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Regional specialties that really aren't (anymore)

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Regional specialties that really aren't (anymore)

hyperbowler | Jun 11, 2013 05:52 PM

What are some "regional specialties" that visitors to your area bring up, but which were never a local favorite, are now mostly served to tourists, or are so globalized that they're no better at Denny's than in their region for which they're sought after?

As some examples, if you believed advertising, you'd think that Rice-a-Roni was served at every San Francisco restaurant (it was invented here for mass production, but never a local speciality). Likewise, it's common for visitors to grab the first sourdough they see, not realizing that the modal sourdough bread isn't any better than what they can get at Panera back home. There's also the pervasive "clam chowder in a breadbowl" concept, which was never a local specialty outside of tourist spots (e.g., see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892982 ).

I'd like to pre-empt my question by asking that this not become a "they don't make 'em like they used to" discussion about local specialties that have changed but which still are better than those found elsewhere. For example, lots of NY'ers complain about the decline in bagel quality, but realistically, even a low-tier NY bagel is still leagues above the top bagels in most other places in the US.

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