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September 16, 2008 at 10:01 AM

What Eats Do You Miss From Home?

Today we’re giving one of Nancy’s most popular columns a second look. In it, she reminisces about the foods of her childhood and the tastes she craves whenever she heads back East (“real” pizza, Cherry Wishniak soda and a TastyKake cherry pie, for starters).

”It was clear from the minute I got off the plane that, for me, this vacation was not about sun (which there was), or sand (plenty of that too, once we reached the Jersey Shore), or even about showing off the kid to friends and relatives. It was all about assuaging Old Hunger. Which, loosely defined, is the longing for foods that recall who you are and where you’re from – the things you miss most when you’re years and miles from the place you once called home,” she writes.

Read the whole column here.

The Northwest is my home. But there are tastes I miss from other places I’ve lived or visited over the years, like zenzai, a Japanese dessert soup of sweet red beans topped with grilled mochi. The man in my life hails from the South and misses Peach Nehi like nobody’s business.

Where are you from, and what do you miss? What can you get there that you can’t get here?


Posted by CindyW

12:41 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I didn’t even have to think about this one — freshly roasted green chiles from New Mexico! In fact, I miss good Mexican food in general. Chile Rellenos, Enchilada sauce made from the red chiles, Chile Verde. . . green chiles as a topping on pizza. . .

Posted by KAG

12:45 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I live in Peoria, IL and read this column (and Love this column) because my brother works at your paper. Being from the East Coast (Washington, DC) I miss a good Deli — and my all-time favorite sandwich: Roast beef on rye with deli spicy mustard, a schmeer of chopped chicken liver and topped with good coleslaw! Yummy! I can’t get that in Peoria!! Whenever I go home, my father takes me to our favorite deli for that sandwich and a diet cream soda! (I also miss the small dish of pickles on the table…)

Posted by EMC

12:45 PM, Sep 16, 2008

Wise Potato Chips — that I grew up with in Boston, and, I believe, are available throughout the East Coast, but, alas, are not sold here.

Posted by Teri

1:09 PM, Sep 16, 2008

Ex-Brooklynite misses soo many tastes but wouldn’t trade her move to Seattle for anything.

Hmmm — Pizza, great Deli (corned beef on club, lean please), corner bakeries with delicous bread and cookies, smoked sturgeon, knishes freshly made, sour milk from the local knish store, Hellman’s mayonaise, great Cantonese Chinese food, lobster rolls at Nathans, White Castle sliders, and much, much more.

Posted by Karen

1:34 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I grew up in Boise, Idaho and even though it isn’t that far away, I haven’t see finger steaks on the menu anywhere outside of Idaho. They are batter-fried pieces of steak.

Posted by Elizabeth

2:10 PM, Sep 16, 2008

Ah, the taste, the aroma, the chewiness of Los Angeles corn rye bread. The sprinkle bakery cookies handed out by the old ladies who work in the Jewish bakeries. The chocolate chip coffee cake – not babka – and cheese danish. The stores that sell hoop cheese to make blintzes. The fact that there they have REAL deli…corned beef, pastrami, chopped liver…and kosher too.

Posted by Ballard Boy

2:21 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I’m born and raised here in the Seattle area but one thing I just don’t see anymore are a penny candy (yes, old enough to remember those) that were called “chicken bones”. It was a kind of Chick-o-stick type of thing with a crunchy peanut putter taste and texture only bite size. Grandma always had a supply in the kitchen drawer.

Posted by Suzanne

2:26 PM, Sep 16, 2008

We just returned from a trip down “memory lane” when we were in the Disneyland area a few weeks ago. Although we have lived here for 11 years, we still miss In n’ Out Burger, Pollo Loco, good kosher deli sandwiches, and the wonderful Zankou Chicken (Armenian roasted chicken with crispy skin to die for, and an incredible garlic sauce). We also miss Porto’s (Cuban) Bakery. All these places were in our hometown of Glendale. We made sure to visit each one while on our trip!

Posted by David R

3:56 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I’m from PA, too (Montgomery County). I miss boardwalk pizza and Taylor Pork Roll. Also, real sliced deli meats for sandwiches, real cream for my coffee (not half & half), a decent soft pretzel and how about a good hoagie?

Posted by Digital Sasquatch

4:05 PM, Sep 16, 2008

From here. I miss geoduck fritters…virtually impossible to find.

I also miss a decent chili size…almost everybody seems to have forgotten how to combine regular old chili with a burger without ruining one, the other, or both.

Posted by BallardGal

4:44 PM, Sep 16, 2008

Street vendor knishes and Wise Garlic potato chips from NYC. Best $4 lunch anywhere is a Sabrett’s dog, a knish and a coke!

Posted by Gizzle

5:26 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I’m from Ohio- I miss Donatos pizza! And a restaurant called Spaghetti Warehouse.

Posted by drkate08

10:21 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I’m in Louisiana volunteering with the Red Cross and I deeply, deeply miss my fried polenta in meat ragu from Perche No. Grits just ain’t the same..

Posted by Nancy Leson

10:31 PM, Sep 16, 2008

EMC! Allow me to interrupt my “off-on-assignment-ness” to say: You can get Wise potato chips at I Love NY Deli in Pike Place Market (across from DeLaurenti and next-door to Daily Dozen Donuts) — or at least they were available last time I was there.

Posted by Crystallin

10:43 PM, Sep 16, 2008

I grew up on Guam and I miss:

Red rice (achote and bacon) and Finidini (soysauce, chili, lemon, and onion sauce)

Kelequin (diced chicken, onion, lemon and chili) eaten with sweet flour tortillas

Banana fritters

dan tat (egg tarts, which once I found I could get at Uwajimaya, I gorged myself on a half dozen at once!)

and then from my dad’s side of the family

biscuits and milk gravy!

Posted by shawncita

11:08 PM, Sep 16, 2008

kolaches in texas….the most-coveted of all the school children on my block were sausage and cheese. also miss really good tex-mex…

Posted by sullim4

8:34 AM, Sep 17, 2008

So many things I miss…

Real NY-style pizza, Sabrett hot dogs, spiedies, beef on weck, real buffalo wings, Wegmans subs, Friendly’s ice cream… the list goes on and on.

Sorry folks, but NW “cuisine” cannot come close to the stuff available back in the Northeast.

Posted by caroline

8:41 AM, Sep 17, 2008

I’m from NC originally and have been here for 21 years. What I miss more than anything is North Carolina BBQ – pulled pork on a hamburger bun with cole slaw. The “sauce” is vinegar-based instead of tomato-based. Nectar of the gods!

Also Cheerwine, a delectable beverage, and real sweet tea.

Posted by Patsy

10:35 AM, Sep 17, 2008

I’m from Phoenix and I miss good mexican food. There when you order a carne asada burrito, it’s all meat. No beans, rice or other fillers. When my hubby and I fly home at Christmas every year we go straight to Armando’s taco shop from the airport. He also has to have a Whataburger and El Pollo Loco while we’re there.

Posted by EMC

1:02 PM, Sep 17, 2008

Thanks for the tip, Nancy! I’ll have to go check that out!

Posted by Rosemary

1:49 PM, Sep 17, 2008

In Uganda, I got hooked on Stoney Tangawizi, a rich ginger beer with a delightful burn. The closest I’ve been able to find is Bundaberg’s Australian Ginger Beer at Cost Plus. Almost, but not quite…. *sigh*

Posted by Alan

4:00 PM, Sep 17, 2008

Yes, I miss good cheesesteak sandwiches. I don’t miss great bagels because I took up baking them in self defense. What I really miss are grilled Taylor Pork roll sandwiches on a bun with cheese, mustard and relish. I used to get them at the stands on the Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ.

I also used to tend bar right out of Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, at Jack ‘n Bill’s on the very same Boardwalk. Down on Boardwalk, Bill Haley and the Comets held forth nightly.

Posted by Sarah

6:16 AM, Sep 18, 2008

I have lived around the world and there are things from many places:

Ramallah – fresh hummus and pitas directly from the bakery conveyer belt

Chicago – Gino’s pizza and Redamak’s burgers

New York – street vendor icees and pretzels

Phoenix – salsa from Los Olivos, tortillas from Carolinas, pizza from Biancos, Cornish Pasties

Note to Ballard Boy- Goldberg’s Deli in Factoria has the Chic – o sticks you are looking for

Posted by sailcocktail

7:46 AM, Sep 18, 2008

Note to Teri — Best Foods mayo is the same as Hellmans, just a different name. Though occasionally at Wal-Mart you can find the Hellmans’s label as well.

Posted by chiocciola

9:48 AM, Sep 18, 2008

It’s-It ice cream sandwiches from Northern California. Ice cream smooshed between two cinnamon-y cookies and covered in a crackly chocolate shell. Oh my, such deliciousness. I found them once out at on the Long Beach peninsula, but never to be seen again in these parts. Sigh.

Posted by Teri

9:45 PM, Sep 18, 2008

Note to sailcocktail:

Ofcourse, I know Hellman’s and Best Foods are the same thing! 😉

I thought I missed Wise potato chips until a year of so ago I tried them against Tim’s. Our own Tim’s won by a landslide.

Posted by Marty’sGirl

1:27 PM, Sep 24, 2008

A note about It’s-It’s: what a blast from my past! My dad used to take all of us kids (7) to the SF Zoo and Golden Gate Park in the summer. No trip was complete without an It’s-It, which were sold from a little cooler cart. A few years ago someone decided to market them up here, and the pre-packaged version was available in a few stores like Top Foods. They weren’t as good as fresh, but they weren’t bad either. Alas, the experiment did not last. I haven’t seen any for a couple of years.

Comments | Topics: Cherry Wishniak soda, Peach Nehi, TastyKake


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