Loose Meat, Hot Dish, and 13 Other Regional Comfort Foods You Didn’t Know Existed
In today’s day and age, it seems like you can find just about any type of food you want, especially if you live in a big city. Want a super-authentic banh mi, or perhaps a traditional Belgian Liège waffle? There’s a food truck for that. Heck, even if you live in the middle of nowhere you can log on to a half-dozen food delivery sites and order food items right off the menu from some of the country’s most legendary restaurants. But there are still plenty of regional specialties that we bet you didn’t know existed, and we tracked down 15 of them.
When you think about it, all food started out as a regional specialty. Even pizza, one of the most popular foods in America, got its start as a regional style of flatbread in Naples before spreading like wildfire after immigrants introduced it to the American palate (and even then, it got its start as a local New York food). For various reasons, some foods catch on in popularity and become household names, and others linger in relative obscurity, beloved to a handful of lucky locals while the rest of the country is barely aware of its existence.
When we talk about regional foods you won’t find anywhere else, we’re not talking about the many regional variations of pizza or Mission-style burritos, for example. While it might be tough to find a New Haven-style pizzeria in Boise, you can still find pizza. You’re not going to be finding livermush in Boise, or New York, or even many places outside of North Carolina.
So, while it may seem like it’s possible to log onto the internet or pick up the phone and get any food you can ever think of delivered to your door, there are still plenty of foods out there that most Americans don’t even know exist. It’s a big country out there, and there’s still plenty of food that’s known and beloved only by the lucky locals.