Certain cities bring up particular thoughts and notions when individuals think about them. For example, who thinks about Paris without picturing the Eiffel Tower, sidewalk cafes, berets and other things travellers might think of as typical for that metropolis?
There are iconic landmarks, restaurants, cultural attributes, pieces of clothing, music and foods that usually spring to mind when some cities or other areas are mentioned. This is for good reason - these things make up the life of the regions.
Food is one of the most important things that can be tied to a city. Think about cheese steaks, poutine, tabbouleh, pho and others - you've likely got an idea of where these hail from. With this in mind, what are five iconic American foods you need to try if you're in their hometowns?
1. Po'boys - New Orleans
You can likely get some form of a sandwich just about anywhere you go, but when you're in New Orleans, you need to make sure you snag a po'boy from the menu. Referred to by The Huffington Post as the "best loved" food in the Louisiana city, a po'boy is a sandwich on French bread - usually a baguette sliced open - with lots of meat inside. It got its iconic name not long after it was created in 1929 by Benny and Clovis Martin, who sold it to streetcar workers, sometimes called poor boys.
2. Clam chowder - Boston
Clam chowder is about as common in Boston as Red Sox memorabilia - that is, you can find cups or crocks of this soup at many, if not most, restaurants in the city. Sure, you can probably find clam chowder in many other cities, but Boston claims it as its own. Moreover, Bostonians often have very strong feelings about what's classified as chowder in Manhattan, where tomatoes are added. Filled to the brim with creamy, thick broth, bowls are loaded with potatoes, clams and onions.
3. King crab legs - Juneau
As Pop Sugar pointed out, king crab legs that are caught off the Alaskan coast are considered "prized." They are sold all over the world and are exceedingly expensive. While they're certainly a delicacy, the advanced price is mostly because fishing for them is dangerous. That being said, this is a local favourite and may be slightly cheaper in Juneau, given the lack of shipping costs, as the fisherman come right into the city's harbour with their catches.
4. California roll - Los Angeles
When sushi first made its way to the United States, Americans weren't completely enthralled by the idea of consuming raw meat, especially fish, according to The Fiscal Times. But, chefs in Los Angeles figured out a way to make the food appealing - they created the California roll, which added ingredients and made the piece of raw fish smaller. This roll includes seaweed on the outside, rice, cucumber, avocado, crab and tuna.
5. Buffalo wings - Buffalo
If you're in upstate New York - or close to Buffalo - and you're a fan of spicy foods, Buffalo wings should be on your list of things to try. As The Fiscal Times reported, the origins are debated - it was either John Young's hot sauce or Teressa Bellissimo's marinade. Nonetheless, a new meal was born, something that's a mainstay at American bars, football tailgates and holiday parties now.