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Weird foods or simply: We ain’t eatin’ that!

August 27, 2009 - Taste Buds
THE BUDS have eaten in a lot of questionable places over the years and have even eaten some foods we weren’t too crazy about - but at least we recognized what we were eating on some level.

The Food Network has a show titled Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in which the host Guy Fieri travels around the country, stopping at local eateries and sampling of food the locals love. Sometimes he gets stuck with pretty off-the-wall meals but always manages to get down a few bites.

Thinking about strange foods led us to an article on the internet from Woman’s Day by Brynn Mannino which was posted in March at WomansDay.com.

Surprisingly, the at least one of the “weird” regional foods that made this particular list was the pepperoni roll, credited as a West Virginia favorite.

Everyone in the Ohio Valley is familiar with the pepperoni roll and when asked can probably name at least five places that have great ones. The article stated this treat was invented by Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro at the Country Club Bakery, still one of the best pepperoni-roll makers in Fairmont today. Locals swear that the consistency of the bread is the dish’s most distinguishing factor. Apparently, they haven’t been to the Ohio Valley to taste some of our awesome pep rolls!

While the Buds are more than willing to eat a pepperoni roll any day of the week, the other items in the article are things we don’t think we could ever choke down. They include:

Scrapple: found in many eastern Pennsylvania diners it is a mixture of pork scraps and cornmeal that’s been molded into a loaf, sliced and fried.

Akutaq: Eskimo Ice Cream—but cream it is not. From the word Yupik (meaning “something mixed”), the favorite treat is a varying mixture of whipped fat, berries (including salmonberries and cloudberries), sugar and fish or meat (such as salmon, caribou and walrus tallow).

Avocado Pie: Hailing from California, this twist on the traditional pie nestles a mixture of avocados, gelatin and sweetened condensed milk inside a graham cracker crust. No thanks! We prefer all our avacados to be handled by Charlie Schlegel and in the form of guacamole.

Chow Mein Sandwich: A culinary pioneer from Fall River, Mass. invented this crazy combination of minced pork, celery, onion and bean sprouts, topped it with gravy and deep-fried noodles and slapped it between a hamburger bun. Eventually, the popular favorite earned a spot on fast-food chain Nathan’s menu. Uh, maybe Nathan’s should stick to hotdogs!

The Horseshoe Sandwich: Considered Springfield, Illinois’s signature dish, this open-faced sandwich piles a horseshoe-shaped ham patty, fries and a mystery cheese sauce over a thick piece of toast. Today, almost every local restaurant and chef has their own variation of it, as well as their own special secret sauce to serve along with it.

Rocky Mountain Oysters: Not oysters at all, this Western dish involves breading and deep-frying buffalo, boar or bear testicles. The delicacy is also common to many Canadian prairies where cattle ranching is still prevalent, as well as in Spain and Mexico, where they’re called huevos del toro. We bet it takes a lot of you-know-what to get this down!

Spam Musubi: Hawaiians love Spam and Spam musubi is the most popular dish on the islands. Served in both fine-dining settings and McDonalds alike, the local delicacy pairs a slab of Spam (cooked or uncooked) with a mound of rice and secures the two elements together with a strip of nori (dried seaweed).

Now, if we had to put together a list of local foods that screams Ohio Valley: Isaly’s chipped ham, Walker’s Ice Cream, DiCarlo’s pizza, Coleman’s fish, Elby’s onion rings ... OK we could go on and on!

Let us know what your favorite valley foods (past and present) are!

Now, here’s a recipe for a dish that is TOTALLY normal from Martins Ferry’s Shirley Wick!

CHICKEN AND NOODLE CASSEROLE

Cook and drain 12 ounces of egg noodles. Mix 1 small can of chicken chunks, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup. Put over noodles. Cook a box of Stove Top stuffing and put on top and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. You can put some broccoli in if you want to.

 
 

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Blog Photos

Akutaq, or Eskimo "ice cream." Two words: maggot-gagger!