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“Local” foods that international friends don’t understand!

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  • JoDavo66
    JoDavo66 Posts: 526 Member
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    Really interesting thread.
    Clooty puddings used to be really popular in North East England too.
    Scottish Tablet- mmmmmmm one of tbe best things to eat when we visit- unfortunately too much sugar.
  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 961 Member
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    Thoin wrote: »
    Thoin wrote: »
    I find, anywhere but the South, people don't know what I'm talking about.

    Moonpies and Cheerwine

    3uu5sqlajumi.jpg

    I didn't grow up in the South, but my mom grew up in NC and my grandparents lived there,so I definitely know about Moonpies,and especially Cheerwine! We'd always take Cheerwine and Sundrop back with us to Indiana after visiting them.

    I was happy to see Cheerwine in my local suburban Chicago grocery store a few years ago.

    Oh wow, it's made it up there now?

    Yes, but I've only seen it in 4-park glass bottles, and I don't think they have it all the time.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    JoDavo66 wrote: »
    Apple pie and cheddar cheese is definitely not country-wide, I always thought of that as a Vermont thing specifically though? Maybe just the first person to tell me about it was a Vermonter.
    My Dad always had cheddar cheese with apple pie- he said it was a Yorkshire thing (UK). I don't know about that as I've never seen it in Yorkshire! He always used to say (& apologies if this no longer politically correct), "Apple pie without cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze"!

    Love it!

    American poet Eugene Field: "But I, when I undress me / Each night, upon my knees / Will ask the Lord to bless me / With apple pie and cheese.” (From the last link below, which also mentions the kiss and squeeze saying, AND which traces the apple pie and cheese thing to Yorkshire, so there's some support for your dad.)

    https://www.southernliving.com/desserts/pies/apple-pie-with-cheese

    This piece says it came from England (doesn't identify any particular region) and then went to New England and the Midwest.

    Here's an article on it: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-jul-22-fo-5854-story.html

    "One of the most beloved American dessert traditions is warm apple pie with a big wedge of sharp Cheddar. There are restaurants that even bake a slice of cheese onto the crust, so you’re guaranteed your serving of cheese with your pie.

    Europeans are often astonished by the whole idea of cheese with pie. It seems to them that we’ve fused the dessert course with the cheese course, two separate parts of the meal in Europe.

    How did we start doing this? The history is a little obscure. The practice is rarely mentioned in cookbooks until about 1950.

    The major 19th century American cookbooks certainly don’t mention it, though memoirs of life in the upper Midwest indicate that cheese was already a regular accompaniment to warm apple pie there before the turn of the century. The upper Midwest is major dairy country, of course, and it’s still where the custom is liveliest...."

    On the controversy within the US: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cheese-apple-pie

    "Though fans of apple pie with cheese exist everywhere, they seem to be concentrated in the American Midwest, New England, and parts of Canada and Britain. Vermont even has a 1999 law on the books requiring that proprietors of apple pie make a “good faith effort” to serve it with ice cream, cold milk, or “a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce.” In some circles, apple pie with cheese is tradition.

    So where does this come from? And why, especially in the United States, do some people expect apple pie with cheese, while others have never even heard of the concept?

    The idea appears to have originated in England, where all sorts of fillings were added to pies. At some point, the 17th-century trend of adding dairy-based sauces to pies morphed into a tradition of topping them with cheese. For instance, in Yorkshire, apple pie was served with Wensleydale, which is likely how the phrase “an apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze” began. (Though it is in dispute whether the phrase originated in the United States or England, it caught on in both places in the 19th century, suggesting a kind of cultural collaboration between the two.)

    According to The Mystic Seaport Cookbook: 350 Years of New England Cooking, New England settlers brought the idea behind these Yorkshire pies with them, but instead of Wensleydale, they began using cheddar.

    Why cheese? At the time, apple pies were quite bland: prior to the creation of the Red Delicious apple in the late 19th century, few apples tasted sweet. Cheese offered a readily available supplement. After all, in an era before the ubiquity of freezers, the most popular pie topping today—ice cream—was out of the question.

    Places in the United States with heavy concentrations of dairy farms therefore became centers of the cheese-on-apple-pie craze. These included New England, Pennsylvania, and especially the Midwest—largely the regions where cheddar cheese apple pie is popular today...."

  • Janatki
    Janatki Posts: 730 Member
    edited April 2021
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    That’s interesting about origins of apples & cheese
    Xmas cake with Wensleydale - that’s a definite Yorkshire thing & goes well if you ditch the marzipan & icing.
    My Ole dad used to have apple & marmalade sandwiches...he was from South England though! Think this was his invention though as I haven’t heard of it elsewhere!
  • Janatki
    Janatki Posts: 730 Member
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    Kendal Mint Cake - anyone tried that? Ugh! complete & utter sugar overload, flavoured with mint essence, for hiking up Three Peaks in Ribblesdale!
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 1,450 Member
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    Oh Kendal Mint Cake is amazing! I used to eat it when I was doing long distance swimming (long distance for me anyway). Pure sugar 😀 that and Scottish tablet. They must both be dreadful for my teeth.
  • Kupla71
    Kupla71 Posts: 1,229 Member
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    I’m half Finnish and my mum loves this yogurt like food called viili. Whenever we visit Finland she buys tons of it. I don’t particularly like it although I tried it years ago. I do love pulla though. Every Christmas I make a few loaves. It’s basically a braided dessert bread with raw sugar and slivered almonds on top. Yum! 😊
  • MarttaHP
    MarttaHP Posts: 68 Member
    edited April 2021
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    hipari wrote: »
    @MarttaHP you might be right! Most ”traditional” delicacies I can think of are shared with either Sweden or Russia. Kalakukko might be, but I’d imagine baking fish into a bread is done around the world in different ways. Christmas casseroles like lanttulaatikko, porkkanalaatikko and imelletty perunalaatikko (rutabaga, carrot and sweetened potato casseroles) might be quite exclusively Finnish, and possibly munajuusto (a type of fresh cheese made with eggs)?

    Munajuusto made me think of leipäjuusto, though according to the links at the bottom of that Wikipedia article there seems to be several cheeses around the world that are prepared in a similar way. But I don't know if adding leipäjuusto, or rather any type of cheese, to coffee might be an exclusively Finnish thing? I mean, I've never tried it, and actually the first time I heard of it was on an American YouTube show not too long ago. Sounds bizarre, but also strangely appealing!
  • MarttaHP
    MarttaHP Posts: 68 Member
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    Kupla71 wrote: »
    I’m half Finnish and my mum loves this yogurt like food called viili. Whenever we visit Finland she buys tons of it. I don’t particularly like it although I tried it years ago. I do love pulla though. Every Christmas I make a few loaves. It’s basically a braided dessert bread with raw sugar and slivered almonds on top. Yum! 😊

    Hmm, I didn't think of viili! I'm not a huge fan either, the consistency is a bit too slimy.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,941 Member
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    My daughter was married in Germany the Christmas before lockdown. The wedding dinner was held at a traditional Swabian restaurant, and they chose a traditional menu. I couldn’t tell you the names of any dish we had (one was a wedding soup with tiny meatballs), but it was all delicious and definitely regional.

    The groom’s family is Russian, and grandma brought us traditional homemade spelt cookies that were to die for. They were like super light crumbly digestive biscuits.

    If this damn covid ever goes away, we have a standing invite to visit them for Shashlik (sp?), which is grilled meat on giant skewers. We had shashlik once at a vineyard near Batumi. I would have gladly fenced someone with the skewer for seconds and thirds.

    We had nettle soup in the mountains of Georgia, near the southern Russian border. The lovely lady told us the nettles are only perfect for cooking a few days of the year, and that we were fortunate to be there in season. We were, indeed!

    Many families in Eastern Europe make their own version of soft homemade farmers cheeses. What I wouldn’t do to get ahold of some of that! That’s my abiding memory of Carpathia. That and smoked plum juice. I have a container of smoked plums in the pantry- three or four nested ziplocks in a Tupperware container, because the smokiness can fill the house. Every once in a while I open, close my eyes, and imagine I’m back at the table there.
  • Jelaan
    Jelaan Posts: 815 Member
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    Kupla71 wrote: »
    Poutine! For those outside of Canada or who don’t know it’s French fries, gravy and cheese curds. A tasty satisfying indulgence. I don’t know if it has spread to the rest of the world yet. I haven’t had it for years but I’m getting a craving for it just about now! 😃

    I second the poutine. My kids asked for it in a small diner in Florida once whole on vacation, and were met with a blank stare. After a quick consult with the cook, they made an approximation with cheddar, fries and gravy. No cheese curds. You can now order it there! At our local fry place (in Ontario, Canada) you can get regular poutine, chili poutine, butter chicken poutine and extra bacon poutine.
  • hipari
    hipari Posts: 1,367 Member
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    Kupla71 wrote: »
    I’m half Finnish and my mum loves this yogurt like food called viili. Whenever we visit Finland she buys tons of it. I don’t particularly like it although I tried it years ago. I do love pulla though. Every Christmas I make a few loaves. It’s basically a braided dessert bread with raw sugar and slivered almonds on top. Yum! 😊

    Viili is so good! For some reason I always forget it exists, and then jump to the store all giddy about it. Looks like I’ll be doing that tomorrow. So good with some sugar and cinnamon.

    Pulla has several different forms though, the braided dessert (called pullapitko) is quite rare in my experience. My most recent pulla experience was laskiainen (Shrove Tuesday), the traditional Shrove Tuesday delicacy is a special laskiaispulla that I think is a shared Scandinavian tradition, at least in Sweden as well. For those, the pulla dough is just baked into balls. There’s a divide between two filling options: either jam and whipped cream (the mainstream version), or what my family used to do: warm milk and and almond paste that’s pretty close to marzipan but less sweet. The way my family used to eat the pulla is you slice it open, put some almond paste between like it’s a burger, then put it in a bowl, pour warm milk over it and eat the whole thing with a spoon.

    If you like the braided pullapitko, definitely try some other pulla variations too!
  • Kupla71
    Kupla71 Posts: 1,229 Member
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    I’ll have to try some of these other types of pulla. I seem to remember my mum talking about pulla baked into balls but never tried it that way. Almond paste sounds yummy! 😊
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,940 Member
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    I was out walking with a friend this week and a conversation we had reminded me of this thread.

    She mentioned something called ‘Chocolate Toothpaste Tart’ - apparently something that only exists in school dinners in this particular county (Bedfordshire) of the UK! I didn’t grow up here but a quick poll of my children, who did, verifies it’s existence.

    Basically, a pastry case filled with a creamed butter and sugar mix with the addition of cocoa powder, drinking chocolate powder, skimmed milk powder and water mixed in. Sounds vile to me but she loves it! 🤷‍♀️
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,941 Member
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    Our school had something we fondly called Congobons, but only because the person who typed the menu always spelled cocoa bars wrong. This was dark ages, before spellcheck was even a gleam.
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Part of my problem is I don't know what other places *don't* have. I brought up S'Mores, ice cream pie, and 7-layer bars in the other thread, because it was blowing my mind that someone said there weren't Graham crackers in the UK, and Graham crackers are pretty essential to those three foods here.

    I Google searched Graham's and they seems closer to our rich tea or digestives. Looking at your diary I don't recognised most of the food you eat. You have so much choices there.
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 1,450 Member
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    Time to resurrect this thread with some Christmas treats: Christmas pudding, figgy pudding, prawn cocktail, mince pies, cheesy puffs… 😀 oh and Buck’s Fizz and blockbusters!