A Guy mentioned in the Bread Machine thread Sourdough bread from the Bay area. It set me to thinking about regional specialities.
Most of my childhood was spent in northwest Arkansas so I experienced the traditional Southern US dishes such as fried chicken, fried catfish, fried okra (basically anything fried).
In the mid 1970s my dad came back from Vietnam and was stationed in New Orleans (US Navy Seabees). One day the school lunch was red beans and rice. The only times I had seen rice was as sort of a dessert with a bit of butter and sugar (not even rice based casseroles that I can recall). I didn't know what to expect, but after the first bite I was hooked. Mmm...red beans and rice.
There was also a soda in New Orleans called Pop Rouge. It was a strawberry cream soda. Once again, I was hooked. I would pass over the "big names" in favor of Pop Rouge.
After 3 years, we moved to Long Beach, Mississippi because my dad was transferred to the Gulfport base. I still got my red beans and rice but Pop Rouge was nowhere to be found. However, Barq's Rootbeer was made in Biloxi, Mississippi and soon became my go to soft drink.
Now that I'm back in Arkansas, no more red beans and rice. I've tried the "boxed" mixes, but they're poor substitutes. Incidentally, Zatarain's is better than Vigo's in my opinion, and Rice-A-Roni isn't even worth mentioning. There was a restaurant chain that had red beans and rice that was OK, but it closed in Fort Smith. There is a New Orleans style joint in Fort Smith but I think that the cook was kicked out of Louisiana.
The Barq family sold out to either Pepsi or Coca-Cola so it's available here but it just doesn't seem the same.
So, does anyone else want to reminisce about food and drink they can get no longer?