Reading a post from my Victoriana alum (and contributor over at Gnome Stew) Walt Ciechanowski on Facebook got me thinking about verisimilitude in modern games or writing today. Specifically, he was talking about Boost!, a citrus soda that is available only in a select area of southern New Jersey. I have a similar strange food from the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, where I lived as a kid — Schaeffer’s Bologna, an “all-beef bologna, flavored only with salt and pepper”, an a touch of garlic has an edible skin and is great snack food.
For the longest time, you couldn’t get real New Mexican chile paste (red or green) or salsa outside of the state. The California stuff is too bland, Texas too sweet…during the ’90s, when I was away from Albuquerque, I would get cravings for NM-style chile and could only find something similar in Sierra Vista, Arizona when I was stations at Sierra Vista. It was also one of the first places I could find McEwan’s ales outside of Scotland — then it started popping up everywhere until Heineken bought the brewery and delisted it, leading to my singular desire to blow the Netherlands off the face of Europe.
So those of you reading, please chime in — what a particular, very popular but highly localized food or drink from your neighborhood or past. (Tell us what it is and where it’s limited to. Who knows, it might turn up in someone’s game!)