I can't believe I have been on Roadfood for 6 years and have never seen this thread before! I don't know what percentage of RF is "unique" anymore these days. Given how easily food and people can travel, very few things stay completely in their region of origin entirely. Though I'm guessing that lutefisk, geoducks, brain sandwiches, Indian pudding, Grape-Nuts pudding, St. Mary's stuffed ham, half-smokes and beef-on-weck just to name a few, probably will not be rolled out on a national level anytime soon.
When I think about the foods I grew up eating in Central NY (Rome/Utica/Syracuse) the word "specialty", rather than "unique", comes to mind. By specialty I mean foods that the area is known for, does particularly well, can be found at many purveyors and have a long standing history in the city/region.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here goes: chicken riggies, half moon cookies, tomato pie, Utica style greens (sauteed escarole), frettas (mixed egg-based breakfast scramble), pasta hats, bbq/hot ham sandwiches, pusties (aka pastaciotti, a sweet pastry/mini-tart), Turkey Joints (a chocolate candy and definitely unique to Rome, NY as they are only MADE there), Hofmann hot dogs and I know these were mentioned in this thread before but salt potatoes, spiedies and Cornell-style BBQ chicken.
<message edited by billyboy on Thu, 12/8/11 11:49 AM>