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The Delaware Dishes

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Ex-pats pine for foods they enjoyed in Delaware. It doesn’t matter that some aren’t native or exclusive to the state. We’ve made them our own.

1. Take scrapple. Visitors often greet the breakfast meat with raised eyebrows. But Delaware loves it so much that the Apple Scrapple Festival is held in Bridgeville each year (Oct. 13-15 this year) and Dogfish Head incorporated scrapple into its Beer for Breakfast Stout.

2–3. Made from meat scraps (usually pork), scrapple is on the menu at most restaurants known for breakfast, including Kozy Korner (Wilmington, 658-0812) and Cosmos Diner Restaurant (Wilmington, 994-0920).

4. You’ll also find it in such unlikely places as in tacos at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria (Rehoboth Beach, 212-2409; Fenwick Island, 436-7272).

5. Philadelphia might claim the cheesesteak, but many Delawareans—including Vice President Joe Biden—prefer the version at Claymont Steak Shop (Claymont, 798-0013; Wilmington, 478-1500; and Newark, 453-9500). 

6. In Sussex, sink your teeth into the real deal at Pete’s Steak Shop (Rehoboth Beach, 226-3000), which was founded by Frank and Michael Vasilikos, whose parents owned Pete’s, a Wilmington luncheonette. 

7. Both shops offer subs, which are prevalent all over the state. But Casapulla’s Subs, founded in 1956, is one of the first to feature the signature sandwich. The business started as an Elsmere grocery store, then evolved into a deli. Today there are six family-owned locations, with one in Rehoboth Beach.

8. To distinguish their place from other sandwich shops, Lois and Alan Margolet roasted turkeys for Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, which opened in 1976 in Wilmington’s Little Italy. The Bobbie, named for their aunt, is Thanksgiving on a roll—turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Capriotti’s now has locations across the country, but Delawareans still consider it a local business. 

9. When it comes to poultry dishes, chicken-and-dumplings is a local favorite. Smyrna Diner (Smyrna, 653-9980) is legendary for its version.

10. Chicken-and-dumplings is particularly popular in southern Delaware, where you’ll also find strawberry-pretzel salad. Though the sweet dish is a side at the four Georgia House restaurants, it eats like a dessert.

11. When it comes to pizza, Delawareans can proudly point to Grotto Pizza. When the original opened in Rehoboth Beach in 1960, pizza was an oddity along the coast, but founder Dominick Pulieri, then 17, persisted. Today you can find the pizza with its signature swirl of sauce throughout Delaware.

12. But you can only find the Nic-O-Boli at Nicola’s Pizza (Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211). The traditional version of the signature stromboli includes ground beef and sauce wrapped in dough.

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