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Survey Reveals CT's Signature Dish, Traces Launch Of No. 1 Fast-Food Chain To Fairfield County

A white clam pizza pie from Frank Pepe's Pizzaria.
A white clam pizza pie from Frank Pepe's Pizzaria. Photo Credit: Facebook

What's the most signature dish in Connecticut?

A team of more than 70 editors and field editors from Reader's Digest and sister publication Taste of Home submitted their state's favorite dishes as did readers from around the United States. The rundown appears in the story, "America the Tasty: Every state's best food," in the July/August issue of Reader's Digest.

The winning dish in Connecticut is also a Fairfield County staple - the clam pizza pie.

"In the 1920s, an Italian immigrant named Frank Pepe began selling pizzas with fresh-shucked clams, garlic, olive oil and grated cheese on a thin, charred crust in New Haven," the Reader's Digest story says. 

The story also notes that the first Subway sandwich shop in the nation opened in Fairfield County -- in Bridgeport in 1965 - and was the brainchild of a nuclear physicist named Peter Buck. Subway is now the nation's largest fast-food chain, with more locations than McDonald's.

In neighboring New York, the top choice comes as no surprise - Buffalo wings. The dish traces its origin back to 1964 at Buffalo's Anchor Bar, where it was invented by Teressa Bellissimo. Since then, the tasty appetizer has soared in popularity, with many restaurants now featuring wings as their main menu item.

No discussion of popular foods in New York would be complete without mentioning bagels, and the Reader's Digest rundown does just that.

It notes that reason bagels have holes is because Jewish immigrants who sold the rolls on Manhattan's Lower East Side created the holes so they could stack bagels on sticks when they took them to customers.

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