If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating Buffalo wings dripping with butter infused hot sauce, you’ve tasted food that originally came from Upstate New York.
(You also might be surprised to learn that potato chips were originally invented in Upstate New York in Saratoga Springs.)
Often overshadowed by New York City’s understandably more famous cuisine, Upstate NY is a meat eater’s paradise, home to such foods as beef on weck (also known as kummelweck), chicken spiedies, white hots, and the amazingly sinful garbage plate.
5 Legendary Upstate New York Foods
1. Buffalo Wings
Originally invented by the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, locals refer to them as chicken wings (or more simply wings). When we lived in Western New York, our local pizzaria used to sell them with their pizzas, along with soft garlic knots dipped in butter.
Each year, the City of Buffalo holds a chicken wing festival. Last year, a record 27 tons of wings were eaten by 78,000 very happy people.
Here’s a video recipe from Chef John of Food Wishes showing you how you can make your own.
2. Beef on Weck
Beef on Weck is a juicy roast beef sandwich topped with horseradish and served on a special roll which is studded with a bewitching combination of caraway seeds and kosher salt.
Once you’ve tried roast beef this way, you’ll find yourself regretting all the years you lost not eating this beefy feast on a bun. You can also thank Buffalo, NY for this heavenly food.
Commonly featuring cubes of chicken (lamb, beef, and venison are also used) marinated 24 hours or more in a savory sauce made of oil, vinegar, garlic, various Italian spices, and mint, this dish was invented in Endicott, NY.
Cooked shish kebab style, spiedies are often served on Italian rolls which help sop up the extra sauce. Unlike beef on weck, spiedie ingredients are easy to find and/or make outside of Upstate New York Area.
In fact, many supermarkets across the country sell commercially prepared spiedie sauce to make this even easier. Serve some salt potatoes on the side and you can die happy.
Looking to try spiedies in their natural habitat? Each summer, the folks in nearby Binghamton, NY celebrate the joy of spiedies with a food (and hot air balloon) festival called Spiedie Fest.
4. White Hots
Imagine a plump hot dog made with a wonderful combination of pork, beef, and veal. You’ve just imagined the white hot, a hotdog which originated in Rochester, NY (although some give the credit to Syracuse instead).
With their mild flavor and savory goodness, white hots are now shipped all over the world by Zweigle’s, a company that was founded in the late 1800’s which has made them since 1925.
5. Garbage Plate (also known as a Nick Tahou Garbage Plate)
Alas, you’ll have to go to Rochester, NY to try this one, but if you ask me, it’s more than worth the trip!
A guilty, Upstate New York treat, the appropriately named garbage plate won’t be winning any beauty contests anytime soon, especially since the food tends to be plopped rather than placed on the plate when it is served.
But no matter. Once you experience a garbage plate, you’ll find it has culinary charm to spare.
As it says in on the Nick Tahou Hots page on Wikipedia:
“A garbage plate is a combination of one selection of cheeseburger, hamburger, red hots, white hots, Italian sausage, chicken tender, fish (Haddock), fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs; and two sides of either home fries, French fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad). On top of that are the options of mustard and onions, ketchup, and Nick’s proprietary hot sauce, a greasy sauce with spices and ground beef. It’s served with rolls or Italian toast on the side, which is made fresh at the bakery next door.”
Although Nick Tahou retains the right to the original garbage plate name, you can get garbage-style plates all over Rochester, NY.
Here’s a video which tells more about the garbage plate (also known as a dumpster plate or trash plate) phenomenon.
(Photo Credits: Buffalo Hot Wings by Rick, Beef on Weck: Sandwich and Horseradish by Nickgraywfu, Time to Try a Spiedie by IndyDina and Mr. Wonderful, Cookin’ Some Dogs by Brad Lauster, and Dinner and a Heart Attack by Ben Golub.)
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest article, National Pork Rind Appreciation Day? Yes We Can! about the joys of eating pork rinds as part of this week’s special Meat Eater’s Series.
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