As a New Englander, I submit: Manhattan Clam Chowder.
June 3, 2021 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Oysters are one thing — Rocky Mountain Oysters are quite another. What other foods are there where adding a toponym materially and radically changes the dish (generally for the worse)?

I'm looking for cases not like my snarky title; I want ones where it's truly a completely different (and usually "gross") food.
posted by dmd to Food & Drink (48 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is highly subjective, and I would argue it doesn't fit your second criterion, but I seem to be in the minority on that point: Cincinnati chili.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:22 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]

Long Island Iced Tea
posted by JDHarper at 6:25 AM on June 3 [34 favorites]

I did not realize these were regional until I moved away, but Irish Potatoes are neither Irish nor made of potato. As someone who hates coconut confections, they're completely vile.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:30 AM on June 3 [9 favorites]

hawaiian pizza
posted by alchemist at 6:31 AM on June 3 [9 favorites]

Pontefract cake
posted by pipeski at 6:34 AM on June 3

Salisbury steak, Welsh Rabbit/rarebit. (Those are both great imo but there's no accounting for taste)
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:35 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]

Rhode Island calamari.

hawaiian pizza

Them's fightin' words.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:40 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]

American Chop Suey, which is absolutely delicious and (imo) much better than regular Chop Suey, which I'm lead to believe is also a dish invented in America.
posted by bondcliff at 6:43 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]

I'd much rather have Texas Caviar (black-eyed pea and corn salad) than actual caviar.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:46 AM on June 3 [18 favorites]

Bavarian cream pie?
posted by Melismata at 6:48 AM on June 3

Lynchburg lemonade
posted by wjm at 6:51 AM on June 3

Minorly, Boston cream pie, Salisbury steak.

Head cheese.
posted by wellred at 7:08 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Jerusalem artichokes.

English (or American, depending on context) muffins.
posted by offog at 7:15 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Canadian French have Chinese Pie, which isn't Chinese nor a pie. I wouldn't call it gross but I'm sure people used to a standard shepherd's pie / cottage pie would find it weird. There's also sea pie (cipaille) which exists in New England sometimes with seafood but the Quebec version is rarely if ever made with seafood.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:16 AM on June 3

Maybe a bit of a stretch, but Moon Pies are certainly not pies and definitely don't come from the moon.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:33 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]

Hoosier Tenderloin is not a cut of steak in Indiana, but a breaded, fried pork sandwich.
posted by nantucket at 7:33 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]

(oops, Daily Alice beat me to it, I was scanning for Cowboy rather than Texas but it's the same thing)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:34 AM on June 3

Boston Baked Beans.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:18 AM on June 3

Mod note: Couple of comments deleted. It's maybe a little confusing but to recap, the question is asking for cases where: (1) adding a place name (2) means it's a totally different kind of thing, not just a regional variation on the same dish.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:20 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]

Swedish fish.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:20 AM on June 3 [21 favorites]

Spanish tortilla (in American English, anyway).
posted by Laetiporus at 8:45 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]

Dutch baby. Yorkshire pudding.
posted by olopua at 8:51 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]

Texas tea is crude oil and not food at all.
posted by aubilenon at 8:53 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]

Once in the West Indies (I think Dominica?) there was an item on the menu called "Mountain chicken" which turned out to be frogs (which were tasty, so it doesn't quite fit, but it was a euphemism certainly)

Then in UK: "Black Pudding"

Lamb's fry = lamb organs.
posted by coffeecat at 8:59 AM on June 3

Bombay Duck Harpadon nehereus swims under the water rather than on it.
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:09 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Canadian Bacon
posted by dizziest at 9:23 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]

An Idaho Spud is not a potato.
posted by Rash at 9:24 AM on June 3

Hoosier Tenderloin is not a cut of steak in Indiana, but a breaded, fried pork sandwich.

It's normally made from pork loin, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:26 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]

Where I used to work in Guatemala, egg rolls are tacos chinos, "Chinese tacos."
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:39 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]

In the US, we have the very popular-for-breakfast English Muffins. A muffin is like a cupcake with no frosting, but the English muffin is more like a crumpet.
posted by Rash at 9:50 AM on June 3

Steak tartare, occasionally known as steack à l'Americaine.
posted by TedW at 9:55 AM on June 3

French Tacos aka Lyon Tacos
[New Yorker link, might be paywalled, sorry]
posted by niicholas at 10:41 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]

There is a Spanish dish called Cuban Rice (Arroz a la Cubana) which consists of a fried banana, a fried egg, white rice, and ketchup. Ha, you think I'm kidding.
posted by Morpeth at 12:33 PM on June 3

Glasgow salad (jocular description of a bag of chips, aka (but nothing like) fries)

French toast

Irish steak (= cheese)

These last four are more brands now than regional variants, but they're all a bit weird and one actually nasty, so:
  • Moffat toffee (= confectionary from the small town of Moffat in Scotland, which has a sweet hard taffy-like shell and a foul vinegary honeycomb in the middle. It really is amazingly vile)
  • Edinburgh rock (= crumbly sugar candy quite unlike traditional rock)
  • Harrogate toffee (= hard, sweet and faintly lemony)
  • Grasmere Gingerbread (= hard, crumbly — unlike proper gingerbread).

posted by scruss at 12:34 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]

Lutheran (as in upper midwest) Sushi: Dill pickle spears wrapped in lunchmeat that has been smeared with cream cheese, and then sliced into rounds.

A lot of people think it sound gross but it tastes good.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 1:53 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]

California roll.
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:32 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]

Not sure this fits since it’s not food anymore with the toponym, but:

Coney Island Whitefish
posted by doctord at 3:09 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Southland sushi (toasted bread wrapped around cheesy filling)
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:36 PM on June 3

ymmv, but I'm not a fan of Jordan almonds. For your perusal: List of Foods Named after Places (so many chowders!)
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:54 PM on June 3

Opinions will vary about which is better, but a Scotch Egg. Bonus from the wikipedia article are the variants Manchester Egg and Worcester Egg, as well as Lancashire Hotpot, which seems like a substantial downgrade from a Hot Pot.
posted by true at 6:27 PM on June 3

Dutch/German Pancake(also known as a "Dutch baby" for reasons I can't understand) never mind, beaten to it
posted by wanderingmind at 6:33 PM on June 3

Cheesesteaks are delicious. But if they are listed as Philly Cheesesteak (or Philadelphia Cheesteak or, as I saw once, Filly Cheesteak), they will not be.
posted by bink at 10:03 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]

In the UK, Staffordshire oatcakes.
Oatcakes are hard cracker-type things made out of oats. Staffordshire oatcakes are like a savoury oat pancake (and I miss them from my childhood so so much).
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:58 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Hamburg steak, arguably a hamburger served without the bun (ie., as a steak), but got its name from Hamburg, Germany.

The classic American Hamburg steak was smoked and served raw (in the 19th century) or barely cooked, which helps distinguish it from the Salisbury steak, which is broiled and served under gravy and named after a person rather than a place, or the Frikadelle which is served in Hamburg. In Japan the Hamburg steak is often mixed with tofu, pork and egg and is IMO much tastier than American versions.
posted by ardgedee at 8:06 PM on June 4

Lutheran (as in upper midwest) Sushi: Dill pickle spears wrapped in lunchmeat that has been smeared with cream cheese, and then sliced into rounds.

I have never heard them called this (pickle rolls) but can confirm they are delicious, especially if you add a bunch of cavenders to the cream cheese.
posted by domino at 8:23 AM on June 8

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