are the local cuisines, what are things called (named)?
Mudbug and I started this conversation in another forum where it did not exactly fit so I started this one.
For starters... I live in Kentucky. LaGrange to be exact, about 15 miles NE of Louisville [pronounced Lu' A Vul]. Louisville was a portage point on the Ohio River originally. If you came down the river from Pennsylvania you had to unload, put your stuff on wagons, take it below the falls, and load it on another boat. So the city had a lot of mixed inputs for food since there were so many travelers passing through.
Therefore, Louisville has a eclectic cuisine with a strong "suthern" flavor.
There are a few claims to fame from the local establishments. Actually some you may not have even heard of but we think they are special... LOL
The Hot Brown Sandwich
and supposedly the "Cheeseburger".
Mudbug mentioned that in Memphis tea means "iced tea", I don't know if they have a word for hot tea there...:wacko:
So,let the games begin. What's your regional specialties? What strange words inhabit your vocabulary? What food originated where you live??
I've never heard of a hot brown sandwich. Could you explain? One thing that we have every New Year's Day is what some people call "Hoppin John". I have no idea how it got it's name and we don't call it that. We just call it blackeyed peas and rice. I don't really like blackeyed peas but eat them that one day because my grandmother always made it and said it brought good luck and good health all year.
Ok, first things first.. the Hot Brown. This is the history and original recipe. There are hundreds of variations. It's on almost every restaurant menu in Louisville. My version has peach halves on top....
Hot Brown Sandwich
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Photo and recipe courtesy of the Camberley Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
Chef Fred K. Schmidt at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, created The Hot Brown sandwich in 1926. In the 1920s, the Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. The band would play until late, and when the band took bread, around midnight; people would retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Bored with the traditional ham and eggs, Chef Schmidt, delighted his guests by creating the Hot Brown.</SPAN>
Learn about the History of the Hot Brown Sandwich by Linda Stradley.6 tablespoons butter
Check out Linda's Sandwich Recipes.
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, room temperature and beaten
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup prepared whipped cream
8 slices toasted white bread, crust trimmed off
1 pound cooked turkey breasy, thinly sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
8 bacon slices, fried crisp
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and free from lumps. Gradually stir in milk until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and well blended.
In a small bowl, beat egg. Gradually add 1 cup of hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time, to the egg, stirring constantly. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended; add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in whipped cream.
For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, sprinkle with diced pimientos, cross two pieces of bacon over the top, and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings of two open-faced sandwiches each.
A final note.. blackeyed peas, better known by me as "dirt peas". :rolleyes: I hate them. LOL. They taste like the dirt I got on my hands as a kid and then stuck in my mouth by mistake. But my wife loves them... :mellow: to each his own. And yes we have the New Year's Eve Eat Dirt Peas tradition too...:rofl:
I know what you mean. Sweet bologna and Lebanon bologna are very popular here and I don't think they are well known outside the area. Shoo fly pie is another. Other dishes such as chicken corn soup and pot pie may not be what "outsiders" think they are. We also have pepper cabbage and pickled eggs. Soft pretzels, I think, are becoming known outside the area thanks to Auntie Anne's. Pork and saurkraut is a New Year's Day tradition.
Ok, we need to keep this organized... LOL I have heard of Shoo Fly Pie, but what is it? Soft pretzels have spread the nation in ballparks wherever. Pepper Cabbage? Sweet Bologna, Chicken Corn Soup?
We all will end up spewing out names of local dishes. But they are useless without an explanation and an occasional recipe.
Please.. keep the legends coming.......
Ok, did you know that Chili here [known as chilie] has spaghetti in it? :glare:
I have a very dear friend who I have known for 45 years. He is from Wisconsin. The first time we had his family over for dinner we had Chilie... They were amazed. In Kentucky it's made with spaghetti. The almost normal ingredients for chili con carne but then you add the spaghetti.:ohmy:
They quickly learned to be careful in restaurants. The words do not always translate as intended.
Scottish dishes - everything from soups like Cock a Leekie, Cullen Skink, Scotch Broth...
Haggis, neeps and tatties, rumbledethumps, steak pie, mutton pies
Puddings/cakes/biscuits - real shortbread, clootie dumplings, cranachan, tipsy laird, fruit cakes, rowies, parliament biscuits
The list is too long to type here!
In MA we have frappes and milkshakes. Unfortunately even though I have lived here for 29 years I still have not learned the differences. I think one has ice cream and the other doesn't.
We also have jimmies and sprinkles that go on your ice cream. Again I still have not learned the difference.
Maybe Andy M. or Jennyema or another MA member will stop by and explain :smile:
Frappes are made with milk, syrup and ice cream. Milk shakes don't have the ice cream.
Jimmies are chocolate sprinkles. If you ask for sprinkles, everyone will know you are not from around here.
Thanks Andy! I knew I could count on you :smile:
Now why is it that both of my examples have to do with ice cream :angel:
My MIL loves to regale me with tales of when she was young, and her parents would go to PA to visit. They always bought a shoo fly pie back. She also makes a chicken corn soup that has tons of "egg dribbles" in it, that I'm assuming is Pennsylvania Dutch. They call it chicken corn chowder, but they have no idea what real chicken corn chowder is.
I've got a recipe for Kentucky Hot Brown, but never knew where it came from, or the story behind it.
two foods that i have trouble finding when i leave california are sourdough bread (the good stuff, chewy and crusty and not soft like a hotdog bun) and jack cheese
purrfectlydevine, we have soft pretzels here, too... i used to eat them all the time at ballgames when i was a kid. a lot of public events have pretzel carts... do you eat them with mustard?
Dugger, another thing you have in Louisville is the New Orleans House. I have never seen such a wonderful seafood buffet, and the waitresses come around to the tables with big trays of crab legs, escargo, frog legs, and all sorts of exotic things. Even their vegetables are wonderful...I've never been able to duplicate their marinated fresh asparagus spears.
Here way down south in the bottom tip of Illinois, our Chicken & Dumplins doesn't have dumplings, as such, but rolled egg noodles instead. We eat White Pie that originated at the famous Burton's cafe...I think I posted a recipe for that one. Morels grow plentifully here, and the mushroom hunters guard their secret spots as if they were gold mines. We also have lots of hickory trees, and those with the patience to hammer the hard shells open and pick out the meats are rewarded with a tasty, sweet nut similar in flavor to pecans. Another favorite is the Maid-rite, which originated at the "Maid-rite" stand in a little town 3 miles from here. It's a mixture of steamed ground beef and onions, spooned onto grilled bun. Yum!
I have to go now because of a class, but I'll post info on the other items later.
purrfectlydevine, I wish I convince my MIL that there's a better way to make her soup. Unfortunately, she will not make it any other way than diced, raw, chicken breasts, canned corn, water, simmer for awhile, then pour in copious amounts of beaten eggs while stirring.
Now see, there's one of those "name" things. If you order a milk shake in Ky you will definitely get icecream. If you order a frappe you'll get a blank stare :huh:
We'll clear up some of the myths and legends here and now..
The way we have always made bourbon balls here in good ole' Kentucky, the heart of bourbon country is shown below. The legend is that they were first made by the Rebecca Ruth Candy Company.
BEWARE: They can be a little strong.
BOURBON BALLS, Rebecca Ruth Style
A cup or so of chopped pecans, chopped very fine
Enough GOOD Ky Bourbon to just cover nuts (I use Makers Mark)
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla
enough powdered sugar to make the mixture form a ball and stay together
semi-sweet chocolate mixed with parafin, about 3 to 1, melted over a double boiler
wax paper and toothpicks
Pecan halves to put on the top of candies
Pour bourbon over nuts and let sit overnight. Soften butter until mixable. Mix bourbon/nut mixture with butter, vanilla and enough powdered sugar to make a stiff dough, just so it will hold together to make a ball. Refridgerate until hard enough to dip. Melt chocolate and parafin in a double boiler (the parafin will make the chocolate nice and shiny and hard)
Dip each piece of candy using a toothpick. Place imeadiately on wax paper and top with a nut half.
DERBY-PIE® was born nearly a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, at Prospect, Kentucky. Once developed, a proper name had to be given. Because each family member had a favorite, the name DERBY-PIE® was actually pulled from a hat.
And what a winner! By 1968 DERBY-PIE® had become so successful that the name was registered with the U.S. Patent Office and the Commonwealth of Kentucky (that's the reason for the ®!). Since then it has been baked and distributed solely by Kern's Kitchen, a small family operation.
Mint Juleps https://images.about.com/all/bullets/dot_clea.gifhttps://images.about.com/all/bullets/dot_clea.gifThe Julep dates back to ancient times. The Arabs called it "julab", Portuguese, "julepe", Latins, "julapium". "Julep" is a French term. Just as the name has many variations, so do the recipes. The one thing that is decidedly universal is the quality of quenching the thirst.
When it comes to the Southern Mint Julep, the controversy is in the preparation. I have a 1936 copy of Irvin S. Cobb's Own Recipe Book (written for Frankfort Distilleries) where he states, "But my grandfather always insisted that a man who would let the crushed leaves and the mangled stemlets steep in the finished decoction would put scorpions in a baby's bed." He goes on to further state,"...well, down our way we've always had a theory that the Civil War was not brought on by Secession or Slavery or the State's Rights issue. These matters contributed to the quarrel, but there is a deeper reason. It was brought on by some Yankee coming down south and putting nutmeg in a julep. So our folks just up and left the Union flat."
The Mint Julep was probably first made in Georgia, although Virginia lays claim as well. Kentucky though, may very well take credit for its popularity. It is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Leaves in, leaves out, straw or no straw, crush, layer, or muddle... This is an issue bartenders will debate forever. Shaved ice, Bourbon, sugar, and mint (not peppermint or spearmint) are not debated in the South. For the absolute best flavor, however you decide to make it, try putting it in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour before serving it.
Mint Julep Recipe
In a bowl, place several fresh mint sprigs, 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/4 ounce of water. Crush the leaves with a spoon and stir all well. Filla chilled tumbler with crushed ice, fill with Bourbon, and top with strained mixture. Or place a bit of the mixture into the chilled glass. Add a layer of crushed ice. Continue at least one more time, topping with ice. Pour Bourbon on top. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
New Orleans House
Constance, it is my unfortunate task to inform you that the New Orleans House is no more. Like it's namesake city it "went under". When they say things are too good to be true, they are usually right.
It was one of the most fantastic seafood buffets I ever saw..errr.. ate. But alas, time passes and restaurants often follow.
Milk Shakes here have ice cream too....same as a "Malt" but without the Malt.
The only thing I've heard of that comes from around here is baked corn which is just a corn casserole kind of thing....corn baked with egg, cracker crumbs, milk and jalapenos if you want them!
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