There is more than a cultural difference between the East and West Coasts, there is a culinary one as well. I sorely miss some of the old tastes, and was delighted to get a chance to wolf them down again.
Tastykakes made it to the West Coast over 10 years ago, but in very limited availability. Real Philly Cheesesteak joints in California offer a portion of their products. The pies are my favorite and they don't get exported. It was a bonus to see the Pumpkin Pie available! I hear they still use trans fat, but I love 'em anyway.
Quintessentially Philly, although I don't think I've ever had a cheesesteak in Philadelphia. I didn't need to. South Jersey could more than hold it's own on the cheesesteak, pizza, panzarotti, and calzone front. My favorite pizza steak place is now a parking lot but there are still hundreds of local places to get one of these decadent treats.
No one else in the band knows what Junket is. It was my favorite dessert as a kid. Tauted as a Rennet Custard Mix, this raspberry-flavored treat has a texture best descrided as semi-solid milk. It's sweet beyond belief and making it correctly can be challenging. I brought six boxes of it home and it just isn't enough.
Tak-A-Boost/Drink A Toast:
Most of the band didn't know "Boost" either. I grew up in Burlington county New Jersey and later moved to Cherry Hill, in Camden County. Tak-A-Boost/Drink A Toast was a stable in the Riverside/Delanco area. The name was shortened to "Boost" by most drinkers. The syrup came in a tall glass bottle with a white twist-off lid. I still have one, salvaged from the sixties, in my garage. Simmply pour in the "Boost" syrup and add water. It is the perfect summer thirst-quencher. Alas, I can no longer partake of its refreshing taste due to my adversity to caffiene. Detractors claim it tastes like a flat cola drink, but charging "Boost" with carbonated water yields a superior brew in my book.
Taylor Pork Roll:
This canvas-wrapped, Trenton, New Jersey delicacy is the first thing my brother would eat whenever he returned to New Jersey. We each returned home with a 3 lb. package during a brief visit in 2001. When cut and fried, it's like a carmalized pork patty with a sharp, sweet taste. Perfect on a powdered bun with ketchup.
Band Wagon: 2007 Dodge Nitro R/T
Band Wagon: South Jersey Sites