Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items..

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mayor al
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2003/04/23 13:53:16 (permalink)

Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items..

As we wander around the country, we have noticed that some items are 'called' by different names in certain parts of the country. Some examples-
1. Soft Drinks (carbonated)- POP- SODA- SodaPop- Coke- Tonic etc

2. Coffee with cream- Coffee regular, coffee light, probably not a good example due to the freakish nature at which the ingredients of your $6 a cup coffee becomes a tongue-twisting list of spices and additives in todays specialized market.
3. If you want "stuff" on your burger (or in some places- Burg) do you ask for them by item, or regular, or dressed?
4. I know what a Tenderloin is on this board...But travel across the USA and you can find them in beef-pork-veal-lamb-and probably Tofu. They are cut from the loin in some places, and cheap cuts-beaten to death and breaded in others, and breaded burgers in a third location.

My point being, One of the fun things about exploring the roadfood world is the challenge to translate the local menus into your (my) concept of what to order
OK, What items are unique to your region?
When I asked for a Tonic in Northern Mass. in my college days, I was handed a MOXIE..that to me, is definitely a Tonic !!
#1

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    rumbelly
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/23 14:03:13 (permalink)
    I guess the one that comes to mind is Submarine sandwiches which is what they are called here. Grinders I think are N.E., Po-Boys down south, Hoagies I know not where. I know there are others.
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/23 14:28:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rumbelly

    I guess the one that comes to mind is Submarine sandwiches which is what they are called here. Grinders I think are N.E., Po-Boys down south, Hoagies I know not where. I know there are others.



    Where I grew up on Long Island they were called "heros". Grinder is specifically indeginous to Southern New England such as Rhode Island, where I live now. Up in Maine they call them "italian sandwiches" or "italians". When I lived in Pittsburgh they were called "hoagies" and while I was in Seattle they called them "subs". The only thing is, the "subs" in Seattle tasted like
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/23 15:01:25 (permalink)
    The submarine sandwich, in terms of its name, was born in Groton, Connecticut in about 1940. Workers at what was then the Electric Boat Company would buy sandwiches for lunch at an Italian grocery near the plant. The grocer used Genoa salami, cappacola ham, mortadella, provolone cheese, olive oil, and sometimes lettuce, tomato, and onion as the filling, and used Italian bread, which was narrow on each end of the loaf. Because of the shape of the bread, which resembled the boats, the workers called the sandwich a submarine.

    Hot subs, where I grew up in New Haven, were still called subs, but in Bridgeport a hot sub, such as one made with meatballs or sausage and peppers, was called a grinder.
    #4
    scbuzz
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 08:30:34 (permalink)
    My father spent alot of his youth in Norristown, Pa and he said that they often referred to Submarine sandwichs as ZEPS (short for zepellin). I've not heard that anywhere else.


    As for regional differences, it fascinates me as to what people call their meal. In the middle of the day are you eating Lunch or Dinner ? In the evening are you eating Supper or Dinner !

    To me, and I was born and raised in SC, we ate lunch in the middle of the day and Dinner in the evening ! However, I hear many people refer to the mid-day meal as Dinner.
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    Alirush
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 10:27:43 (permalink)
    Let's not forget the frappe, which is what I grew up enjoying on hot summer days in Eastern Massachusetts. We also called the sprinkles that you put in ice cream "jimmies", which is definitely a regional thing.

    I've also noticed that in the South, everyone calls pasta "spaghetti", regardless of the shape...





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    Michael Stern
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 10:36:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    The submarine sandwich, in terms of its name, was born in Groton, Connecticut in about 1940. Workers at what was then the Electric Boat Company would buy sandwiches for lunch at an Italian grocery near the plant. The grocer used Genoa salami, cappacola ham, mortadella, provolone cheese, olive oil, and sometimes lettuce, tomato, and onion as the filling, and used Italian bread, which was narrow on each end of the loaf. Because of the shape of the bread, which resembled the boats, the workers called the sandwich a submarine.

    Hot subs, where I grew up in New Haven, were still called subs, but in Bridgeport a hot sub, such as one made with meatballs or sausage and peppers, was called a grinder.



    ... and further East, going into Westchester County, it's known as a Wedge, a name I never quite understood.

    And as to the origin of SUB, the guys at the White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City will tell you that it was their Tony Basile who named it in 1946 as an ode to the Silent SErvice. The Groton explanation makes more sense to me, but I've never seen authoritive documentation for either one.

    In terms of localisms, I've always enjoyed the term "New York System" for a hot dog in Rhode Island ... where "cabinet" means milk shake.
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 10:59:44 (permalink)
    RE- The Milk Shake, or Frappe, cabinet, or Velvet. When I arrived in Boston in 1960 I asked for a Chocolate Milk Shake and received what to me was chocolate milk whipped on the blender. It was explained to me(as if I were a small child) that 'everyone knows a Frappe is way to get a 'thick one'.
    I am not much of a hot dog fan, but have seen what seems like tons of terms for the sausage in a bun sandwich.
    #8
    Matchstick Man
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 18:00:48 (permalink)
    American style -- at a sandwich vendor in Toulons, France, I noticed that one of the sandwiches had two options, the second being "American Style" and the explanation was that it was "con frites" -- ie, with french fries. I decided to try it, just to see what the Gallic idea of "American Style" was. The fries came inside the sandwich. It was actually pretty good!
    #9
    wallhd
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 18:17:59 (permalink)
    If you asked for a "pop" here in far northeastern NY State, you might get a pop all right, a pop right in the nose! It's always been soda here or , maybe once in a while, soda pop. Seems like what we call soda and most midwesterners (and even western New Yorkers)call pop is (or maybe more accurately was) called dope in parts of Kentucky and Tenn. As in "it's hot and I'm thirsty, lets have a dope".

    Wally
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    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 19:00:54 (permalink)
    Here in central California,we have Hye Roller or Caravan sandwiches, which are large flat rounds of Armenian bread (similar to flour tortillas) filled with meat, cream cheese, and veggies, rolled up and sliced into pinwheels. Michael, you once asked me about a "Fresno Sandwich" of which I had never heard (lived here most of my life)..what did that turn out to be? We also have Peda sandwiches which are grilled lamb chunks and onions on a Peda roll(like a large seeded hamburger bun).
    #11
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 19:35:44 (permalink)
    Hey, what about the differences in "ices"? In the NYC area they are called Italian Ices, in Philadelphia, the name is "water ice", in Baltimore there are Snowballs, and throughout the country there are snowcones.
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    wallhd
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 20:55:30 (permalink)
    A few years ago I remember having an Armenian sandwich (that's what the menu called it anyway) at a restaurant in suburban Tacoma Washington. Guess I never though much about it until I saw Jennifer 4's post above.

    Wally
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    stanpnepa
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/24 22:12:02 (permalink)
    At my parent's house growing up we had lunch Monday through Saturday at noontime, but a Sunday Dinner. Then, Dinner Monday through Saturday evening. The Sunday evening meal was "supper".

    How about this localism regarding pizza? Round pizzas are "pies". Square pizzas are "trays".

    Also, lots of "hamburgs" are served. The proper pronounciation of frankfurters is "hoddogs".





    #14
    mayor al
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 06:03:27 (permalink)
    Stan,
    Our meal 'names' were as yours, Dinner in the evening all days except Sunday. A 'Late Supper' that was more like a lunch on Sunday evenings with the main meal-Dinner- being mid-day.
    I wonder if the next generation maintains this type of schedule? Up thru my teenage years(1960) to miss dinner with the family all sitting at the dining room table was an exception to the 'rule'. Breakfast together was unusual but happened.. but dinner was 'together. I surveyed my classes in 2000 to ask students about mealtime customs for them. Many had not sat down for a meal with the family except on Sundays, and then not on a regular basis, for years. Several said they normally took their food from the kitchen to their room to eat, even when others were home. The evolution of our eating patterns are changing as fast as the family as a unit is changing.
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    stanpnepa
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 09:01:18 (permalink)
    Al, there's just two of us in a small apartment---so we don't cook as much as we should (small kitchen). We're going house hunting in early summer---and a big kitchen is a must! Perhaps then the meals will be a little more defined.

    We eat alternate Sunday dinners with our folks. My parents have "dinner" around 1pm. Her parents have their "dinner" around 5pm. Only on holidays do we do both.

    BTW, I'm 35 and NEVER had a meal in my room, unless I was sick of course!
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 09:04:07 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    Stan,
    Our meal 'names' were as yours, Dinner in the evening all days except Sunday. A 'Late Supper' that was more like a lunch on Sunday evenings with the main meal-Dinner- being mid-day.
    I wonder if the next generation maintains this type of schedule? Up thru my teenage years(1960) to miss dinner with the family all sitting at the dining room table was an exception to the 'rule'. Breakfast together was unusual but happened.. but dinner was 'together. I surveyed my classes in 2000 to ask students about mealtime customs for them. Many had not sat down for a meal with the family except on Sundays, and then not on a regular basis, for years. Several said they normally took their food from the kitchen to their room to eat, even when others were home. The evolution of our eating patterns are changing as fast as the family as a unit is changing.



    Mr. Mayor, I started thinking about your comments and it occurred to me that what you described was exactly what was happening at my residence. As I was growing up, we had family presence at all meals. It was a source of communication as well as a dining experience.

    I am not sure when it happened, but we have not done as you described in many years. Perhaps it is due to business committments, being tired or whatever.

    In addition, it seems we tend to graze more and eat entire meals less.
    I wonder how long it will be before we eat small snacks all day long instead of the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    kland01s
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 10:46:19 (permalink)
    As far as regional names go, I call pop, pop but in Peoria, Il, 150 miles south, it is called sodee. I know a number of people from there, one gave up the term but I have heard other still use it even though they left the area.
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    Charlie714
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 11:36:14 (permalink)
    When I was growing up, we had sit down meals "supper" with the family. I have lived in my current home for 3 years and only once have we eaten at the kitchen table. We spend every meal in front of the TV. I wouldn't allow this if we had children. How sad that we have gotten away from this tradition. By the way, I'm from Indiana and I will take a soda anyday.... LOL
    #19
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 12:04:38 (permalink)
    Variations on fried dough. Growing up on Long Island, we always used to go the the local pizza place and get Zeppoles which are fried dough. You would put powdered sugar or tomato sauce on them. When I briefly lived in Albuquerque after graduating from college, the mexican restaurants would have sopapillas and fry bread. I remember putting honey on both. When I lived in Seattle, fried dough would come in the form of "elephant ears" and would be sold at fairs. Samething while I was living in Pittsburgh, but they were called Funnel Cakes which would be served with powdered sugar. Now that I am in Rhode Island you get Dough Boys at the seafood shacks! Dough boys go best with cinamon sugar or powdered sugar
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    Willly
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 12:45:33 (permalink)
    How about the various ways to order a burger. In NYC, "deluxe" means lettuce and tomato. "Special" means with fries...
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    mayor al
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 13:08:56 (permalink)
    Folks,
    These last few posts are exactly what I was talking about when we started this thread. If I was to ask for an elephant ear in SoCal, I would be referred to a nursery to get a plant that looks like a Canna. It is kind of fun to listen in on a conversation when someone who is used to ordering a certain item tries to do so in a place where that item is called by another name. When you order a cup of coffee..plain old coffee, in the west it will be black with nothing added, in New England it will normally have cream in it or attached and is referred to as REGULAR. I guess if you want it Black, you must ask for it, (and probably be charged extra for the special treatment???
    Charlie, Now that I am a registered Hoosier I ask for soda too!
    Stan, Good luck on the house hunt. We have an open kitchen/family room arrangement (just the two of us also) that allows us to share space/tv/computer/kitchen in an open area that makes being together something more than squeezed into a compact space. I encourage you to keep that open-space priority in your search.
    When I exchange messages with a Czech cousin, he often refers to the U S A as 'one culture'. As we share more with each other in this one forum, I am really gaining more respect for the intricate web of sub-cultures in which we live, but seldom view as a whole...or appreciate!
    Any other descriptor differences between regions??
    #22
    Alirush
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 16:39:38 (permalink)
    How about stuffing vs dressing? Before I moved down South, "dressing" was something I put on my salad. BTW, I love reading about regional stuffings (or dressings!) - they say a lot about the variety of foods/tastes/cultures in the U.S.
    #23
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 18:57:52 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    The closest I can come right now to adding a dash of Ort.ism here is that when you ask for "hash browns" with breakfast in these parts, what you get are shoestring potatoes out of a box that are cooked on the grill; a plethora of add-ons are possible to disguise the distinctly (to me, anyway) non-potatoey, albeit glutinous, taste.
    Hash browns to me are made-from-scratch real potatoes, doctored up. The Grill at 171 College Avenue here in Athens, Georgia turns some mighty good ones out, just in case I ever get tired of eating grits with my breakfast.
    On a trip to New England a year and a half ago, I enjoyed the local variants on "homefries" and "hash browns" from stop to stop. Regardless of how they were done, though, I always noted the taste of potato in there. Maybe I've been eating (out of necessity) at The Huddle House too long, even if they do make me a mean steak-and-cheese-with-dill-pickle-and-onion omelette.
    Nostalgically Thinking Of The Road, Ort. Carlton.
    #24
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/25 21:01:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    [quoteAnd as to the origin of SUB, the guys at the White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City will tell you that it was their Tony Basile who named it in 1946 as an ode to the Silent SErvice. The Groton explanation makes more sense to me, but I've never seen authoritive documentation for either one.


    Considering that I was ordering submarine sandwiches at Charley Marchitto's grocery on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut in 1943 I'd have to say that the guys at the White House Sub Shop are wrong.

    Actually, Charley's mother made the subs. She would slice a loaf of bread in half lengthwise, then scoop out excess bread from the top half to make room for the fillings. Then she'd pour olive oil on the bread, massage it in with the heel of her hand, then layer on the capacolla, mortadella, Genoa, provolone, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, then salt and pepper. Then she would close up the sandwich and cut it in half. A half loaf sub was 25-cents. I'd always buy a lemon Frisbee pie for a nickel and a bottle of Pepsi or X-Tra Cola for another nickel, and I'd have my lunch.

    I seem to recall something in Yankee Magazine several years ago that included the name of the Groton grocer who made the subs.
    #25
    Rick F.
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/26 01:10:42 (permalink)
    They're called snowballs also on Louisiana, and are made with ice much finer that I remember from snowcones elsewhere.
    quote:
    Originally posted by CheeseWit

    Hey, what about the differences in "ices"? In the NYC area they are called Italian Ices, in Philadelphia, the name is "water ice", in Baltimore there are Snowballs, and throughout the country there are snowcones.

    #26
    mayor al
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/26 03:10:37 (permalink)
    If my memory serves me correctly, The Italian or Flavor Ices are "factory flavored" as opposed to "Site flavored" like the snowcones, icee's or slurpee's. From one summer's experience I can tell you that scooping Italian Ice is much harder on your wrist than most forms of Ice Cream. Several of the employees at the location I visited suffered from what was probably Corpal Tunnel Syndrome (SP??) but not called that in the 70's.
    #27
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/26 05:39:13 (permalink)
    On the old board, I remember the question coming up regarding the origins of MoJo or JoJo potatoes, they are called both here. Are they called something else in other parts of the nation?

    Regarding ices, here in Cali we enjoy "Hawaiian Shave Ice", which is similar to what you might find in Hawaii, but without the options of beans or ice cream along with the ice.
    #28
    RC51Mike
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/26 09:17:52 (permalink)
    Thank God someone else has heard of the zep. It is extremely localized around Norristown, PA outside Philadelphia. That's what I grew up with and it didn't have lettuce or pickles on it. Travel a mile and no one has ever heard of it. Elswhere, it's called a hoagie (supposedly named after a sandwich made by Italian shipworkers on Hog Island as the legend goes) but immediately across the state line in Delaware it's a sub. For a good roadfood, step back in time zep experience go to Lou's on Main St. in Norristown. I haven't been up that way in a while so you might want to check first.
    #29
    mobley
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    RE: Regional Descriptive Differences in Menu Items.. 2003/04/26 10:58:48 (permalink)
    Being from North Carolina, tea means ice tea. I was in a diner in North Jersey and asked for tea and received a tea bag and a pot of hot water. Then again, here in the South, you have to stipulate sweettea (one word) or un-sweetened. Go about as far North as say, Maryland and ask for sweettea,and sometimes they'll act as if you have three heads. Then there is the regular coffee thing. I went into a Dunkin Donuts in Lowell Mass and was asked if I wanted regular coffee. Being no fan of de-caf, I said "of course". What I received seemed like the wrong order. It was some milky ,super sweet, syrupy tasting concoction. When I complained, I was treated in a pretty flippant manner. The folks in the Bay State aren't well known for having patience with slow "foreigners" from the South. I could go on and on about this subject. The differences in whats called BarBQ. The Sub Sandwich debate and so on.
    #30
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